FULL POWER

Mexico 2014 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Rolando Montero, Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO of PowerCem Mexico, on the foundation of the company, its major projects, and the Mexican National Infrastructure Plan.

Rolando Montero
BIOGRAPHY
Rolando Montero Casillas graduated from the Universidad Anáhuac México Sur, and gained a graduate diploma in Commercial and Corporate Law. He is a Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO of PowerCem Mexico and its subsidiaries in Colombia, Panama, Chile, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

What is the background story to PowerCem?

PowerCem has Dutch roots, and we started in Mexico some 14 years ago with a highly specialized technical team. Our activity involves products based on nanotechnology from Synthetic Zeolites and patent activators, specifically designed for application in the construction sector, and the immobilization of highly contaminated material. The company has gone through different development stages; for example, the first four years was a period where we were entering the market and getting used to Mexico's regulations, while simultaneously presenting the advantages of our products, which, among other things, make roads last longer, more uniform, and endurable. The company sells quality through its wide range of products. One of our main competitive advantages is the fact that we created our own concrete, which has unique characteristics. We can also build roads with any type of material, including maritime sand. Overall, we are a highly multi-faceted company that over the years has managed to diversify its portfolio. We build roads, logistic platforms, dams, and other types of hard infrastructure. I think one of our main achievements has been to manage a change in attitude from governments and clients toward our work; we are highly committed to protecting the environment and are extremely efficient in our operations.

What are some of the main ways in which the company works to protect the environment?

PowerCem has adhered to the main international protocols to protect the environment, such as the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our processes are 100% environmentally friendly, as is our logistics fleet. We understand the complexity of our business activity when it comes to environmental issues, which is why we understand that it is our duty to preserve the environment. For example, we can build streets from waste and garbage. Recycling is something we take seriously.

What are the main projects that the company has been involved with here in Mexico?

We are extremely proud of the entire road network of the State of Tabasco. This is one of our main projects, and after eight years, and despite the floods in some areas, the quality of those roads is still very high. We have also been part of the construction of the International Bridge Reynosa. We have roads in Lower California built with maritime salt and similar materials. Mexico is a country in which infrastructure developments have gathered pace over the past few years; previously, the country had suffered from a significant lack of road infrastructure. This enabled us to be highly innovative, which brings our European expertise to the country. I should also mention that we are part of the construction team working on Mexico's new international airport. We also foresee entering the US market in 2015.

How can the Mexican National Infrastructure Plan impact the company's activities?

The National Infrastructure Plan creates an entire world of opportunities for PowerCem. We are a company that finishes projects in half the time it takes for most of our competitors, and the cost of maintenance work once the project is completed is much lower. The combination of these two elements offers an unbeatable option for the different public administrations within the plan.

What role does R&D play in your business activity?

It is an important factor, and we always conduct research to launch new products onto the market. Today in Mexico we have a strong focus on launching ImmoCem, a product focused on the containment of polluting waste. Ultimately, it is the most sustainable solution for the transformation and processing of highly-contaminated soil materials into materials suitable for the construction of flooring structures.