CAMILO EUGENIO DELGADO MONTENEGRO

Ecuador 2020 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

Astinave will change the course of Ecuador's ship-building trajectory through the construction of 120-m frigates and the regeneration of an offshore refinery.

Camilo Eugenio Delgado Montenegro
BIOGRAPHY

Camilo Eugenio Delgado Montenegro is a naval engineer with more than 10 years of experience in business administration, and a leader and expert in strategic planning and integral business management. After having provided services for more than 20 years to the Navy of Ecuador, he stood out as technical manager of the Ecuadorian Oil Fleet (FLOPEC) in 2010. In 2011, he assumed for the second time general management of ASTINAVE EP, a company that proudly shows the world the capacity and skills of Ecuadorian professionals thanks to its management and its work team.

How is Astinave working to elevate the status of Ecuador as a maritime country?

Ecuador is internationally known as a maritime country because of its geographical characteristics. Still, over 90% of our economy is land-based even though we have four times more aquatic territory, with over 1.5 million sqkm of sea territory compared to 270,000sqkm of land. Proving the potential in the sector, every ship importing or exporting our products is foreign built. There have been no Panamax or post-Panamax ships ever built in Ecuador. The country needs a shipyard as it dynamizes the economy, because we only build the ship—the market still needs to provide the engines, pumps, and other components. The complexities of a military ship mean that we can build any kind of ship, be it for tourism or commerce. Astinave started building 13m boats before moving on to a 26m ship that was designed internationally. Through these 26m ships, we acquired the know-how for future clients and then replicated the model for the 50m ships. Now, we just signed a contract to build an 80m ship with military and logistics capabilities and the capacity to carry 2,500 tons. Now, the navy is expecting to acquire new 100 and 120m frigates. So, we have started building a new shipyard in Posorja next to the deep-water port for four of these ships, with each valued around USD150-200 million. Astinave also has its second line of business in ship repairs and services. According to our 2015 market research, there are 500-700 ships navigating in or around Ecuador at any given time. At least half of them must be serviced and given maintenance annually in Ecuador. The local demand is well-above the supply capacity for these services in local shipyards, as every other shipyard is even smaller than ours. Our expectation for Posorja, given that the service rates are more or less internationally set, is to seize that unserved market whilst also attracting some of the ships that operate within Ecuador and go overseas for maintenance.

Astinave developed a naval combat software. How can this software be used by other industries?

Our software is called Sistema Orión and was our main contribution for the navy ships, given that we had already purchased its design from international companies. Navy ships need a tool that collects information and performs data analytics for decision-making. This system allows the ship's captain to recognize a target, assign if it's friendly or not, suggest the correct weapon to use against it, and shoot it if necessary. When we bought the design, the software was the provider's intellectual property, so we had to contact them every time there was any issue. Therefore, 10 years ago, we decided to develop our own software and now have one of the best integrated naval combat systems in Latin America. Our system could be modified to be applied in commercial use for locating services for land freight and ride sharing apps through radio frequencies, satellite, mobile networks, and IPs.

There has been a rise in private offshore activities in Ecuador. What are the opportunities for Astinave in this segment?

Our current 40-year-old offshore infrastructure, mostly based in the northern part of Esmeralda, is to receive clean product and deliver petroleum. We are discussing the infrastructure's repair, expansion, and renewal with PETROECUADOR. We want to be able to compete in the tendering process like any other company. We need to give our local companies the possibility of proving themselves capable of handling infrastructure projects rather than asking international firms to do them. We understand the risks involved in these projects and work on properly minimizing risk. We have delivered every project successfully, even those that we had no idea how to complete when they were first assigned to us.