Interview with Sonia Alvarez - Business Development Manager for Spain & Latin America
The water is a limited resource, valuable and fundamental for life, environment, and for the most of economical and industrial activities. That’s why the Water and Waste Water Treatment Industry will be grow worldwide and our goal will be develop solutions for solids disposal reduction with a high energy efficiency.Sonia Alvarez Sonia Alvarez is Flottweg's Business Development Manager and working from Spain.
What are your current responsibilities as business development manager for Flottweg?
My main role as business development manager at Flottweg consist on looking for new opportunities and to identify these in the sludge thickening and dewatering application with Decanters, in Desalination, Municipal and Industrial Market. We cooperate with Spanish Co’s, which are very active – not only in the Spanish Market but also in the Export Market, especially in Latin America and Middle East.
Another important role is to identify the needs according to the customer type, so we are able to offer a flexible solution for every of them. Last, I want to highlight the task that it should be a must to create awareness about thickening and dewatering opex reduction. Thereby you get the maximum sludge dryness with the minimum power and floculant consumption while having a great economical and environmental impact.
How did you get involved with Flottweg?
After working for more than 20 years in the field of separation technology sales in the same company, I had the feeling of looking for a new challenge. I have now been working for Flottweg since 2021, operate on site in Spain. What I like the most about Flottweg is the medium, large term business approach. This means I can really develop a sales strategy as specially the Municipal life cycle projects is a long one. When you are just looking for orders in the short term, your only sales tool is price and not added value is consider.
What are interesting projects you are currently working on? What are your main goals at the moment?
Right now we are working in many interesting projects regarding Municipal, Industrial and Desalination market, not just in Spain but in other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Philippines, UAE, etc.
Municipal Spanish Market is a mature one as all the big and medium size sites has been built more than 20 years ago, so now there are a booming retrofit decanter opportunities. Many of the biggest sites are already obsoleted or they are going to be enlarged, so many bidding are going on within next years. Now we are working in some of the new sites to be built in Madrid, Murcia, Valencia and Cataluña area, that’s why we are just carry om some test with a mobile unit in these areas with a very good results.
Talking about industrial waste, we see a market to be developed as Spain has a big food, winery, brewery and slaughterhouse industry, where big amount of water is needed. Furthermore, following ZLD concept, more and more industries are reusing the waste water in their process.
Last but not least, water scarcity is an issue, especially in Middle East, where almost half of the water production comes from huge desalinations plants, that’s why we need to focus on desalination projects. The Spanish EPC’s contractors have a great experience and know-how from the Spanish Desalination plan in the 90’s, that’s why they are one of the most successful ones in this application around the world.
What are the differences between Spain and Latin America regarding your tasks?
Talking about my tasks regarding wastewater in Spain, I’d say I touch all the players involved in the entire project life from the Public Property till the operator Co. Nevertheless, my task regarding wastewater in Latin America, starts when an international bidding is attended by a Spanish Contractor and in most of the cases, the customer is a Joint Venture with a local Co., so we need to be ready to be asked for a quotation since Latin America and Spain. If this is the case, the Flottweg answer will be unique.
What are your goals for 2023? Are there any new projects that are waiting for you in 2023?
In the last ten years in Spain, there was an investment deficit in Waste Water Treatment Plants. This situation has driven to an European law infringement and millionaire fine. Thanks to the Next Generation Grant and a National Waste Water Treatment Plan, this situation will be improved within following years. Furthermore, the increasing demand for Waste Water Treatment has increased the sludge volume, so the need for sludge thickening and dewatering will increase too.
Despite of the desalination market has been booming for the last 5 years, there are still new desalination projects to be bid during this year and others countries out of ME will go for desalinations plants too.
As the main industry in Spain it’s the food industry and it has increased 20% during 2022 year, we see a potential grow in Industrial Waste Water accordingly. In fact, we have been starting to work with some Engineering Co’s focus on Industrial application and we have got some successful references already.
The water is a limited resource, valuable and fundamental for life, environment, and for the most of economical and industrial activities. That’s why the Water and Waste Water Treatment Industry will be grow worldwide and our goal will be develop solutions for solids disposal reduction with a high energy efficiency.