The Corsa Group is a pioneering Spanish company in the area of engineering and technology within the water sector. It has become an industry leader, having built and designed more than 300 water plants. We talk with Norma Martínez Ramírez, engineer responsible for industrial projects at the Corsa Group.
Question: First, Ms Martinez, we would like to know about your career path up to your current position.
Answer: I graduated in Hydraulic Engineering in Havana, and after that I completed a degree in Civil Engineering, specialising in Hydrology, in Spain. Currently I am studying the last semester of a Master in Water Technology and Management in the School of Water, taught by the Suez-Agbar Group and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.
For 17 years I have held managerial positions in two leading companies in the water treatment sector, the Fluidra Group and the Corsa Group.
I started my career working in the Catalonian multinational company Fluidra for 10 years. The first two years I was in charge of sales, and after that, in charge of the technical department of Snte Agua Group, S.A. I spent the last eight years as a Commercial Director with Astramatic, S.A.U. Together with the excellent team of the company, we completed studies of comprehensive solutions for the issues that arose in the facilities of our industrial clients, and we also provided water engineering support to the companies of the Fluidra Group in several countries.
I have been working in the industrial division of the Corsa Group for three years, at a national and international level, obtaining good results. To advance the division, we have a group of engineers that specialise in water treatment; it is a dynamic group that receives constant training, keeping up-to-date with the latest technology.
Q: What are the main business lines of the Corsa Group, and how does it stand out from competitors?
A: The main business lines of the industrial division are:
- Drinking water treatment plants
- Brackish water desalination plants
- Treatment for industrial process water
- Seawater desalination plants
- Industrial and municipal water reuse plants
We differentiate from competitors, because they are either project design companies, or companies who implement the projects designed by other engineering firms. We, on the other hand, design our own projects to provide solutions for our industrial clients from the beginning. We analyse water consumption to optimise it and provide treatment for process waters, we carry out the economic feasibility study of the project, and we also build and put into service the facility designed or customised to meet the demands of the client.
Q: R&D is key to compete in an evolving market such as the water sector. What technologies and solutions does the Corsa Group offer to meet this challenge?
A: The Corsa Group has had a presence in the sector since 1974, and since 2005 the group decided to invest heavily in Keramis automatic valves. Since then, the R&D department worked on essential modifications in order to have now one the most prestigious brands, nationally and internationally. The automatic valves are manufactured with diameters of up to 3”, and allow a water flow of 50 m3/h (13.89 L/s); they are used for filtration, decalcification, denitrification, adsorption, absorption and iron removal, among other technological applications. They allow connecting equipment either in series or in parallel, through an interlock system, thus reaching much higher flows, such as 500 m3/h (138.89 L/s). Currently, before using equipment that works with a battery of valves, the Keramis valve is the product of choice, specially to avoid long and expensive manufacturing periods; in addition, it can adapted easily to programmable logic controllers.
Q: The Corsa Group has extensive experience in the industrial domain. What are the main challenges it faces in this domain?
A: Water reclamation is becoming more popular given water resource scarcity, whether because of overexploitation of groundwater aquifers or due to long droughts caused by climate change. One of the future challenges, not only for the Corsa Group, but for any company specialised in industrial water treatment, is supporting the trend to reuse water. In addition to being an alternative water resource to prevent the overexploitation of conventional resources, it entails:
- Energy savings in the integrated water cycle.
- Improvements in the direct discharge of treated waste water.
- Reduced pollutant input to the receiving environment.
- Since we reduce the amount of treated waste water, which ends up in the available water bodies, drinking water treatment is optimised and has a lower cost.
Q: Could you highlight some of your company's significant projects in this area within the water sector?
A: Water reuse is being promoted as an alternative water source in several countries, both developed and developing countries, to reduce the consumption of potable water, and thus increase the availability of water in natural basins. Another alternate source is seawater desalination, to produce potable water. One of the countries that stands out from our client portfolio in this regard is Colombia; recently, during the mandate of the former President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, he himself inaugurated one of the seawater desalination plants designed and built by the Corsa Group. It supplies drinking water to three communities, obtaining a water flow of 25 L/s (90 m3/h).
Other countries worth noting are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica. We have designed and built for them several projects for the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Q: Finally, let us look at the future. What are the main challenges for your company?
A: Several challenges have been proposed within our company; the following are the primary ones in the industrial and business area:
- Applying cutting-edge technology to water treatment, to benefit individuals, preserve the environment, and take care of the most valuable resource: water.
- Constant technological innovation to develop and improve the products we manufacture ourselves.
- Providing professional development opportunities to staff to ensure a sustainable business.