Chile , Brazil , Peru , Colombia and Mexico
Q&A

Piecing together Latin America's energy transition puzzle

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Piecing together Latin America's energy transition puzzle

Oscar Falcon, Black & Veatch's Latin America senior VP and managing director, tells BNamericas how the company seeks to play a leading role in the region's clean energy transition.

BNamericas: What is the extent of Black & Veatch's current operations in Latin America and what are the company's growth plans for the region? 

Falcon: Black & Veatch has a longstanding commitment to infrastructure development in Latin America dating back seven decades to the 1960s. With expertise from more than 350 projects across the power, oil and gas, mining, and water sectors, our diverse experience includes everything from traditional fuel generation and renewable integration to mining and water management services. 

The transformation of the Latin American energy market signals opportunity for global expansion of Black & Veatch’s core offerings. With technical leadership and collaboration as the most valuable service we can offer clients, and our track record of innovative, safe and proven delivery in renewable energy, conventional power generation, transmission and distributed energy, we define engineering services solutions for our clients.

BNamericas: Which Latin American countries are the most attractive for investment in energy infrastructure and why? 

Falcon: Our primary focus is on Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. Continued investments in natural gas and the emergence of hydrogen as a fuel source, along with solar and wind and the needed investments in the power grid, align well with our strategy and our portfolio of experience.

BNamericas:  What types of energy projects is the company most interested in? 

Falcon: Our focus is on the entire portfolio of projects in generation, transmission and distribution. We have deep experience in conventional generation including natural gas, hydrogen and nuclear; along with solar, wind and battery energy storage. Our expertise also includes overhead and underground transmission, renewables integration and distributed generation, including microgrids. 

In the generation space, regardless of fuel choice, we help clients plan, build, operate new plants and evaluate options to repower, retrofit or retire existing facilities. We also deliver utility-scale solar, wind and battery solutions that enable our clients to expand their energy portfolios and enhance the performance of operating facilities. 

In transmission and distribution, we integrate renewable resources, deliver critical substation and interconnection assets for projects of all sizes and voltages, and design and construct assets from rooftop solar microgrids or other systems that increase sustainability, reliability and resilience.

BNamericas: Green hydrogen is seen as an energy sector game-changer. What is the importance of this nascent segment to your business plans and which Latin American countries have the most potential in your opinion?

Falcon: Decarbonizing our global economy – our industries, utilities, personal transportation and the production and movement of goods – will require a united effort. Clean, sustainable hydrogen has the potential to reduce and replace our reliance on fossil fuels for heating, transport, production of green chemicals and fertilizer, storage and electricity generation.

We are involved in several projects today in North America where we are transitioning gas-fired facilities to combustion turbine technology using a significant percent of green hydrogen. We are also helping refineries transition to green chemical and hydrogen production in their facilities.

BNamericas: Is Black & Veatch seeking to develop its own energy projects in Latin America or does the company intend to work as a partner with existing developers through engineering, procurement and construction contracts? 

Falcon: We are an integrated global power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure leader offering end-to-end services and full engineering, procurement and construction solutions. Our focus in Latin America is on working with clients – utilities and independent power producers; developers and original equipment manufacturers; mining companies; and commercial & industrial customers, on power projects in the conventional generation, renewable energy, transmission and distribution space.

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  • The description contained in this profile was taken directly from an official source and has not been edited or modified by BNamericas researchers, but may have been automatical...