Feb. 1, 2015

Eduardo López Robayo


Eduardo López Robayo

President & CEO, Sertecpet


Eduardo López Robayo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Engineering from Javeriana University of Ecuador. He also graduated in Geology, Mining, Petroleum, and the Environment from the Department of Engineering at the Central University of Ecuador, and studied Management in Petroleum Negotiations. A prestigious career in his field has included representing the Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador during liaison with PETROECUADOR in 2003 and being a Presidential Advisor in Petroleum matters in 2004. In the same year he became Minister of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Ecuador, where his tenure ran until 2005. He was appointed to his current post of International CEO and President of Sertecpet Holdings S.A. Ecuador, in 2010.

What differentiates Sertecpet in an industry dominated by foreign players?

Sertecpet's principle characteristic over its 23 years of history is innovation; we have developed technologies and services that are patented and internationally certified. Additionally, the value our company generates with its products and services allows us to stand apart. Our integrated solutions are efficient and profitable, and today our clients consider us partners, rather than contractors. These features have enabled us to internationalize our services and products, and are the basis of our success.

What challenges have you faced as an Ecuadorean business expanding internationally?

Our company has operated in the industry for the past 23 years; however, the real technological and innovative development of Sertecpet has taken place over the past 14 years. It is not easy for a company from a small country to sell its products and services abroad, especially in our industry, which hosts large and highly experienced players. Our company has lowered these barriers, confirming that not only large countries and multinationals create technology and generate value-added for other companies. We have demonstrated that Ecuadorean expertise is as valuable as any other, registering our own R&D advances. We have always had a clear market niche; mature and low production oil fields, where our solutions boost efficiency and competitiveness. For example, we have taken 15 closed fields from PEMEX to a current production level of around 6,700 bbl/day.

Initially, we focused our strategic plan on the Middle East, but socio-political turbulence prompted a shift to the American continent, today our key focus. Our aim is to consolidate regional operations from Alaska to Patagonia by 2020. We also plan to widen our area of activity to both non-renewable and renewable energy. Overall, we have a more global and integrated strategic plan for the near future based, again, on our know-how, technologies, and capacity to reach new levels.

How can Ecuador sustain its impressive social and economic development?

I believe that the public and private sectors, as well as the education sector—with emphasis on tertiary education—should together analyze national needs for the public good. I think this is essential to achieving the much desired change in the production matrix—establishing the role of each sector in the process. Sertecpet is an exemplar in terms of commitment to R&D and innovation, underpinned by an Ecuadorean workforce and registering great success abroad. Today, we are talking about an organization of 1,800 staff, which makes a tangible economic contribution.

What is your outlook for the energy sector?

Ecuador has a suitable regulatory framework and the resources to boost the development of solar energy projects over the coming years; it also has the potential to double current production figures, and will increase hydro-electric energy generation in the short term through ongoing projects. Overall, the country is well placed to become a regional energy exporter. Ongoing energy projects will reduce costs and boost industrial competitiveness. In this context, Sertecpet has quite a role to play in Ecuador, but also regionally. We will continue investing in R&D and rely on innovation to generate value-added, forging strategic alliances with local and foreign players, and contributing to the development of Ecuador and any other market we operate in. Having said that, our goal is to consolidate our activities on the entire American continent, requiring important changes to include corporate governance and listing requirements.