Jimmy Hernández
Operations Manager
Dominion Technologies
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View from the Top

Power Generation Alternative for Remote Facilities

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 12:41

Q: What market opportunities has Dominion Technologies identified in order to successfully grow?

A: The company identified several business opportunities, formed a consortium, and obtained the rights to represent microturbine equipment brands in Mexico. Giving technical support and maintenance to PEMEX’s microturbine fleet became Dominion Technologies’ core business. Once the company was consolidated, we identified additional opportunities in the steel and smelting industries. Dominion Technologies also caters to clients who aim to obtain carbon credits or implement cogeneration schemes to lower their electricity consumption rates. We identified the opportunity in the oil and gas industry to provide power generation equipment on satellite platforms. We are currently working on a technology that suits PEMEX’s problems with power generation equipment that use natural gas for pneumatic pumping for secondary recovery processes. Nowadays, nitrogen is widely used to maintain reservoir pressure, but this renders power generation systems on satellite platforms useless, since nitrogen is not combustible. We are introducing a new nitrogen-based technology that will reduce the company’s carbon emissions, while solving energy generation issues on satellite platforms. This is a market niche we plan on exploiting. It is important to note that Dominion Technologies not only sells turbines, we also develop technology with peripheral equipment and adapt it to our clients’ needs. This customization ability has given Dominion Technologies an advantage as we have become specialists in this equipment, both as engineers and salespeople.

Q: How do Dominion Technologies’ microturbines differentiate from similar power generation products?

A: There are three main brands of turbines in the market. Originally, Elliott Group supplied microturbines for PEMEX. Then, Capstone acquired some of Elliott Group’s lines in 2010, positioning itself as a leader in Mexico. Fortunately, we represented Elliott Microturbines’ commercial branch in Mexico, so when the transition was made, we were able to keep our distribution line and create new markets for the brand. The other two companies are Ingersoll Rand, which has approximately 30% market share, and Turbec, an Italian firm with a rather small presence. Dominion Technologies noticed that Capstone’s C line was very well-positioned but that many locations lacked ways of generating combustion. We took advantage of the situation and expanded our operations into niches that needed our services. In addition to having Elliott’s distribution line, Dominion Technologies bought the rights and patents to represent a company named Calnetix in Mexico. Our company was particularly interested in the T100 turbine. During that time, Capstone also bought the T100 patent as it did not have products in the 100kW range. This has helped make Capstone our biggest client.

Q: To what extent can clients reduce costs and energy consumption through your solutions?

A: They can obtain a 30-40% reduction. Power consumption savings depend on many other things. However, power consumption savings will depend on the origin of the energy the client will transform. Dominion Technologies can provide a system that will satisfy the client’s energy needs, but if the client does not take care of its consumption habits, there will be no savings other than equipment cost. Summarizing, Dominion looks for a custom-made solution to determine how much the client can save. Our process starts by analyzing how much energy our clients consume and how much they pay for that energy consumption. We then analyze their characteristics and offer them a specific piece of peripheral equipment. We can make two kinds of commercial proposals. The first one is to offer clients to pay 90% of their previous energy consumption bill for a period of 5-10 years, after which we sell them the equipment at a low cost and they keep it over the last 10-15 years of the equipment’s lifetime. The second way would be to sell the equipment immediately at our list price, which also proves to be a cheaper alternative than to keep paying CFE. If the equipment costs US$1 million and companies pay up to US$200,000 a month for power consumption, they recover their investment in less than two years. This is the most interesting attribute from the solutions that Dominion Technologies offers: the initial investments for a company can go down to zero in power generation projects. If the company is interested and wants our systems for immediate operation, we offer the opportunity to fund them through 5 to 10 years of financial leasing, with the time being determined according to the power consumption needs. We also offer this opportunity to PEMEX: if the company requires a certain piece of equipment, we can lease it.