A step forward on the path of energy transition
Diana Balaguer, Manager of Engineering Offers at Techint Engineering and Construction: “From our company, we started with great advantages in terms of the energy transition. Our previous experiences have given us great experience in dealing with green projects”.
Diana Balaguer has been working at Techint E&C for thirty-nine years. Although she’s always worked in the Engineering area, she’s enjoyed the opportunity to play an active role in some of the company’s leading large-scale projects in Argentina and around the world.
Her professional development is a testament to her transformative spirit, as she’s also one of the first company’s female engineers. When she finished high school, she was keen to continue studying Maths and Chemistry and opted for a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Shortly after graduating, Diana joined Techint E&C in the Processes department, where she dedicated herself to technical tasks related to calculation and design for ten years. This experience was hugely important in building her know-how and shaped her interest in Engineering coordination tasks, "as they gave me a global view of each project," she explains.
Her first job as Project Manager was coordinating a project for the Petrotrin refinery in Trinidad and Tobago. After that, she was posted to projects in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, after which she was promoted to Engineering Manager, and then Engineering and Supply Projects Manager. She’s held her current position in the Corporate Engineering Offers Department for the last ten years.
Diana reminisces that when she started work, the word innovation just wasn’t used. “Back then, it was all about gaining experience, as each project we developed taught us how to do things better, faster, and more cheaply. That’s what innovation was about at the time: more to do with gaining experience in different projects and exploring the best way to carry them out.”
For Diana, innovation is about developing something new that adds value. As an example, she refers to how the company has, over the last few years, sharpened its focus on the energy transition. For the last two years, she’s been involved in the different energy transition projects being driven by Techint. "There are so many exciting possibilities here, even though several are still at an embryonic stage," she confides, adding, "We are deeply committed to the development of a sustainable industry that not only reduces carbon emissions but also develops technology to capture emissions during production processes."
Today, Techint E&C is not only developing sophisticated energy transition feasibility studies but also carrying out conceptual and basic engineering which it hopes will take shape and become executive projects over time. “This requires us to keep a close eye on what people are doing in other parts of the world, evaluating developments and maintaining contact with experts and start-up companies to stay up-to-date with the latest trends,” she says. All of this requires our personnel to make significant time investments in training, and personal and professional development.
“As yet, it’s not clear how fast the world will advance towards using ‘green’ technologies, but I have no doubt that the future will be very green indeed,” she says.
Above all, Diana highlights the teamwork and multidisciplinary approach at the heart of the philosophy shared by all the Techint Group companies. “The Energy Transition Directorate, which involves all the companies—Tecpetrol, Tenaris, Ternium, Tenova and Techint E&C—is my first experience participating in an initiative that takes such a broad approach and brings together so many different but enriching perspectives.”
In this context, “Techint E&C is off to a great start. Due to the broad scope and nature of our projects, we’ve been involved in many related areas: we’ve been handling and transporting hydrogen, working on traditional ammonia and methanol projects which have much in common with green projects, and in wind farms. We have extensive experience in fuel hydrogenation projects, amine regeneration units, and how to produce environmental impact studies, etc., all of which have crafted our unique skills-set over decades. Today, we are extremely well-placed in terms of know-how and experience to tackle the kinds of projects heralded by the energy transition.”