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Miguel Pernes Country Managing Director Portugal Hitachi Energy

PORTUGAL - Energy & Mining

Miguel Pernes

Country Managing Director Portugal, Hitachi Energy


Miguel Pernes graduated from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), a Portuguese university in Lisbon, as Electrical Engineer (1986-1991). He started his career in 1991 as Electrical Engineer for ABB, namely on the Protection and Automation Systems Department, on which he had the opportunity to develop their skills on the engineering field, namely on protection and substation automation projects. In 1997 he took the position of Manager of the Protection and Substation Automation Department. In 2001 he was appointed as Local Division Manager for the Power Products & Power Systems Division with ABB, S.A., becoming a member of the Executive Commission of ABB in Portugal. In December 2011, Miguel was appointed country managing director of ABB in Portugal, and subsequently integrated the Executive Commission of ABB Spain and Portugal. With the acquisition by Hitachi Energy of ABB’s power system division, Miguel assumed the role of Country Managing Director Portugal in 2020.

“At Hitachi Energy, we advance a sustainable energy future for all. Our core business is bringing energy, which involves power transmission and distribution networks.”
TBY talks to Miguel Pernes, Country Managing Director Portugal for Hitachi Energy, about the company’s goals, sustainability, and the average customer profile.
What is Hitachi Energy, and what is the company’s mission?

At Hitachi Energy, we advance a sustainable energy future for all. Our core business is bringing energy, which involves power transmission and distribution networks. Essentially, everything goes with the necessity to bring energy to the next village, country, or region. Electricity and electrical energy will be the backbone of a sustainable energy transition. The world has ambitious targets regarding carbon neutrality, where electricity will play a major role in the process. We are strongly committed to achieving excellence and to supporting customers and partners in achieving their energy goals. For that, we take Safety, Integrity and Quality as our license to operate and part of our DNA.

How is Hitachi an apt consultant and partner to companies looking to transition to a more sustainable energy use?

As the pioneering technology leader, we collaborate with customers and partners to enable a sustainable energy future – for today’s generations and those to come. By joining the tradition of the two companies—ABB and Hitachi—we have over 200 years of experience in power systems. We have developed and helped society progress in a way that brings energy wherever required. There is a long tradition of research development, which puts us in the role of transmitting confidence to the customer. Reliability is essential within the business in terms of our commitment to sustainability. For example, we have recently announced that all the energy we consume today at our factories is 100% renewable. We are paying somewhat more for it, but it is a commitment we are pleased to make. We want to be the partner of choice, for customers and players in the market, in their technology needs associated with the energy transition because we know that we achieve more together. There are a lot of constraints at this moment, by which I mean the scarcity and price increase of raw materials. From a digital perspective, we are more exposed than we used to be two or three years ago. Every product that we buy needs interconnection. This has created a tremendous demand for chips and electrical components, and we are facing a scarcity of raw materials. We can strike the correct balance and support our customers developing their projects in the short term through partnerships with suppliers and partners.

What is your customer profile?

Around 60% of our business is in utilities, distribution, and transmission utilities. They made up 80% in the past, but utilities today claim a lesser share. There are other players in the market, such as promoters of renewables, especially solar, which is booming in Portugal, and wind and hydrogen production companies. The range of segments that we are addressing is becoming more balanced than what the market used to be. The industry also plays an important role. As we see today, industrial leaders are also pursuing sustainability targets and outside of their traditional comfort zones to see where they can improve production while consuming less energy. They are exploring other parts of the market by having assets in the country that can be deleveraged to improve energy efficiency and sustainability, reducing the carbon footprint as much as possible. Achieving these new targets will take industry-leading experience, deep domain knowledge, and pioneering technologies built on a rich heritage of innovation.

Hitachi Energy is present in over 90 countries which provides a working knowledge of the best technologies available in each to pass on. To what extent is being international an asset for clients partnering with Hitachi Energy?

It is a tremendous asset. Being a company present everywhere gives us a network of knowledge. This opens many doors. I occasionally have requests from foreign offices that learn that we have developed a certain solution, and through the company network we are able to support them. We achieve this across sectors, geographies and every step of each customer’s journey. Being international is an integral part of who we are. This means that clients access the best practices available internationally, ensuring they stay at the forefront of technology. It is crucial that we take on the challenge of accelerating the pace of change, and we need to support this global challenge that requires a global solution with our Hitachi Energy.



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