Aaron Barrios
Director General
Grupo Gysapol
/
View from the Top

Sustainable Alternative for the Energy Industry

Thu, 10/15/2020 - 14:38

Q: What are the main opportunities that Grupo Gysapol has identified in the Mexican market?

A: Grupo Gysapol has found many opportunities in different industries, with one of the largest coming from the energy sector. We are also entering the tourism industry, which is key to Mexico’s economic development. Over the past 20 years, Mexico has constantly been among the Top 10 tourism destinations globally. We produce a broad range of furniture for this sector, including cots, tables and docks. The tourism sector is going through a difficult period due to the COVID-19 outbreak but we expect a quick recovery.

We also participate in the retail sector. Retailers commonly used wood panels for their showrooms but they are increasingly choosing our products because of their reusability. This avoids the generation of waste and negates the need to import wood from China. Grupo Gysapol also works with several ecological reserves in Cuatro Cienegas, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. Our products are more resistant to natural elements, including wind and rain, and can replace wooden structures.

Q: What solutions is Grupo Gysapol developing for the energy sector?

A: Our products can be used to replace the wood and metal tools currently used in deepwater exploration. The traditional technique for exploration requires laying wood platforms prior to the duct laying process. This a very sensitive process that has to be done to perfection as the high pressures at which the ducts will be placed make the smallest disruptions dangerous.

Mexican companies and government institutions are now applying sustainability practices and looking for alternative materials for this process. PEMEX is one of the companies that is switching from wood to more sustainable products such as Plastimadera, which can handle weights of up to 3 tons/cm2. While our products represent a larger initial investment, in the long term they bring substantial savings. Regular wood stacks last an average of two life cycles, while Plastimadera stacks can last up to 60 life cycles, so companies can recover their investment in one and a half years on average. Since the investments can total up to several million dollars, however, it has proven hard to convince some companies to replace their regular materials and try a new product.

Q: How does Grupo Gysapol provide added value to the numerous sectors it operates in?

A: Our brand, Plastimadera, focuses on generating a circular economy, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible by repeatedly reintegrating them into the manufacturing process. The main goal is to have a positive environmental impact. Very few companies in Mexico adhere to the principles of a circular economy and being pioneers in the topic has allowed us to penetrate new markets.

Plastimadera was developed after significant R&D efforts that continue today with the support of UNAM’s Institute of Research in Materials. R&D is core to our business and our goal is to develop and launch a new product every year. Our work with the university guarantees clients that our products are backed by many years of research. We are the only company in the market that does products of this kind so our main challenge has been to open new markets and convince clients of the advantages of using these products.

Q: Considering your strong R&D arm, what products will Grupo Gysapol launch in the Mexican market in the short term?

A: By mid-2020, we will enter the logistics sector through the production of truck racks made of recycled materials that will guarantee the safety of transported goods. For instance, the agricultural sector must ensure that livestock stays safe during transport to avoid losses, so it is necessary that the truck racks are strong and not slippery. This year, we are also developing new products for the energy sector. We believe the best opportunities are in the energy sector as it is showing significant growth thanks to the investment made by Mexico’s government. We also see opportunities in Mexico’s manufacturing sectors, such as the automotive industry, which is now facing a plateau but will continue growing once USMCA is ratified.

Q: How do you guarantee the sustainability of your products?

A: To ensure the sustainability of our products it is necessary to track their entire manufacturing process. Due to our policies, all our suppliers have to certify the quality and sustainability of the materials they provide us. These products also undergo a quality validation process performed by our internal department and by the institutes we collaborate with, which include UNAM, IPN and several laboratories in Canada. Our operations are ISO 9001:2018 certified, which requires 100 percent traceability. Our business does not generate any contaminants as we use water in a closed circuit and we do not generate CO2 emissions.

Q: What challenges does the company foresee for 2020?

A: A challenge for all companies will be to manage the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which is heavily impacting all economic sectors. The issues in the oil and gas sector that has hit oil prices is another factor. Our priority is to manage these challenges as they are affecting all our clients, many of which have slowed down production for the time being. Our goal will be to maintain our market position through innovation, branding and market development.