Greenflow: Think global. Act local
Specialized in providing solutions for waste management and treatment, Greenflow bases its strengths on a deep knowledge of the market and on the quality of its human resources. The Greenflow Group includes Greenflow Marine, which we present in detail in this edition. Specialised in providing waste management services for maritime activities, the company offers solutions for all waste produced in the oil industry. To better know the company and the work it develops in favour of sustainability and environmental preservation, we talked to Carlos Cardoso, CEO, who, during the interview, introduced the Greenflow universe and some of the innovative solutions developed by the company, such as the M-Concept, a solution ready to be used as port reception and able to treat all kinds of oily waste.
Specialized in providing solutions for waste management and treatment, Greenflow has been gaining a prominent position in the international market. Tell us a bit more about Greenflow and what values have guided the company towards success over the years.
Greenflow is first of all a young company that bases its strengths on a deep knowledge of the market and the quality of its human resources. We have a strong identity and communion with the company’s values, reflected in our corporate policy, understood and applied by all. Today’s Greenflow is the result of two factors that have contributed cumulatively to external growth: on the one hand, the experience gained by its professionals over several years in the Portuguese market in major projects, which culminated in the construction of several waste treatment units and allowed us to capitalize not only on project experience but also on considerable operational experience, and on the other hand, the international experience gained within the Nature Group, which specializes in ship waste collection and treatment projects, and where I was part of the executive team. One of our most important values from a commercial point of view is the fact that we do not try to sell projects or units per se, but we try to become a partner for our clients, allowing them to monitor the operation of the units and guarantee that they work as promised. That has been a differentiating factor. Finding someone who sells equipment or units is relatively simple. However, finding someone who can adapt the equipment or technical solutions to specific situations, even within the same market, and guarantee the results, is rarer.
The Greenflow Group includes the companies Greenflow Engineering, GreenSpain and Greenflow Marine. Specialized in the provision of services for the management of waste from maritime activities, Greenflow Marine has today an experienced team able to provide the most adequate solutions. What are the services and solutions that Greenflow Marine has available to the market?
Greenflow Marine is dedicated to the collection and recycling of ship generated waste within the MARPOL convention (IMO international convention, which establishes the environmental rules to which ships are subject to). The waste on which we focus our activity is hydrocarbon waste, mainly fuel mixtures from the engine room, or from cargo tank cleaning, related to fuels. We are licensed operators at the Port of Lisbon. The waste is then treated in licensed installations, namely by CARMONA S.A (our shareholder) or Eco-Oil, modern installations specialized in the regeneration of these fuels to produce new fuels (ones). This is circular economy at its maximum extent. The fuel oil regenerated into a new product, enters the same economic cycle again, and avoids the use of natural resources. Paying the same taxes as a refinery industrial fuel, albeit with a much smaller ecological footprint.
Able to recycle hydrocarbon residues for fuel production and commercial products for use in industrial boilers, Greenflow provides various solutions for the oil industry and its derivatives. What are the main solutions the company currently develops for the oil industry?
We basically have solutions for all the waste produced in the petroleum universe, such as hydrocarbon mixtures, oily emulsions, contaminated waters, sludge separation, hydrogen sulphide removal in oily waters, hydrocarbon distillation, marine fuel regeneration, used oil regeneration, among others.
Greenflow developed M-Concept, a technical solution, ready to be used as port reception, able to treat all kind of oily waste. Tell us a bit more about this innovative solution, its versatile applicability and the main advantages associated to its use.
M-Concept is a solution that combines existing technologies, but applied in an innovative way, and implemented in containerized systems, which allow easy transport and construction/disposition on the ground, in any geography, however remote it may be. It has been designed to minimize the time spent on site. Each module has been designed to have a similar cost, and each module solves a specific problem: treatment of oily emulsions; treatment of oily waters; filtration and removal of sediments in hydrocarbons; filtration of pre-treated waters; removal of hydrogen sulphide from oily waters, among others. We can apply M-Concept to improve existing installations (with one or more modules) or we can apply M-Concept to build complete treatment installations, such as reception installations for maritime waste in port areas. M-Concept can also be used for temporary works, for example, on oil extraction sites where waste is generated, or on environmental liabilities related to oil exploration.
M-Concept has also been designed to work automatically, computer controlled and with reduced human intervention. We have remote access to our modules and can solve some of the simplest operational problems in this way. On the other hand, our philosophy is not only focused on the supply of the solutions, but also on the operational follow-up of the customers to guarantee the correct functioning and the desired results.
With the philosophy “Think Global, Act Local”, Greenflow Marine proposes solutions adapted to local legislation but also to existing waste management facilities. This adaptability and capacity to provide tailor-made solutions is also one of Greenflow’s main differentiators and an added value of the company towards the client?
Our ability to adapt and to solve specific problems is indeed a differentiating factor. And this is what our clients have been telling us. We have been implementing technologies for very specific problems, which oblige us to design a tailor-made solution, and this allows us to have a sustained and lasting entry to clients. There is a wide range of companies that sell standard equipment, others that make projects at the request of the client, but it is more rare to find companies that can design/project specific solutions and guarantee their implementation and performance. This is where we position ourselves.
Greenflow has been moving towards sustainability and environmental preservation, developing the best and most appropriate solutions to reduce the ecological footprint. Today, more than ever, it is urgent to rethink our attitude towards the environment? Nowadays, what are the values that guide Greenflow’s policy of sustainability and environmental preservation?
The solutions we propose and implement always aim at minimizing the disposal of waste for elimination (without reusing), reintroducing that waste in the same economic cycle. This way, we also avoid the use of natural resources. As we mentioned, it is circular economy at its maximum exponent. Then, we have to think that we operate in markets related, for example, to waste produced by ships, that is, we provide solutions that prevent maritime pollution events. The higher added value of the proposed solution (both technological and commercial), the higher the volume of waste collected in ports, and the lower the probability of pollution at sea. Our focus is in fact to reuse everything that can be reused, and essentially in a regeneration aspect. In other words, reusing the waste by transforming it into the original product, ensuring the lowest possible impact and verifying this impact on the product’s life cycle.
What are the main objectives that the company intends to achieve in the future and how does it intend to continue to be a reference in this sector of activity?
The international market is our big bet, namely for our M-Concept. We have been present in Malta for several years, with several technological solutions in operation, and we have several projects under development on the African coast (Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria). In Asia, we hope to have an operational project in Bangladesh as early as 2022. In this moment, we are building two hydrocarbon recycling plants in Spain, and refurbishing/modernizing a third. Our best marketing is to have customers who can testify to the value of our solutions, and our greatest asset is the quality of our human resources and clear corporate values absorbed by all.