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Piedras Negras Municipal Water and Wastewater System launches Energy Audits

Posted on May 21, 2013

Piedras Negras Municipal Water and Wastewater System launches Energy Audits

Members of BECC's technical staff participated in a meeting to kick off the discussions regarding energy audits for the pumping stations and treatment plants operated by the SIMAS water and wastewater utility (Sistema Municipal de Aguas y Saneamiento). The event took place on May 8th at the local Water Treatment Plant facilities.

BECC technical personnel Briselda Duarte and Juan Manuel Jimenez, along with Abdias Moreno (not pictured), will manage the energy audit process.The meeting was chaired by Piedras Negras Mayor, Oscar Fernando Lopez Elizondo, and was attended by SIMAS General Manager Ignacio Guajardo Galindo and the utility's technical staff, as well as City Comptroller Maria Elena Cobo, Councilwoman Silvia Esquivel, and Economic Development Director Jorge Carranza. BECC participants included Briselda Duarte, Abdías Moreno, and Juan Manuel Jiménez. On behalf of Watergy, the meeting was attended by Francisco Espino del Pozo.

The meeting was used to provide general information related to energy efficiency, review the objectives of the energy audit, and identify best practices to increase operational efficiency by optimizing the use of electricity in water utilities. The meeting is a preliminary step to the development of energy audits for municipal water and wastewater utilities in the State of Coahuila.

SIMAS requested BECC's assistance for developing an energy audit of their water utility. The audit that will be conducted with technical assistance from the binational organization will include the results of training workshops provided to the SIMAS operational staff. The energy audit will provide the utility the necessary tools to develop strategies to strengthen its institutional capacity and increase efficiency in the delivery of water supply services by optimizing the use of energy.

The energy efficiency audit will be based on the analysis of electromechanical data and the utility's operating conditions. Additionally, the audit will help to develop a portfolio of projects and recommendations that may be implemented in water facilities to create potential opportunities to realize for both energy and cost savings.

Piedras Negras Mayor Oscar Fernando López Elizondo.Mayor Lopez Elizondo said that thanks to BECC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "who placed their trust in SIMAS, the city was able to use available funding to provide wastewater treatment service to a large portion of the State." He also recognized BECC for the assistance provided for the development of a study for the potential implementation of a water treatment plant. On the subject of energy conservation and energy efficiency, the Mayor said that "energy is one of our major expenses at SIMAS. The development of this audit will lead to recommendations, which, once implemented, will allow the Agency to reduce its operating expenses and in turn, continue investing to improve the system's infrastructure.”

This initiative was originally part of Border 2012, a program funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under this program, energy audits will be developed for water utilities in Piedras Negras, Coahuila and in the cities of Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas. The energy audits, which were started in the Border 2012 program and will continue under the Border 2020, will help increase the institutional capacity of these system operators. In general, BECC will continue to coordinate with the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) on energy audits.

SIMAS General Manager Ignacio Guajardo Galindo said, regarding the implementations and facility improvements, that "as a result of the Mayor's assistance, [the utility] was provided Premium Efficiency pumping equipment to achieve energy savings in Water Treatment Plants 1 and 2." He also commented on the next steps of this process, “we are confident that as part of the results of this audit, critical recommendations will be issued for improving energy efficiency and operations, and we will monitor the project to ensure that these recommendations are implemented," he said.

In addition, the Watergy consultant stressed the importance of this initiative and thanked the SIMAS staff for their hospitality during the initial visits.

Juan Manuel Jimenez describes the energy audit process.BECC Project Manager Juan Manuel Jimenez said that in its nearly 18 years of operation, this binational organization has certified US $156 million worth of projects for the State of Coahuila to address wastewater collection and treatment issues in Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña.

The BECC official highlighted that BECC's certification pipeline includes a biogas project for the state capital, which involves the use of methane gas generated at the Saltillo landfill to produce electricity. Incidentally, this project was certified the next day at the public meeting of the BECC/NADB Board of Directors meeting in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.




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