Luis Ramón
Director General
Diram
/
View from the Top

New Opportunities, New Businesses

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:35

Q: What business opportunities has the Energy Reform created for Diram?

A: The CRE has released a stricter network code for obtaining the necessary permits for interconnecting new or additional electrical charges to the grid, opening new opportunities for us. We have worked closely with steel manufacturers and other industrial clients to help them understand the impact the new regulations will have on their processes. Most were surprised by the amount of investment required to ensure their facilities were up to the new code. In particular, industrial players will have to invest heavily in energy-quality solutions to match their electrical performance to the standards set by CRE, an area in which we have expertise. Considering the interconnection requirements will be mandatory for all industries connected to medium and high-tension lines, the market opportunity for us is remarkable.

In the same way, wind farms and other power generators are required to comply with certain specifications to be interconnected to the National Electric System, including the network code released in April 2016. We can support our clients in this area by analyzing their equipment to define whether or not they comply with the standards and by offering them solutions for projects under development or for existing facilities. Some of the most important changes from the old to the new network code are the mandatory response times and reactive power controllers, two aspects that cannot be met using only capacitor banks and turbine power controllers. Most cases will require the use of power electronics to control the power outage in accordance with mandatory requirements.

Legacy projects are not forced to comply with these new electrical requirements but all other projects developed after the publication of CRE’s guidelines must. Therefore, we are now specializing in offering optimal solutions for companies looking to comply with the new network code because we consider it a market niche in which we can offer an added value. The new code requires a minimum power factor of 95 percent, which must be reached in three years. Power generators and large electricity users need to have an action plan to comply with the law, a process in which we can also provide technical guidance.

Q: What is the company’s strategy for selecting suppliers without compromising cost effectiveness?

A: Performance contracts have put stronger pressure on us to select the optimal equipment, giving our customers confidence that their projects will run smoothly. After years of experience and trial and error we have a base of trusted suppliers and distributors that offer the guarantees we require for our projects. We avoid working with inexperienced suppliers or companies that have no credentials to support the quality of their work. We work with brands from the US, Europe and Asia, all of which have quality certifications and high-performance standards. For each type of equipment, we have up to three brands that comply with our company’s requirements and we make the final selection based on the contract conditions or the clients’ preferences. We do not have exclusivity agreements with any brand so we are flexible to select the best option according to the project’s needs.

Q: What is Diram’s strategy to continue expanding now that it is a leader in the sector?

A: Diram has a special division dedicated to analyzing new market potential and projections. Mexico’s situation has been challenging, with economic growth slower than expected and impacting on industrial development including the energy sector, which has seen a drop in government investment. For these reasons, we are now analyzing new markets, mainly in Central and South America where we are already in talks to establish commercial alliances. In the US, we have already identified a potential partner to distribute our products and services. In Mexico, we are exploring the potential of developing cogeneration projects made more attractive by the new regulatory framework and the low price of natural gas.