Iram González
Director General
View from the Top

GRP for Higher Quality, Lower Cost

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:58

Q: What is O-tek’s area of expertise within the hydraulic works sector?

A: O-tek’s DNA is in agricultural irrigation. Most of our sales have been in the Bajio region and in the north of Mexico. The largest projects we have developed in the country are irrigation district 001 in Pabellon de Arteaga, Aguascalientes and the modernization of the La Purisima irrigation district in Guanajuato. O-tek has started targeting development in coastal cities like Cancun, Los Cabos and Tijuana. They are still developing their water infrastructure and are attractive targets because we can offer pipes that resist corrosion from highly saline water or that can withstand UV exposure. The company has installed over 600km of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) piping in several water segments including pluvial drainage, sewage, hydropower generation, desalination, irrigation and industrial applications.

Q: What advantages do O-tek’s pipes have over metal or concrete pipes for water lines?

A: The key features that Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipes deliver are long-term cost-efficiency and endurance. These pipes can virtually eliminate maintenance costs in hydraulic works. While metallic, concrete, PVC and highdensity polyethylene pipes are so fragile they require constant maintenance or renewal over the lifespan of a water line, GRP pipes have a maintenance-free, 100 to 150- year lifespan. Also, GRP pipes weigh less than pipes made of other materials and are produced and sold in longer sections, making them easier and faster to install. Project for project, O-tek is less costly and delivers more.

Q: How is O-tek marketing its services to the public and private sectors?

A: Our direct clients are mostly construction companies although our final customers are local, state and federal public dependencies like CONAGUA. This makes construction companies and the government our natural targets. Many decision-makers find it difficult to implement technologies like GRP piping into their projects because they have been working with concrete, steel or PVC pipes for decades. O-tek approaches potential clients and offers its technical expertise in optimizing projects so that they can acquire the most suitable solution while also delegating responsibility for repairs if a water line is damaged.

To illustrate the advantages of GRP pipes to potential clients, O-tek provides a portfolio comprising over 300 projects that have used this technology so they can request performance references. We also show them how these pipes can solve and prevent problems. For instance, O-tek can help all players involved in installing or changing a water line within a city. The public sector benefits because of the long life of GRP pipes, thus reducing maintenance and repair costs. Construction companies installing the water line can reduce construction time by using our products. For such projects, we deliver pipe sections that 3m wide and 12m long for an easier, faster installation that requires less machinery than shorter concrete or steel pipe sections. O-tek can effectively reduce installation time to a quarter of that for alternatives. The less time a water-line construction takes, the less time streets need to be closed, resulting in a direct benefit for the city’s inhabitants.

Q: What projects have piqued O-tek’s interest?

A: We want to participate in iconic projects like NAICM. The airport will be located on a seismic marshland, which poses many challenges for building and maintaining the water lines and rainwater-collection facilities NAICM will need. O-tek’s GRP pipes can withstand both the salinity of the area and earthquakes that measure up to seven on the Richter scale, and these products are easier to install by pipejacking than pipes made of other materials. The company is aditionally interested in continuing to work with CONAGUA. O-tek is in the process of demonstrating to SACMEX how our pipes can resist seismic movements while preventing water waste through leaks. The company also wants to take advantage of the opportunities that the Energy Reform will unleash in the renewable-energy