Manuel Garay
Mexico Country Manager
Power Electronics
Jose Luis Santana
Jose Luis Santana
Service Director for Mexico
Power Electronics
View from the Top

Pumping Systems with an Extra Kick

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 17:46

Q: Which opportunities did Power Electronics first identify in Mexico’s oil and gas sector?

JLS: The company identified the oil and gas, mining and water management treatment as those sectors best suited to our services and, out of these, considered oil and gas as the sector that offered the strongest economic potential. As PEMEX is the largest company in the country’s oil and gas industry, we set out to work with it and its suppliers. The company then looked at the projects in which we could best support PEMEX, which resulted in our first large project with the NOC, delivering 14 XMV660 medium-voltage inverters to the pumping system in Poza Rica. Following this, we were given various contracts around Mexico, including a specific design for PEMEX for offshore Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs).

Q: Where along the value chain can Power Electronics provide most value?

MG: Power Electronics is focused on exploration and production, as well as recovery and secondary projects. However, we are also looking to develop our services in refining, although we have not yet moved aggressively in this direction. We are leaders of offshore pumping and secondary pumping and hope to continue our activity there. One of the major values we provide our clients is our ability to respond quickly to challenges. We put a heavy focus on problem solving to deliver the highest services and reduce both problems and costs for those we work with.

Q: What are the best examples of Power Electronics’ advanced technologies in the oil and gas industry?

JLS.: Our equipment can work with any type of background sensor or electrical motor, which is vital for ESP applications. If the sensor cannot properly perform the transfer of data, then we cannot see any parameters of operation and the ESP therefore could be stopped. Because of our products’ functionality, they can work with equipment from any brand and are assessed at the point of manufacture to guarantee this. Another benefit is the quality of our engineering in our sine wave filters that helps avoid negative consequences of energy spikes for PEMEX’s ESP systems. When PEMEX requires a lot of power, there can be spikes as a result. These spikes can be addressed in advance using our equipment.

Power Electronics designs algorithms that allow our sine wave filters to identify spikes in power and control the volts and amperes into the ESP systems to ensure the safe operation of all the systems. Our systems provide two seconds of power support, which is far beyond that of the milliseconds required by Mexican regulation. This is an essential tool because a dropoff in energy will stop the ESP.

Power Electronics also provided the inverter to work on PEMEX’s first dual pumping system for ESP systems. This was a challenging job due to various factors. The dual system was required to pump extra heavy crude, which because of its density and viscosity is more difficult to pump and demands a lot of power. The distance we had to pump was designed to work 5km and the dual pump system was 900HP, meaning it required a specified design with dimensions and superb ventilation to stay working in the e-house. Despite the project’s difficulty, it also showcased the company’s ability to work with the client and adapt our Variable Speed Drive XMV66 as needed.

Q: What are the company’s goals for the short term?

JLS: Power Electronics continues to search for projects that require the support of our powerful products. One area that we are interested in is refining, particularly in the area of petroleum coke processing. Petroleum coke is produced during refining and is required to be transported and placed in storage immediately. If the coke process is stopped, the refinery also stops. Power Electronics provided a Soft Starter with 3.8kV and 5,000HP to PEMEX’s Minatitlan refinery to ensure that the coke processing system worked safely. Soft starters of this voltage power are difficult to find in Mexico due to the complexity of engineering that they require for construction. But Power Electronics has the knowledge and experience to deliver the most helpful machinery to the country’s refinery sector.


Power Electronics is a global leader in the production and installation of variable speed drives, electronic soft starters, solar inverters and energy storage and recharge units. Their products have been adapted for a variety of industrial uses.