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Environmental sustainability. The industrial burners of E&M Combustion, on the rise after the energy uncertainty. E&M Combustion is a company based in Artea (Spain) specializing in the engineering and manufacturing of “tailor-made” industrial burners, a niche in which it is a world reference. Burners that help, for example, to improve the energy efficiency of its industrial customers by designing and implementing innovative combustion technologies such as the one recently supplied to the United States for a thermal power plant in Texas. Thanks to this technology, the ash derived from this plant will have a second life with its use as a raw material for construction, soil filling, compost and fertilizers, explains Iñigo Béjar, CEO of the company.
Assuming the business uncertainty that exists around energy management and costs, could it be said that projects like this one in Texas are already the order of the day?
One of the priorities that companies have is logically to try to reuse all the resources found in our environment to give it a utility, whether it be the energy materials themselves or a manufacturing application, as is the case, in which it will use the by-product generated by the fuel used in the plant as material for construction and other purposes. Undoubtedly, this type of environmental sustainability applications are being implemented more and more in the production centers of the industrial sector.
What exactly is the E&M Combustion activity?
We can define an industrial burner by comparing it to the lighter we use to light a cigarette, but at an industrial level. With industrial burners we produce a very large flame and the heat produced by that flame is used in different industrial equipment such as boilers, dryers or ovens to produce energy, and to be able to use that energy in different industrial processes.
Can you give us an example?
An example can be a thermal power plant, in which they use this type of burners inside a boiler that burns gas to produce steam, and said steam goes to a turbine that generates electricity. We can say that the burners are like lighters that produce flame and heat to be applied in the industrial sector.
What will this latest project in the United States mean for E&M Combustion?
The truth is that this project is important but it is also one more of our day to day. It must be said that we tackle each of them with involvement and the same passion as at the beginning and the satisfaction of providing a technical response adapted to the challenges posed by combustion processes in industry. In addition, we continue to consolidate our internationalization process. Approximately 50% or 60% of the equipment we manufacture is destined directly for export, and another 20% indirectly. It is a very, very important part of our business.
What is the differential value of E&M Combustion?
Our difference is the added value that we provide, custom manufacturing based on what the client demands. We do not stop being an SME, and competing with the large multinationals and their production volumes is complicated. That is why we focus on those sectors or market niches in which the client requires a “custom” manufacturing for their processes. And there we are very competitive, because precisely our company size allows us to be agile, launch new products and design those teams faster than other companies that are larger and have more internal bureaucracy. And to this we also have to add our commitment to R+D+i, work and investment in innovation as a fundamental pillar of our work philosophy.
In which sectors do the projects they develop fit?
Our equipment is necessary in all those activities that require heat and steam in their production process, whether they are power generation plants, biomass plants, solar thermal or district heating plants, as well as in the oil and gas industry, which It requires heating for optimal operation. And, of course, in food and beverage, metallurgy, iron and steel, etc.
What feelings do you have for the present 2023?
We see a certain general uncertainty in the market, that is true, but in our company in particular the order book and the work to be done is higher than in other years on these dates. So we do not see this exercise with bad perspectives. All this energy uncertainty has led to a general awareness of the need to save energy and put in more efficient equipment and we try to give that answer to what is needed. In fact, we receive many inquiries asking us to propose energy savings in the combustion area, which is our part, to see how we can improve their processes.
Apart from environmental sustainability, one of the biggest problems facing the industry in recent times is the lack of qualified talent. How does E&M Combustion deal with the need and shortage of new professional profiles?
It continues to be difficult to find the highly qualified professional profiles we need, especially to operate abroad. For this reason, one of our objectives at the moment is to hire and train technicians in India to provide support to the commercial office in this country and to support the start-ups that we carry out abroad, mainly in the Asian market, where we see a potential for great future development.
Source: SPRI News