1. When does Bester incorporate the EPC business line, and why does Bester consider it to be of great importance?
Bester was born in 2010 as an EPC company and maintainer of renewable energy projects, specifically solar plants. The EPC business line has been considered the core business of the company since its foundation, although in 2013, when we saw the need to offer investors a complete solution, the business line of project development Progressum was boosted because it is the first link in the value chain. And nowadays Development is equal to the EPC business line; we guarantee from the development phase any parameter that allows the investment made by the clients to be as safe and reliable as possible, from an investment risk point of view, just as we ensure production parameters using our Operation and Maintenance services. In this way, we guarantee the results of the financial projections.
2. What are the EPC projects executed by Bester in the last years that you would highlight?
Many projects have been implemented in a large number of countries, but a large photovoltaic project in Italy, Calabria Solar, is quite special given that it was finished in such a short period of time, a 24 MW project that was designed and executed in less than a month.
Another project also very emblematic was Solaris, executed turnkey in 2013 – emblematic because with 56 MW of installed capacity it was the largest photovoltaic plant in Romania and one of the largest photovoltaic plants in Europe with a substation that interconnected an important and critical transmission line for the country. It was a challenge given the tests to which the plant was submitted to and the achieved timings.
3. What are the advantages of an EPC project?
For the client, it is a guarantee of success, since the company that performs the EPC (Engineering, Equipment Purchase and Construction of the project) is responsible for all project risks, from any parameter in the design to the correct execution of plant. This ensures the quality of the work and the execution deadlines are fixed from the beginning, so there is a delivery commitment. Therefore, any problem, inconvenience, deviation, etc., must be solved by the EPC company.
4. If we put ourselves in the place of your client, what three differential values would you find in the projects executed by Bester?
As differentiating and attractive parameters for the client, taking into account the experience of the company in the construction, and in the operation and maintenance of projects, we offer:
– Excellent quality, “maximizing the life of the plant and minimizing future problems”.
– Agility, “We tackle very complex projects in a record execution time”.
– Vertical integration of the chain of value of each project, “Development, EPC and O&M by Bester, so to guarantee transparency, monitoring and precision in each of the phases of the project. By monitoring the photovoltaic plant, we make sure we maximize the production of the facility. ”
5. What type of clients, mainly, are those who are looking for this type “turnkey project”?
They are often investors: institutional, investment funds, foreign pension funds, who do not want to take risks, cannot have economic deviations in the projects, and rely on EPC Contracts, with a good study, engineering and construction depending on the turnkey contract.”
6. At this moment, what projects are in an EPC phase?
At the moment, in the construction phase we have two biomass projects in the United Kingdom, namely residual wood, one in England near London, and another in Wales near Manchester.
We are also in the stage of detailed design of numerous solar projects in Mexico, projects developed by us, with foresight to start construction this year.
We have other projects under development in the Middle East and South America, which would later go through the EPC phase. ”
7. Which countries are the most accessible for the achievement of these projects?
In fact from a regulatory point of view, the regulations are different in each country, but with an adequate study of it, in general it can be developed in any country, although the procedures in some are much more tedious and dilated than in others, and time is a determining factor that plays against us.
From an economic point of view, previously we had to look for countries with incentives that could make this type of projects competitive, but now with the decreasing costs of some technologies, like the photovoltaic, any country can be taken into consideration, since the sale of energy in the Electricity market makes these projects profitable, allowing the market to spread to any part of the world.
8. What is the repayment period of an EPC project?
Depending on the financing conditions and returns they want to obtain and what technologies, it is a question of the investor being able to amortize its investments in an estimated period between 7 and 15 years, being the average life of these projects of more than 25 years, therefore generating large returns in the long term.
9. What is its maintenance?
The maintenance of the projects is what should keep the project alive for at least 25 years, and we give vital importance to this line of business. Bester provides complete maintenance: preventive, predictive and corrective. With a good programming of technicians, inspections, adjustments, and actions, that allows us to anticipate any incidence, and in case an incidence does arise, to be able to solve it immediately. The difference between a good and a bad maintenance is not only noticed in the day to day, but in the future of the plant. We treat the plants as if they were our own throughout their useful life”
10. In your opinion, how do you see the present and future of renewable energies?
For now there is a great change, caused by the reduction of costs, mainly in photovoltaic, making a project profitable without incentives or state support. For this reason, this is a revolution that makes the future much more promising for this type of technology, which in turn, coincides with the increased awareness of the population by the use of renewable energy for the generation of electricity. Therefore, I think it is the non-subsidized take-off of these projects, worldwide.