Luis Barrado
Head of Energy Department
Grupo Ortiz
View from the Top

Key Factors for Flawless, Full EPC Services

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 09:42

Q: Why should project developers turn to Grupo Ortiz for EPC services?

A: Grupo Ortiz is a reliable company, among a select pool, that can provide the technical and financial experience and capacity in turnkey EPC services to utility-scale renewable energy projects. The group’s energy division has three subsidiary companies commercially active in Mexico. We entered the energy market through Juan Galindo, our transmission and distribution company. Our first project was a PIDIREGAS contract with CFE worth US$34 million for the Subestaciones y Compensación del Noroeste project involving a voltage of 400kV, and essentially the big leagues of transmission and distribution infrastructure. This first project validated our work and was the stepping stone for our Mexican portfolio and our energy division. It helped us get familiarized with the processes, stakeholders and local players and for what was coming next: the Energy Reform and its Electricity Industry Law and Energy Transition Law. Our track record with CFE granted us the ability to not only offer solid proposals for EPC services to the longterm electricity auction PV parks but also to oversee the interconnection process. Over the course of its history, there has not been a single stain on Grupo Ortiz’s reputation. We pride ourselves on being a fully transparent company in all processes and client relationships.

Q: What new milestones has Grupo Ortiz achieved with its project portfolio?

A: The Solem I and II PV parks with an installed capacity of 350MW and developed jointly by Alten and Cubico Sustainable Investments in Aguascalientes have been in operation since October 2018. These projects represent an investment of close to US$300 million that Grupo Ortiz supported with financial guarantees. Both solar parks use the same connection to the grid. We undertook the full EPC process for these projects. In parallel, our company was awarded an EPC contract from Recurrent Energy and Canadian Solar for their 67MW Potencia I PV park in Aguascalientes. Grupo Ortiz locked down the EPC services for another two PV parks: Tepezalá II with IEnova and Trina for an installed capacity of 133MW and the Conejos Medanos 93MW PV park. Grupo Ortiz signed another two projects in 2018, representing an additional capacity of nearly 400MW.

Q: How does Grupo Ortiz optimize CAPEX and OPEX for its projects?

A: Grupo Ortiz’s experience, track record and contracted volume enabled it to cement its favorable negotiating and contracting position, providing reasonable and reliable economic conditions, including a network of cost-effective equipment suppliers that represent 75 percent of the contracting volume for a utility-scale renewable energy power generation project. Grupo Ortiz enjoys a lengthy presence in the Mexican market and has mapped out the key players, suppliers and contractors, which is critical for a project’s success.

Q: What is your assessment of the Mexican solar PV industry’s value chain?

A: In the early stages of Mexico’s first large-scale renewable energy projects developed post-reform, there were great expectations and little to no experience on the development side. In the end, professionalism, experience and capability across a project’s different stakeholders were the deciding factors between wishful thinking and successful projects. The renewed emphasis on the social and environmental aspects showcased by the regulatory framework of Mexico’s new energy model is a positive step forward in that regard. The EPC link of the value chain has adapted swiftly to the requirements of Mexico’s renewable energy market thanks to the arrival of international companies that transfer their knowledge and expertise to the country’s EPC professionals. It strengthened the concept of effective project management practices to efficiently manage project construction phases and time frames. We are expecting the same process to detonate in the O&M segment of the value chain as more renewable energy projects become operational