“To build the GPNK, we dispatched 13,000 pipe transport trucks!”
Gisela Salinas talks about the long days of intense work to get the gas pipeline finished on time, and adds how proud she feels that they met all the deadlines.
From October 17, 2022, to the end of April 2023, a total of 13,000 trucks were dispatched bearing the pipes to be laid along lines 1, 2 and 4.2 of the President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline (GPNK). To make this happen, crews worked around the clock, 24/7—every day except Christmas and New Year's Day.
“I was part of that amazing, heady experience, along with a team of eight exceptional colleagues,” reminisces Gisela Salinas with pride, today the head of the GPNK's Foreign Trade and Logistics area.
Gisela also shares how this period of barely a few months’ work felt like a project that had been years in the making. In addition to coordinating the transport logistics, her team was in charge of handling all the foreign inputs for the project, managing logistics for over 500 housing modules, as well as materials and installation equipment.
“There was an incredible amount of pressure because we were working against the clock, and you know that any delay affects the project’s production line, so logistics coordination is crucial to ensure things arrive on time,” explains Gisela. She adds that, "having been able to meet those deadlines is very satisfying.” She goes on to talk about “the emotion I felt when I traveled to General Acha, in La Pampa, to welcome the last of the many thousands of trucks that had been dispatched with pipes to build lines 1 and 2.”
Passionate about logistics
Gisela is the daughter of a trucker and considers herself to be a diehard logistics fan. She admits that women often come in for a lot of questions in the field, which is why she’s grateful she was tasked with coordinating the project logistics as a whole.
Gisela originally qualified as a Customs Broker, and came to work at Techint E&C in 2017. She moved into the position of analyst for Foreign Trade and Supplies at Fortín de Piedra, where she eventually became responsible for the entire area. Later, she worked on different projects and took on the responsibility for Foreign Trade and Logistics at the Ensenada Barragán Thermoelectric Power Plant.
However, until the GPNK began, Gisela had no idea of what this would involve. Initially, the project began with nine framework contracts to transport pipes, but it ended up with 16 framework contracts just covering this task.
At the peak of work on the project, 156 trucks were dispatched in one day from the three dispatch centers: the Tenaris SIAT Plant in Valentín Alsina, the Otamendi Logistics Center and Loginter in Dock Sud. “Initially, the idea was to see if we could stretch to a maximum of 42 trucks per day. But everything was so ambitious and challenging that we ended up pushing ourselves to go much further,” she recalls.
Foreign trade, another challenge
In addition to transport management, Gisela’s team was also in charge of coordinating international logistics and all matters related to customs operations. Some 250 import operations were carried out, including bringing in automatic welding and ultrasonic equipment, among others, which were key to the development of the gas pipeline. This was in itself a huge challenge, as the area had to deal with constant changes in exchange regulations and the labyrinthine complexities of Argentine customs legislation.
“I would like to single out for praise all the members of my work team, as I’m really proud of them: without them we couldn’t have made this happen: Matías Giménez, Mónica Pagani, Luis Molina, José Piña Romero, Juan Agustín Santoro, Enrique Cuello, Marcelo Vera and Nicolás Balduri,” says Gisela.
And she concludes: “When you’ve been on the production line, you can see just how big we are as a company. I’m really grateful to Techint E&C for giving me this responsibility and entrusting us with such a key task. We were part of the construction of a historic gas pipeline for our country, and that is something that definitely fills us with pride!”