"Even if it did not save costs, we would still prefer the use of robots and specialized equipment for safety considerations."
What is the role and history of Nexxo in the Chilean mining industry?
Nexxo’s history is more associated with the petrochemicals industry since 1980, and entered the mining and paper and pulp industries later in the early 2000s. Today, mining represents 45% of our sales, compared to just 15% a few years ago. We have a broad spectrum of services, including mechanical and industrial maintenance through long-term contracts and plant shutdowns, as well as specialities related to maintenance. Among other specialities, we are recognized as leaders in the maintenance of reactors and catalyzers in melting plants, as well as chemical and high-pressure water cleaning. We also provide a long list of other industrial services, including dredging and pre and operational tests. In mining we see an immense growth potential for our mechanical maintenance capabilities.
In Chile we work with all the major mining companies such as Codelco, AMSA, Lundin, Lumina, Glencore and BHP, and we currently have 10 long-term mechanical and industrial maintenance contracts in mining. Nexxo focuses immensely on safety and maintains high standards.
Since 2013, Nexxo operates as a subsidiary of the Echeverría Izquierdo group. The acquisition by the group provided us with additional technical support and financial backing.
Can you elaborate on your safety and quality assurance mechanisms?
Nexxo has the ISO-45001 certification, and our relationship with Echeverría Izquierdo guides and supports our safety policies. We operate in an industry that has high safety standards, and we abide by them strictly. We are proud to have been awarded in 2018 and 2019 four stars in the Honor´s Roll by the Chilean Chamber of Construction. In 2020, we improved our safety results further.
In maintenance, Nexxo works through constant evaluation of the site and the conditions, which are different when compared to construction companies. We use tools and procedures to conclude and quantify risk and act upon it accordingly. We have identified our critical risks and their precursors and are working every day to minimize them. Our safety approach is preventative.
What trends have you witnessed for your services recently?
Clients in the mining industry tend to prefer managing their assets and to prepare their own plans. The role of Nexxo fits in by providing support in carrying out the maintenance guidelines defined by the clients through long-term contracts, plant shutdowns or spot services. This process differs from elsewhere since in other countries and industries, the whole process is outsourced. Another trend we witnessed is that in the last years, mining companies prioritized cost reduction in contracted activities. Therefore, we focused our work on improving productivity, reducing the number of staff in long-term contracts and implemented more cost-saving mechanisms and equipment. Innovation is also something that Nexxo has always had as a priority to remain competitive.
To what extent does Nexxo incorporate the use of technology to enhance operational efficiency?
We rely on the use of robotics to reduce the number of staff on-site and minimize risks. For example, robots are used to clean near or under conveyors. The use of robotics reduces costs considerably, which allows Nexxo to be more competitive. However, even if it did not save costs, we would still prefer the use of robots and specialized equipment for safety considerations.
How is Nexxo consolidating its market share in Chile?
Even though we have a more substantial presence in the petrochemicals sector, we have grown our presence in mining in recent years, which Nexxo is well-suited for. Working in the petrochemicals industry is more complex than working in mining due to the higher operational risk and quality requirements. Therefore, Nexxo’s strength in mining is a result of the experience gained in petrochemicals. Our goal is to stand out from the competition by providing value to our clients through our service offering to complement the long-term contracts, which includes alliances with maintenance engineering companies such as Monitoring (local company) and companies specialized in the maintenance of crushers and mills.