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"Ingeteam is the right partner for the design of pumping solutions"

Water management is a critical factor in any industry. Ingeteam, a technology company specialized in electrical energy conversion, now offers optimal solutions for pumping systems, energy distribution and automation of water management processes.

Committed to efficient water resource management and use in the entire value chain, Ingeteam has created a specific division focused on the water sector, Ingeteam Water, to offer the entire range of technologies and services developed by the company in other sectors, for water applications.

Néstor Campo, Managing Director of Ingeteam Water, welcomes us to the company’s premises located in Beasain, Guipúzcoa (Spain), to present this new Ingeteam commitment to efficiency in the water sector, a strategic sector where the company seeks to position itself as a technology leader by offering innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

Ingeteam is a technology company specializing in electrical energy conversion that has now created a specific division for the water sector, Ingeteam Water. What is the rationale behind this move?

Ingeteam has been present in the water sector for more than eighty years with Indar pumps. As you point out, we are a technology company specializing in energy conversion, present in different sectors and offering different products and services. As part of our new strategic plan, our objective is to be closer to our customers in different sectors, and one that we have defined as strategic is the water sector, where Ingeteam has a lot to contribute.

What does this new structure bring to Ingeteam, the parent company?

Ingeteam has a strong global presence in different sectors, such as wind, solar, hydropower, electric vehicles, grids, marine and water.

Implementing a customer-oriented sectoral organization allows us to promote our entire range of products, systems and services, applied to each sector. Indar pumps, converters, control and services in the case of the water sector.

In which areas of the water sector does Ingeteam Water focus its activity?

Our product portfolio offers solutions for the entire water cycle. We cover everything from deep groundwater abstraction, to abstraction for desalination plants to produce drinking water. We also provide solutions for water and wastewater management, both domestic and industrial, with pumping station applications, for example in wastewater treatment plants. Finally, and very importantly, we offer solutions for surface runoff management and flood control, a major challenge in areas vulnerable to climate change such as the Mediterranean basin.

Our objective is to be closer to our customers in different sectors, and one that we have defined as strategic is the water sector

Of course, for all these applications we have an after-sales service, which supports our customers and ensures the highest level of service operations 24/7.

What are the main solutions that Ingeteam Water offers to the market?

We have a range of Indar submersible multistage centrifugal pumps, with a wide range of flow and head, suitable for potable water and water with low solid content.

We also have Indar centrifugal volute pumps for water with a high solid load and Indar axial impeller pumps for high flow and low head applications.

This portfolio also includes control systems, frequency converters and operation and maintenance services for the different applications.

How have pumping solutions for integrated water cycle management evolved in recent years?

The evolution has been directed towards greater specialization in order to offer the best solution for the various applications, which today are essential to managing the entire water cycle from a social, environmental and economic point of view.

Our portfolio includes control systems, frequency converters and operation and maintenance services for different applications

Water cycle management has experienced a very important development in the last forty years, especially in countries like Spain, where water resource availability and the supplied volume are irregular. The need to guarantee the water supply at an affordable cost and with a minimum environmental impact has been the driving force behind this evolution.

This scenario has led to using a mix of different water sources. In addition to conventional sources, drinking water is obtained from seawater through desalination processes. On the other hand, reclaimed water is also obtained through tertiary purification processes, covering a significant portion of the purposes and demands water is used for.

  • We design the product to offer our customers the best solution in terms of operability, durability and reliability
  • The search for more environmentally friendly solutions is the lever that drives current and future solutions

This implies, for each application, different water characteristics – supernatant, suspended sands, etc. – and very different pumping conditions, in more or less corrosive environments.

These two reasons have been the fundamental drivers for pumping solutions to offer product designs such as hydraulic pumps and motor types with higher performance, and wire-to-water solutions, which are better suited to the new requirements of water management.

This is exactly what we do at Ingeteam Water: design the product to offer our customers the best solution in terms of operability, durability and reliability, without forgetting energy efficiency, for all stages of the water cycle.

The search for more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions, as well as the digitalisation in the sector, are the levers that drive current and future solutions.

Both water and energy are the resources that have the greatest impact on our quality of life, what are the main challenges facing the water sector from an energy point of view?

The relationship between water and energy is intrinsic. We could say that one cannot exist without the other. On the one hand, water is an energy-generating resource in hydropower plants and can also accumulate energy, as in pumped storage hydropower facilities.

Energy is also used for water withdrawal, transport, distribution, treatment and reuse for all authorised uses, such as in the industrial, domestic, agricultural, municipal, etc. sectors.

Climate change and its consequences are on the agenda of all governments. Energy transition programmes impact most industries and water is not an exception.

Water-based energy storage projects, taking advantage of hydroelectric generation infrastructure with reversible power generation processes and subsequent pumping, show the importance of water in the energy transition we are going through. It is a solution that allows greater flexibility when it comes to adapting the generation capacity of the system to the existing demand.

It is essential to ensure efficiency in the management of the resource, especially in sensitive activities such as distribution, ensuring optimum operation of infrastructure, from water withdrawal to delivery.

Our objective is to be a major player in the water sector, as we are in other sectors such as renewable energies

To achieve this objective, we adapt the operational design of the pumping stations, adjusting the pump curve (Best Efficiency Point) to the facility as much as possible, thus avoiding hours of pumping inefficiency. Avoiding losses in the network is essential to increase the energy efficiency of the system and avoid overconsumption of energy.

It is also necessary to promote water reuse after appropriate treatment processes. This entails obtaining a water resource in optimal condition, with a lower energy cost than would be the case with conventional water sources or through desalination.

This practice is especially necessary for areas with water stress due to the seasonality of water demand and the unevenness of rainfall patterns. This is the case in the entire Mediterranean basin and the Spanish Mediterranean coast, with very pronounced seasonal population fluctuations and an irregular rainfall regime.

Ingeteam develops its own products and, therefore, we will expand our portfolio of products and services in the coming years

Ingeteam is the right partner for the design of pumping solutions. In this regard, the role of pump manufacturers has evolved from that of a mere product suppliers to that of solution providers, accompanying our clients in their projects from the initial design phase. We are very aware of the environmental importance of water resource management and its energy cost.

Our goal is to collaborate closely with the customer, offering our extensive experience in the design of pumping systems, optimizing their performance and innovating and developing our products. We aim to offer the best engineering service, according to the specifications of each project.

We could give as an example our Indar permanent magnet submersible motors (PMM) filled with water and free of oils, which offer better electrical performance while caring for the environment, or Indar centrifugal pumps that provide greater operational reliability with their anti-clogging impellers.

Ingeteam Water offers the best support to its customers to achieve the best solution with the lowest energy consumption and operating cost throughout a product’s life cycle.

To conclude the interview, what does it mean for you to lead this new division and what are your goals as Managing Director?

It is a motivating challenge to take another step forward in the consolidation of our presence in the sector during all these years. We began our journey with Indar pumps, and now this change gives us the opportunity to offer the technologies and services developed by Ingeteam in various sectors, for water applications.

Our objective is to consolidate our position as a technology leader in the water sector, offering innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

What are Ingeteam Water's expectations for the next five to ten years?

Our objective is to be a major player in the water sector, as we are in other sectors such as renewable energies, and to achieve sustainable growth at a global level in the different markets where we are present. Ingeteam is a technology company that develops its products and, therefore, we will expand our portfolio of products and services in the coming years.