Jaime Zubillaga
Managing Director
MAN Diesel & Turbo Mexico
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Stable Power for Energy Transition

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:25

Q: What opportunity does MAN Diesel & Turbo see in Mexico’s new energy industry?

A: The era of big combined cycle power plants in Mexico, when CFE was the sole presence in the market with some projects ranging from 500-1,000MW, is over. We now have a competitive market that demands all players showcase their advantages with smaller, flexible projects. These projects will provide important backup services for renewables because they will offer the possibility of having power when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. Traditional natural gas turbines coupled to generators have the disadvantage of needing several hours to provide full energy, which does not fit well with Mexico’s present market and new renewables scheme. In this regard, MAN Diesel & Turbo is the perfect option because its natural gas engines can supply full energy in less than one minute at any time and when renewable energies are not available.

Q: What makes MAN Diesel & Turbo the perfect option to provide energy security to the Mexican system?

A: MAN Diesel & Turbo offers high capacity natural gas engines with power outputs of 10MW and 20MW per unit. Multiple units are ideal to cope with the total power plant size and reliability guarantee. We are one of the few engine manufacturers that supplies its own turbochargers, meaning that the air compression in those systems is designed to directly maximize the power output and efficiency of our engines. While others purchase their turbochargers from other companies, ours are tailor-made to increase efficiency by several percentage points. This might not seem like much, but in a typical lifetime of 10 to 20 years, which is the minimum we target at MAN Diesel & Turbo, that efficiency can represent millions of dollars in fuel and operating costs. One perfect example of the capabilities we want to deploy in Mexico is located in Bonaire, in the Dutch Antilles. MAN Diesel & Turbo embarked on a project with a wind park developer to eliminate intermittency and offered a backup to the 12 wind turbines installed, adding a total of 25MW. With this project, MAN Diesel & Turbo ensured the island would have access to energy at all times, no matter the weather conditions. A local example is the Bajio region, which is highly industrialized but is also situated about 1,800m above sea level. Natural gas turbines have the disadvantage of decreased energy output the higher the altitude. MAN Diesel & Turbo gas engines do not suffer power decreases, even at heights of 3,000m above sea level. These gas engines could be installed almost anywhere in Mexico without losing efficiency. As a matter of fact, one of those gas engines is being installed in the Bajio region, where one of our clients required a secure and steady energy output. To meet the high demand and energy security needs at very competitive prices in the region, we have developed and implemented the first distributed generation plants. We are providing our customers with an excellent choice and energy flexibility at consumption centers, with our high-tech and high-efficiency natural gas engines.

Q: Does MAN Diesel & Turbo offer its financing capabilities in Mexico?

A: Yes, and we are very proud of having this financing capability. Beyond that financing arm, we also offer project developers that choose to work with us the benefit of our brand. MAN Diesel & Turbo is helping Mexican customers to take a minority equity stake on selective projects. When a financing institution sees that MAN Diesel & Turbo is also investing in the project, it feels safe in providing the required financing to secure its implementation.

Q: What is MAN Diesel & Turbo’s vision for Mexico?

A: MAN Diesel & Turbo believes in the virtues of the country and is willing and committed to continue developing its capabilities and presence in Mexico. We are proud that 100 percent of our personnel in the country are locals and the level of expertise is identical to anyone else coming from Europe or the US. Many of our service engineers are so well-trained and have such broad experience that they are often needed in other parts of the world.

MAN Diesel & Turbo is a leading force in design and manufacturing of low- and medium-speed engines for marine applications and stationary power plants, including compressors and turbines for oil & gas, process industries and the power generation sectors.