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GDI

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Giacomo Bonfanti

CEO, GDI

Bio

Giacomo Bonfanti is CEO of GDI. He has expertise in market development, contract management, and strategic initiatives.

"Being seen as a bloc with the US and Canada allows Mexico to be a more cost-effective source of goods and services for the region."
GDI is working to diversify its portfolio in the country through greater investments in technology and participating in public-private partnerships for infrastructure development.
Why is it important for Mexico to join forces with Canada and the US to ensure energy supply?

Being seen as a bloc with the US and Canada allows Mexico to be a more cost-effective source of goods and services for the region. If we look at the cost of a kWh, with green energy Mexico can provide a competitive offering alongside its infrastructure, land, and labor offerings. The country supplies steel, manufacturing, and piping. Its infrastructure is connected to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which enhances trade with other countries.

Why did GDI invest in trenchless technology?

Right now, we are developing landfall project in Coatzacoalcos. During the pandemic, we saw a great need for change and innovation. As no pipelines were being built at that time, we decided to continue investing in trenchless technology, which includes microtunnels, direct pipes, HDD, and other specialized solutions. We started in Sonora and Veracruz, which has positioned us worldwide as a contractor for water, oil and gas, and cable transmission projects. GDI is the only contractor specializing in trenchless EPC in Mexico; there might be others working on the construction aspect, though we are the only one able to consolidate different disciplines across the sector. Building underground might sound easy, though there are many technical, planning, milestones, and engineering aspects involved. In the last 15 years, we have seen the process develop from open trench to underground, micro tunnel, and direct pipe, and we have followed along these innovations. Most of the oil and gas sector has realized it will have to adapt to new technologies. Other sectors such as water treatment plants might also benefit from this because it is cheaper, easier, and greener.

What other trends in EPC technology around the world will eventually come to Mexico?

All of a sudden, research time has been reduced from hours to minutes with AI. Older and wiser people in the industry must also learn to grasp the benefits of AI, though I am concerned that those newcomers to the industry and have less experience may not know exactly what they are looking for when it comes to fixing errors. We are focused on training our engineering team at the moment, but it will be interesting to see how the sector develops.

What steps are you taking to diversify your portfolio?

One way in which we are diversifying is in trenchless technology. Another area is in port infrastructure. After our work in Veracruz, we realized that the connection between offshore infrastructure and onshore infrastructure is a pain for clients. We are focused on being that EPC company that can connect the two, and this would involve offshore infrastructure and underground. The other new thing also related to port infrastructure has to do with water, drainage, and how to manage the connection between areas that need water. This can be beneficial for cities and areas to develop and build better infrastructure for water with PPPs. Nuevo Léon has built a new pipeline to combat the water shortage, which will gradually be replicated in other cities across the country. We are, therefore, diversifying in trenchless, onshore-offshore connections.

What do you foresee for the next years in North America?

There will be elections in Mexico and the US, which will be extremely important, as they will determine the developments of the next six years. Both countries are similar culturally, especially north Mexico and the south of the US. This will be a great opportunity to form the necessary agreements, secure the investments needed, and build the proper infrastructure. We would love to be part of building that infrastructure. I am pleased the country is concentrating on innovating and developing new things. I am also pleased with our new team and how it is working. As well, I am excited to see where things go with AI and the new possibilities.

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