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PANAMA - Energy & Mining

Esteban Barrientos

Executive President, ENSA Panama

Bio

Esteban Barrientos has been Executive President of ENSA Grupo EPM since 2015. He has proven experience in the energy and natural gas sector at the regional level, having worked with companies such as Invercolsa, Cellstar, Prograsur, Metrogas, Metrex, Electrificadora de Caldas, Electrificadora del Quindío, and Aguas de Urabá, among others. In Panama, Barrientos has been part of unions such as AMCHAM and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama as Advisor to its Board of Directors for 2021-2022.

"We are also encouraging the entire ecosystem by forming alliances with banks so they will view this as a business opportunity and lend to users and our clients when they plan to buy an electric car."
How is ENSA Servicios collaborating to drive Panama in the transition toward a more sustainable landscape?

We are positioning ourselves there in various ways. First, we established a service company that is today a leader in many sectors. We are also working with partners in the country to heavily promote electric mobility. We are speaking to car brands to bring them in as well as buying electric cars for our own fleet, so that people see that we believe in the process and are doing our part. We are also in the process of setting up stations to charge electric vehicles, not only in our area but throughout the country. We will also have value-added services. For example, we will mount the largest roof solar panels in the country. We will initiate a megaproject in Colegio San Agustín, a renowned school in the country that will have the highest number of solar panels in the country. In this situation, we provide the financing so that they can carry out this project. We are also encouraging the entire ecosystem by forming alliances with banks so they will view this as a business opportunity and lend to users and our clients when they plan to buy an electric car.

How have ENSA improved since its software adaptation in 2019?

We acquired software, which is where the heart of our operation lies. From there, we can remotely manage practically the entire electrical system. We have 13,000km of networks and many substations, and from there we can turn control a substation, part of the city, part of the country, electrical faults, and so on; however, we want to continue to improve because that would give us the opportunity to transfer loads between some circuits and others. Before we had the software, it took us a much longer time to determine where the faults were. Without waiting for the customer to call us and complain about a power outage, we automatically detect potential issues through our systems. We can automatically make a transfer so that another circuit feeds the one that is damaged so that customers experience less system failures. That will involve a significant investment of about USD7-8 million, though we continue to think about a future in which people expect fewer issues and, when one occurs, it is solved quickly.

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