Alicia Barnetche
Kepler Constructora
View from the Top

Pipelines to Feed Project Development

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 16:02

Q: Where do you see the greatest potential for investing in energy infrastructure?

A: The government’s plan to expand the national pipeline network will create many opportunities for industrial growth. Having more pipelines will also allow the construction of small-scale power generation plants across the country, supplying electricity to remote or small towns. This will enhance development given the cost-effectiveness of these technologies. Fostering renewable energy is also indispensable, providing great opportunities for the Mexican energy industry. Given Mexico’s great natural resources such as wind and solar, the potential for sustainable power generation is enormous. Biomass power generation is also interesting as it would serve a double purpose: the large amount of residue generated in the country would be used and it would cover power demand in a cheaper and cleaner way.

Q: How much of Kepler Constructora’s business is devoted to energy infrastructure projects?

A: We cover almost all construction disciplines, from civil engineering to commissioning and startup and we have built over 30 power generation plants in Mexico and other regions. Kepler’s structure is horizontal, which allows for quick response to clients. We comply with international certifications including the “S” and “U” of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) certifications for the on-site design and construction of high-pressure containers. Our supervisors are Occupation Hazard and Health Administration (OSHA) certified and we have held the ISO 9000:2008 for quality for the last 14 years. Kepler has 31 national and international construction and quality awards, which indicate our international prestige. We have developed specific techniques and know-how over time that have allowed us to become one of the best construction companies in the country.

Q: What is the major challenge you have faced to become one of the leading construction companies in the sector?

A: We did not have letters of credit in the past because we mainly work with our own financial resources. This situation was challenging for some projects in which we required additional credit. This was the case for instance with a project we developed in the Dominican Republic in 2010. We finally managed to get our first credit line in the history of Kepler Constructora for this project but it was challenging because we had no credit history. Banks have increased their requirements for providing lines of credit to construction companies, which is understandable because it is a risky sector but it makes it difficult to achieve growth. We have overcome this challenge thanks to our strong reputation that has permitted us to earn the trust of insurance and financial companies.

Q: How do you prevent corruption and ensure transparency in the development of projects?

A: Our main and only strategy is corporate ethics. The industry knows that Kepler does not offer, give or take any resource or asset beyond the strictly legal. The company relies on its reputation and works every day to maintain it. Having a solid reputation does not only give peace of mind to the company itself but also to vendors, sub-contractors, clients, developers and every other player we deal with.

Q: What is Kepler’s strategy for 2017 to seize the opportunities the energy industry is offering?

A: Kepler Constructora has 41 years with a solid reputation and positive feedback from its clients. Engineering companies seeking to develop turnkey projects are our main clients, since we provide all services in construction including project procurement. Preparing for opportunities in the electric sector requires two or three years planning for construction companies so we have been working on it for a while already. We have a number of combinedcycle power generation plants in the pipeline for 2017, but many of our clients as well as other players are waiting for the regulation to be fully developed before making any major investment. We have identified a large number of companies approaching Mexico's energy sector, such as pipeline builders and mining and power generation companies. The world’s eyes are set on Mexico.