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Gonzalo Granda

COLOMBIA - Energy & Mining

Gonzalo Granda

Business Development Manager & Managing Director, Wärtsilä Colombia

Bio

Having joined Wärtsilä Ecuador in 2003, Gonzalo Granda was appointed Business Development Manager in 2007 serving the regional market of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. In 2012, Gonzalo’s focus turned to developing the Colombian market, and since 2019 he has been responsible for the legal entity in Colombia. He is a member of the board of directors of Wärtsilä Colombia and Wärtsilä Ecuador.

"Since 1993, Wärtsilä has been a major player in the Colombian power industry. Its initial foray into the market involved providing auto generation to industrial customers seeking reliability, which eventually expanded into the oil and gas sector in 2010."
How is Wärtsilä positioned within the sector in Colombia?

Since 1993, Wärtsilä has been a major player in the Colombian power industry. Its initial foray into the market involved providing auto generation to industrial customers seeking reliability, which eventually expanded into the oil and gas sector in 2010. We now specialize in providing heavy crude oil power solutions and have expanded our reach to include utilities as well. Our partnership with the developers who succeeded in the 2018 energy auction enabled us to construct the El Tesorito Project, a 204-MW facility in Sahagún. With a total around of 550MW of power in Colombia, we are a key player in the market and boast some of the most efficient and flexible technology available. Our presence in the region is a major part of our overall growth strategy, with significant expansion in Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador.

What distinguishes Wärtsilä from other companies in the sector?

Wärtsilä has undergone several transformations and is now embracing yet another. Our CEO’s vision of reaching 100% renewable power lies at the forefront of our operations. Our focus is on developing a product called the “balancer,” which effectively deals with the intermittency of renewable power. This product has already been successfully marketed in the US, and we plan to sell 1GW of balancing power there. In addition, we have expanded into battery storage, which is also critical to enabling renewable power. We have created decarbonized services associated with battery storage, which are capable to deal with intermittent load, thus helping to decarbonize the industry. We are fully committed to this effort and are proud to be a leader in this transition.

What is the focus of Wärtsilä’s own R&D into the sector?

Conventional or thermal power generation typically requires several hours to ramp up and inject energy into the power grid. In contrast, renewable energy sources cannot store energy and must be instantly injected into the grid to compensate for the loss of solar or wind power. Therefore, there is a pressing need to replace the lost power immediately. To address this challenge, we have developed fast ramping technologies that can quickly take on and shed the load.

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