New Metso Outotec Regional Ecosystem a Boon to MexicoBy Alejandro Ehrenberg | Wed, 07/29/2020 - 11:40
Q: What opportunities in the value chain led to Metso and Outotec’s decision to merge?
A: I have been with Metso for 25 years and throughout that time, I thought to myself on numerous occasions how much more value we’d be able to provide if we merged with Outotec. When you look at the process of turning ore to metal, both Metso and Outotec individually covered significant parts of it. The combination of the two companies results in a comprehensive portfolio of solutions covering the whole process, excluding prospecting and exploration.
Each company came to the table with strengths in particular areas, many of which are fully complimentary. One example is the crushing process, where Metso is a world-renowned leader. While at the same time, Outotec is the expert in the metal side of the process, the downstream side. Then, of course, there is an area in between where each company’s expertise overlaps. The challenge is to solidify and streamline those overlapping areas while consolidating the complimentary areas.
Metso Outotec provides solutions to miners beginning with crushing the rocks up to when they develop the metals. The solutions we offer are not specific to just one area of the process. Rather, we now have a comprehensive view of their entire process and can provide the equipment that best fit the process and not just one specific area. We can now provide a coordinated approach. It is not enough to optimize just one aspect: a holistic approach results in the best outcomes. As Metso Outotec, we can take more ownership of what we are delivering. That is really of big value to our customers.
Q: How will Mexico’s inclusion in Metso Outotec’s North and Central American region add value to the Mexican mining industry?
A: Both companies already had a strong presence in Mexico, which is considered an important market for us and the mining industry as a whole. Our North and Central American region will be catering to customers from Canada to Panama and the Caribbean. For Mexico, it means that the responsibility for success is not only on Metso Outotec’s Mexican team but also on the whole region. Experts in Canada, the US or Panama can offer help to Mexican customers. Conversely, Mexican experts will be able to share their expertise regionally. Mexico will be part of a larger family that has to answer for the success of each of its members.
Q: In what key sustainability area does Metso Outotec offer innovative solutions?
A: Metso and Outotec’s focus has always been on sustainability. We strive to minimize our footprint and also to develop products that narrow our clients’ footprint. Water-use optimization is among the highest priorities for our customers. Mining often takes place in water-stressed regions. This is true for Mexico. Metso Outotec’s focus is to develop technologies that address this concern. There are many aspects to this that go beyond water consumption. Cleaning the water, filtering and recycling it are also crucial. Metso Outotec has water-management technologies that control the overall plant’s demand, as well as the capability to supply full solutions in industrial water treatment plants. Our focus is holistic and the overarching idea is to optimize the entire process and not bring in freshwater all the time. We are able to provide the most socially responsible and economically feasible solutions for tailings management. Metso Outotec is committed to helping our customers minimize risks related to tailings during the mine’s complete lifecycle and after decommissioned.
Another important point is Metso Outotec’s focus in developing energy efficient solutions for minerals processing. In each technology that we launch, the ability to reduce energy consumption is one of the key focus areas during the development phase. Intelligent digital systems are being integrated to our solutions to assure the best operational conditions in terms of water and energy consumption, all tied to our sustainable mining commitment.
Q: How will Metso Outotec’s R&D ecosystem benefit its customers and suppliers?
A: Our R&D budget as a new company is a strong pool and among the best in class. We are developing synergies and creating a larger critical mass to have a bigger impact. We have roughly 30 R&D centers globally and that allows us to work closer to our customers. Metso Outotec has a strong understanding of customers’ needs and we develop products accordingly. Innovations can then travel throughout the Metso Outotec network and be further fine-tuned in collaboration with our customers around the world.
Similar to our portfolio strategies, both Metso and Outotec come to the table with strong supplier contacts. Synergies have been created there too. We can bring in these suppliers as partners in our R&D efforts. There are excellent and innovative suppliers in Mexico. It is a solid mining industry with a long history. We will leverage that and include Mexican suppliers into the Metso Outotec R&D ecosystem.
Q: How will COVID-19 change Metso Outotec’s focus?
A: While the pandemic does not completely change our focus, it does force all of us to rethink sustainability and fine-tune it to health and safety concerns. The same is true of operational matters. We have had to adapt to our customer’s needs, especially when providing technical service remotely. We have developed online tools to help them carry out inspections and receive support. Normally, we send experts to the site to work hand in hand with the customer. In many regions, that is impossible at the moment. The alternative we have devised allows us to continue to collaborate closely with our customers and provide them with the support and expert services that they expect, but remotely by utilizing digital technologies.
Metso Outotec is a frontrunner in sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing, aggregates, metals refining and recycling industries globally.