Aldrich Richter
Managing Director Mexico
Bergen Engines
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Reliable Engines Boosted by Unique Service Capabilities

By Cas Biekmann | Mon, 04/25/2022 - 15:16

Q: How does Bergen Engines set itself apart in the competitive medium-speed engine market?

A: There are ways in which the products we offer differentiate from our competitors but it is not all about technology; rather, it is about the complete offer to the market. Bergen Engines has a unique service strategy that is localized regionally in Mexico. Every time we develop an engine project, we complement it with our long-term service agreement. The company has been successful because we see projects beyond the capital investment, looking after the total cost of ownership for our customers. This capability has been enhanced by our new service center in Queretaro, where we plan to have spare parts and technical staff available to tend to client needs. The market appreciates these local efforts, meaning that service engineers are located in close proximity to them and can react quickly when assistance is needed. Monitoring is another part of the service we offer. We can remotely monitor the health of the engines and allow for safe, stable and optimal operations.

 

Q: Langley Holdings recently acquired Bergen Engines. How does this help Bergen’s ability to differentiate its offer?

A: Bergen Engines is a great fit for the Langley Holdings business ecosystem. We are now part of Langley’s vertically integrated power division, which also includes motor and generator producer Marelli Motori and power protection manufacturer Piller Power. These companies provide further solutions for our customers but also within our own engines that use Marelli’s alternators. Piller Power’s energy storage solutions benefit key industries, such as Mexico’s budding but already buoyant data center market. Companies are developing many of these projects, especially in the Queretaro area. A key challenge for the centers is to have stable power available, so our ecosystem can provide them with this reliability.

 

Q: How does the company add value to industrial processes using its engines?

A: Most of our engines operate within a cogeneration facility. Using Bergen’s technology, these systems not only reach the highest efficiency regarding electricity production but also optimally recover exhaust gas temperature to produce either heating or cooling. This type of cogeneration is useful for a variety of industries, including power production, petrochemical refining, food, beverages and livestock. Our engines are reliable and efficient, considered two key factors for any profitable industry.

Most of our applications in the industry are behind-the-meter. Some operate in island mode, unconnected to the grid or to other power plants. When interconnected to the grid, our engines can offer a lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and provide added stability. This function is novel in the electricity market. Especially now that intermittent energy capacity is growing, the grid needs firm and stable power around the clock. Our engines can help boost the energy transition in countries such as Mexico. In addition, a large renewable energy developer could gain a great deal of value by implementing our products. For CFE, our engines can play an important role in stabilizing the grid through fast ramp-ups and in providing continuous stable energy.

 

Q: What are the most important fuels for Bergen’s solutions?

A: Bergen’s engines run on both liquid fuels and natural gas but the latter is the most important source of power for electricity production in Mexico and for the rest of the world. Natural gas is a very clean and cheap fuel for our customers. In addition, it is an abundant resource within the country. The gas pipeline network is growing and reaching into areas where fossil fuel was not readily available. You cannot install a power generation unit if the fuel needed to fire it is not constantly available. Having access to gas in areas such as the Yucatan peninsula offers many options for companies to produce power in an environmentally friendly manner.

 

Q: How is the company developing its solutions to incorporate future fuels, such as green hydrogen?

A: Green hydrogen is likely the fuel of the future. Our R&D team is working hard to ensure our engines can burn it optimally. We are in the testing stage and have seen great results so far. One of Bergen’s largest engines is operating optimally on a blend of 15 percent hydrogen and 85 percent natural gas, without requiring any hardware changes. We can therefore begin blending hydrogen into the mix and continue our research to eventually make it the predominant fuel, while diminishing the carbon emissions of our engines. However, hydrogen needs to be widely available if it is to be used for these engines. There are many pilot projects around the world, but until green hydrogen becomes more readily available, we will focus on natural gas and begin adding green hydrogen to the mix gradually.

 

Q: What are Bergen’s main goals for 2022?

A: We are growing our capabilities at the Queretaro service center and will provide the best quality of service for our existing customers. Furthermore, we aim to continue our growth and develop additional projects in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Mexico is the hub for these operations. From there, we have been very active in the Colombian market. We hope to see power generation and interconnection permits granted by the second half of 2022 so that we can increase our installed base, catering to clients that are in urgent need of power. Mexico generates some of the world’s largest industrial works, which requires a great deal of energy. We can join the effort together with CFE and private developers to meet this demand and boost employment and economic growth.

 

Bergen Engines has over 75 years of experience in the manufacturing of engines for propulsion and power generation. Its products focus on reliability, efficiency and flexibility. In late 2021, Langley Holdings acquired Bergen Engines from Rolls-Royce.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst