Christophe Smitz
Commercial and Economic Counselor
Wallonia Export-Investment Agency – AWEX
/
Expert Contributor

Greentech: A Key Sector for Future Wallonia Exports to Mexico

By Christophe Smitz | Fri, 05/13/2022 - 09:00

The concept may sound vague to many, or perhaps it might seem that it is not a sector with a promising future in Mexico. I, however, will present in this article some Belgian/Walloon companies that already have a presence in Mexico or that, soon enough, will participate in our exports to this land of opportunities.

First, green technologies go far beyond the energy sector. As we have already mentioned in a previous article, the decarbonization of the energy industry plays a very important role in the environmental sector, and Wallonia has a great deal to offer in this field, particularly regarding the transition to green hydrogen.

One of the major players in our French-speaking region is John Cockerill. This transnational company, headquartered near the city of Liege, is not only a world-leading actor in the production of green hydrogen catalysts and heat-recovering steam generators, but it is also a major player in air de-pollution, water treatment (drinking water, municipal water, sludge treatment) and thermal treatment of solids. In Mexico, it has a production site in Nuevo Leon.

In the water treatment sector, Eloy Water stands out. This company produces prefabricated solutions for domestic wastewater treatment, from 4 to 4000 PE for households, small and large communities. Prefabricated means that their solutions stay on a budget, are easy to install, operate, and maintain, are sturdy and built to last and take less time to install. They are represented in Mexico by the company Small Sewage Treatment Plants.

It is worth noting that water treatment is a major topic in both Mexico and in Wallonia. Public and private actors are working together to foster collaboration in this field and that is why a Walloon delegation is organizing a visit to Mexico in 2022.

In addition to the sectors mentioned above, green technologies in Wallonia have another focus: waste treatment. Ménart is dedicated to the design and manufacturing of composting machines and waste-sorting plants for environmental care and recycling. It has already installed various machines in Mexico and has reinforced its position on the Mexican market with distributors and an expat. Their composting machines are particularly suitable for the oil palm, the sugarcane and the tequila industries in Mexico but also the meat processing facilities.

Another Walloon company that is focusing its efforts in the Mexican market is Ecosteryl. It is a manufacturer of machines to process and decontaminate medical biohazardous and infectious waste (RPBI). The technology consists of a pre-shredding process, followed by a high-tech disinfection with microwaves and electrical resistance. Neither water, chemicals nor gas are required. It is the most suitable alternative to incinerator and water-use auto-clave.

Belgium and Wallonia are world-renowned for their biotech sector, with companies such as GSK, which develops its most cutting-edge products in our region. However, it also has agrotechnology companies that, although less famous, have allowed the agriculture sector to become more efficient and environmentally friendly by using less water and chemicals.

KitoZyme is the global leader in manufacturing Chitosan & Chitin-glucan from fungal origin. Thanks to its non-animal origin, its functional biopolymers open a range of opportunities for many different industries that want to reduce or find greener alternatives to chemicals, plastic, or animal-derived ingredients. The KitoGreen range is the world’s first vegetal chitosan biostimulants and biocontrol in agriculture from non-animal and renewable sources on an industrial scale.

Fyteko, another agritech company, uses its original research to develop and produce a new generation of advanced crop biostimulants. Applied to both plants and soils, biostimulants improve crop vigor, yield,, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stresses such as extremes of temperature or rainfall. While many biostimulant manufacturers claim product success with combinations of nutrients, such as amino acids, seaweed extracts, or humic acids, Fyteko’s technology relies on a completely different mode of action. Inspired by nature, Fyteko scientists created a replica signal molecule, like those found in the plant; they realized it would trigger the same responses. By stimulating those stress reactions in a healthy plant, they discovered that it would subsequently “recognize” environmental stress, triggering the protective response again.

Wallonia counts as well on GREENWIN, an innovation cluster in the fields of green chemistry, construction materials and processes, as well as renovation of greentech and cleantech. It is the interlocutor of reference when it comes to the circular economy, Industry 5.0, carbon neutrality, the fight against global warming and adaptations to climate-related risks.

On the 16 and 17th of June, our commercial office is organizing two business breakfasts in Queretaro y San Luis Potosi on the Greentech sector. John Cockerill, Eloy Water, Ménart and Joskin are participating to the events.

Our commercial office based in the Embassy of Belgium in Mexico is in constant contact with those companies and many others willing to expand their businesses in Mexico but also to contribute to the mission of a greener world. Please do not hesitate to contact us or the companies described above directly.

Photo by:   Christophe Smitz