Readily Available Fuel for Miners EverywhereWed, 10/21/2015 - 16:57
Heavy investments are intrinsic to the mining industry, so companies in this sector are very meticulous as to how they finance their operations. It should come as no surprise then that mining companies seek suppliers with attractive financial schemes and credits. Companies are also demanding when it comes to the permits their suppliers have as they often want to ensure they collaborate with internationally certified players. As one of the main suppliers of diesel to the Mexican mining industry, Petrolíferos has placed a lot of effort in ensuring it matches the quality and certification expectations of its clients, given that without its diesel supply, many mines would judder to a halt. “Diesel is a fundamental supply product for the mining industry. All heavy machinery in a mine uses this fuel, and mining companies often have to rely on diesel-powered electricity generators because they operate in remote places. A diesel shortage would halt a mine’s operations,” explains Marco Antonio Gutiérrez, Manager of Petrolíferos.
The company uses different PEMEX terminals to ensure that clients have fuel available at all times, and has a vast inventory to cover the needs of clients across the country’s entire northern region. “PEMEX deals with its franchises and distributors like Petrolíferos,” says Gutiérrez. “On certain occasions, PEMEX may deal with large clients such as Grupo Mexico directly. Nonetheless, PEMEX will still need transportation services in those circumstances, which we provide. This is the main reason clients ask for our services instead of going directly to PEMEX,” explains Gutiérrez.
Petrolíferos is an important client for PEMEX, as it is currently buying approximately 40 million liters of diesel a month. “PEMEX awarded our company with the Distributor Plus recognition. In order to be eligible for this certification, companies have to comply with certain safety and efficiency standards,” says Gutiérrez. This gives Petrolíferos certain benefits and warrantees that are ultimately passed on to its customers. For instance, fuel quality has a direct impact on performance and efficiency of mining equipment. For this reason, Petrolíferos exclusively uses centrifuge fuels, which are cleansed from foreign particles. “Every liter we distribute is of the best quality available in the Mexican market.”
When PEMEX does face a supply shortage, Petrolíferos’ business faces a delicate situation as the oil company is its only provider. In these cases, Petrolíferos revises its inventory to find a way to timely provide fuel for its clients. The versatility of its terminals gives it the ability to retrieve fuel from Nogales, Hermosillo, Ciudad Obregon, Guaymas, and many other locations, to redirect the supply flow where it needs to go. “The company absorbs all the expenses and takes on the risks as long as we can guarantee our commitment to our customers. We cannot afford to let a fuel shortage affect a mine’s operations,” tells Gutiérrez. Petrolíferos always seeks to allow its clients to focus on mining activities. This led it to introduce financial schemes as part of its services, although this presented a fresh challenge as PEMEX does not grant similar schemes to Petrolíferos. “We have to make sure we have enough liquidity to continue financing our purchases while we help the mining industry through credits that can last up to 90 days,” says Gutiérrez.
Gutiérrez explains that another service provided, the self-supply scheme, originated from the needs of the mining industry. Some machines used in this sector, such as backhoe excavators and draglines, can consume up to 1,000l in only four hours. It quickly became evident that mines needed an independent energy supply at all times. Gutiérrez claims that Petrolíferos was the first to implement self-supply stations in mines once this necessity was identified. This scheme enables companies to plan ahead and fill their tanks on a regular basis without having to wait for a distributor. Another important advantage of the self-supply stations is that companies can monitor their fuel consumption. “Our stations enable clients to know precisely how many liters they are extracting and how many are left in the tanks. The content of the tanks can be monitored remotely through digital systems that we install. The information is accessible to us in real time and allowing us to act quickly in the event of a shortage,” describes Gutiérrez. Many of Petrolíferos’ competitors have since implemented this strategy, but Gutiérrez says his company has improved its service as a result of years of experience. “Petrolíferos does not seek to be just another fuel supplier. We want to be a commercial ally that clients can rely on.”