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SANDVIK: HELPING IN THE MODERNIZATION OF THE MEXICAN ENERGY SECTOR

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Probably the most important reason for the Mexican Energy Reform constituted in 2013 was to counteract the technological gap that the state controlled enterprise, PEMEX, has been perpetuating for several decades. One of the companies that quickly saw the opportunities that this recent event represented was Sandvik Process Systems.

Sandvik already had a long history working with PEMEX, since 1951, when they delivered their very first sulphur slating machine in the world to PEMEX’s Poza Rica Refinery. And over the next three decades, Sandvik delivered several more slaters to various PEMEX refineries for solidifying their ever increasing amount of sulphur, a by-product of crude oil production.

In the mid-1980s the use of heated ships allowed for a more convenient way of exporting PEMEX sulphur in a molten form to the Gulf Coast of Florida for the production of sulphuric acid for fertilizers. However, this method of transporting molten sulphur was limited only to short distances and in turn limited PEMEX’ customer base to domestic users and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“Recently Florida’s fertilizer industry started to import solid sulphur from the Middle East and other distant countries at lower costs than importing it molten from Mexico. This required PEMEX to go back to solidifying sulphur so they could export to a worldwide customer base” mentions Carlos Rodriguez, Business Unit Manager for Sandvik Process Systems in Mexico.

During the event of Expo Foro PEMEX 2014, Business Sweden supported Sandvik in a commercial approach with high level managers of PEMEX, which allowed Sandvik to achieve better visibility into upcoming PEMEX projects, and renewed the good working relationship between both companies. 

As a result, PEMEX once again turned to Sandvik for a sulphur solidification solution, which led to the acceptance of their newest sulphur forming technology, called the Rotoform. Sandvik delivered a new state-of-the-art plant to PEMEX’s Coatzacoalcos facility, capable of a yearly production of 360,000 metric tonnes of solid sulphur pastilles. 

Carlos Rodriguez asserts that this technological solution will help PEMEX to reach its productive and environmental modernization goals as “this sulphur form is today’s highest standard of quality that complies with all international standards and regulations and will allow PEMEX the opportunity to export solid sulphur around the world in a safe and efficient manner, reducing the need of the energy and risks required for the transportation of molten sulphur”.

“Swedish utilities companies such as Sandvik have a long-standing track record of highest quality products and, as is often the case for Sweden, their market is global but with a strong local knowledge base that Business Sweden helps to facilitate.”