United States and Mexico
Q&A

US company Tensar focuses on engineering solutions to grow its LatAm business

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2022
US company Tensar focuses on engineering solutions to grow its LatAm business

US company Tensar, which provides soil stabilization and reinforcement services, has found opportunities in Latin America and, specifically, in Mexico.

Among others, the company works on projects in the transport and oil and gas sectors.

BNamericas talks to Tensar's regional head Ángel Conde about the company's services, industry trends and public-private partnerships.

BNamericas: How has Tensar performed in Mexico this year?

Conde: Tensar is the global provider of engineered civil construction solutions, helping engineers, contractors and owners use mechanically stabilized layers to achieve more cost-effective, reliable solutions for pavement construction, soil stabilization and reinforcement, ground improvement and other site development challenges.

We evaluate site conditions, like challenging geotechnical conditions, elevations, water table, and the structures that are intended to be built at the job site. Then we submit that to consultants and the owners so they are in a position to evaluate the engineering advantage of the solutions we are providing.

Our goal is to help the end user reduce the cost, reduce the time it takes to build a structure or to put together a project, and we help reduce the carbon footprint. In Mexico specifically, we've been involved in infrastructure projects, such as airports, sports facilities, coastal [infrastructure], roads, renewables, warehouses and mining. Our growth has been tremendous throughout Latin America.

BNamericas: In which locations or sectors have you identified the biggest opportunities?

Conde: There are many opportunities throughout Latin America, with the largest being working on roads and highways. In the short term, we help save money during the construction of the project; in the long run, we reduce maintenance costs and extend the period between maintenance. We don't only put together an engineering proposal to validate the use of Tensar’s systems during the construction phase, but we can also help evaluate existing projects for which we deliver value-engineered alternatives to avoid costly maintenance or reconstruction during the service life of the project.

Other large opportunities we have been involved in are oil and gas projects and the renewable market. Both markets have seen great success. By implementing these solutions, developers and the general contractors reduce the use of aggregates. You can save time and money, and as an added benefit, you will be helping the environment by reducing the excessive use of aggregates in construction projects.

BNamericas: Where are the biggest obstacles?

Conde: The biggest obstacles are the ideas that what we are doing is something completely new. Our technology has been around for hundreds of years. The concept of stabilizing soils goes back to Mesopotamia, and since then, this technology has been re-developed into what we utilize today.

Since the late 1970s, Tensar Technologies has been at the forefront of research and development to push the technology. We are also leaders in advocating for new design methodologies, calibration of benefits, and guidelines to deliver the best value to all stakeholders. Gaining acceptance in the engineering community is key to building better in the construction industry.

BNamericas: What type of projects are the most profitable for your company?

Conde: This is a very interesting question because we work in so many different verticals. I cannot just say one is more profitable than the other for the company. But, the biggest benefit is the reduction of the excessive exploitation of natural resources, which makes it a win-win situation for the end user, the developer, the general contractor and Tensar. The best scenario is when we can reduce the use of natural resources in any project: roads, airports, maritime ports, highways or mines.

BNamericas: Where would you like to see more opportunities?

Conde: I believe public-private partnerships are a really big opportunity around the globe. Not only for roads and airports, but power generation facilities and a variety of additional infrastructure developments are starting to utilize these models where private investors work with government or semi-public agencies to help build these massive projects.

Each of these entities looks for ways to reduce the cost of projects, and we can provide savings and a longer-lasting structure that will deliver the expected service. At the end of the day, the benefits of any construction project are measured by the initial cost, maintenance cost, serviceability, safety, and structures’ general lifespan. At Tensar, we can help in all areas for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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