Kevin Piccolo
Director of Energy and Cogeneration
View from the Top

National Pioneer Outlines Benefits of Cogeneration

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:55

Q: IGSA is a Mexican company with a presence in 16 countries. What strategy allowed such an achievement?

A: Our successful international presence is based on our work with partners who are dedicated to our brand and its quality requirements. Our company also benefits from having a relatively high participation in the national market in terms of volume, which makes us attractive to suppliers. When it comes to sales, we prefer to collaborate with a partner who knows the local market, rather than initiating operations abroad and experimenting in an unknown business environment.

Q: What makes the company unique and what benefits do clients gain from using IGSA’s electric generation products?

A: In addition to our electric plants division, we also have uninterrupted power supply plants for critical sites and bank databases. In the exportation segment, we work with backup plants, small electric generators of up to 3.5MW that we distribute through these partners. I think one of the advantages that IGSA has is our wide diversity of motor and generator brands in our equipment assembly, which allows us to create solutions according to our clients’ needs.

Today we can work with motors or turbines. In the case of motors, we are able to handle various types of fuels; we can also recover the heat retained by the cylinders’ liners in the form of water, in addition to the heat provided by the exhaust gases. This allows us to generate steam and hot water from the motor’s heat. We have projects in which we will use biomass from sugar bagasse. Its combustion will create steam, which in turn will go through a turbine, generating electricity. Opting for biomass depends on the availability of the input and the chance of taking advantage of an existing process and using its secondary products to create energy. We also have projects in waste dumps and in cattle tracks, where we can benefit from the methane produced through decomposition.

Q: How is IGSA positioned to take advantage of natural gas as a transition fuel?

A: It creates a situation from which foreign companies will want to benefit, but luckily, IGSA already has a competitive advantage. Firstly, IGSA has the most experience in cogeneration among Mexican companies, and secondly, we have several projects that are already running. We have gone from being an EPC company to having our own cogeneration plants and offering services selling electric and thermal energy.

Q: Which are IGSA’s most emblematic cogeneration and combined cycle projects?

A: Our energy and cogeneration plants are designed to share the sales and electric energy services so that our clients may have cheaper energy. The expansion of the pipeline network will facilitate the development of different cogeneration plants in places where there are shortages of fuel, allowing for more efficient and cheaper energy. Although the cogeneration plants we are constructing run mainly on gas, we do not limit ourselves when it comes to fuels. We use the heat emitted from the gases in the turbine’s exhaust connected to a heat recovery unit. From that point, we can cool the steam and send it through an absorption chiller for freezing water or cooling systems.

Our most emblematic project in cogeneration would have to be IGSAPAK, which is a 47MW project with a configuration of two gas turbines, each combined with a heat recovery system. The steam and 20% of the energy produced are sold locally. We will also add a steam turbine to capitalize on additional capacity in order to generate more energy. In the public sector, the most emblematic project is Poza Rica III, which has a 230MW capacity.

Q: How is IGSA working with the State-owned energy companies?

A: We have two projects for upgrading two combined cycle plants, Poza Rica and Guerrero Negro, which are near completion. The first consists of maximizing a combined cycle plant with a 1-1-3 configuration consisting of a gas turbine, a heat recovery system, and three steam turbines. In the future, we would like to work with PEMEX as service providers on gas compression projects for the optimization of wells in which the pressure has dropped. The gas would be extracted, compressed, and then reinjected into the well in order to increase its lifespan.