“We want to continue doing what we are world leaders in” | What Invap is like inside, a public company of excellence

“We want to continue doing what we are world leaders in” | What Invap is like inside, a public company of excellence
“We want to continue doing what we are world leaders in” | What Invap is like inside, a public company of excellence

“A bet on Argentine talent”, is a possible definition for Invapthe provincial public company located in Bariloche that has 48 years of experience in the sale of goods and services with high technological value. Page 12 toured its facilities and spoke with Darío Giussi, General Manager and CEO.

In a political context marked by a strong contempt for everything that smacks of the state and particularly by national industry and science, Invap is an example of efficiency in the management of a public company, budgetary self-sufficiency and dissemination of innovation to the rest of the productive and educational framework.

Invap invoices around 200 million dollars a year, of which 35 percent comes from its exports. Among its “milestones” is the manufacturing of the first telecommunications satellites in Latin America, the export of nuclear research reactors and for the country’s nuclear medicine and radarization sector.

–Yes ok Invap It does not receive funds from the Province or the Nation, the State is a very important client. How does the adjustment context impact business? Página/12 asked Darío GiussiGeneral Manager and CEO of the company.

–We have a number of long-term contracts. None of the projects have been cancelled. Yes, we have some discontinuities in the payment chain that affect us. We have resilience, because we have a portfolio of clients distributed between abroad and national contracts.

Invap It has been able to adapt to the different contexts of the country. The space plan itself is a consequence of the collapse of the nuclear plan in the ’90s. Where does the challenge lie at this stage?

–It involves accentuating what we have been doing, strengthening the export profile based on the good technological background we have. The intention is to increase our export offer. We are committed to continuing to recognize Invap’s role as part of an ecosystem, as a generator of strategic technologies.

–How do the adverse financing conditions that the country has been experiencing for years affect? What other competitiveness channels have you developed? Invap to solve this problem?

–The company is absolutely sustainable, we operate from the fruit of the sales that are made thanks to contracts for the provision of goods and services to our clients. But the financial issue has two effects. One is when it comes to exporting, because having that strength would help us be sharper. In fact, we have lost a nuclear business in Asia, even though our offer was the best, due to financing that we could not offer. Furthermore, in recent times it has affected our operations, due to the delay in project payments. We have also issued three series of negotiable obligations, we will surely continue to do so. The company’s credit rating is very good.

–As a result of the revaluation that the nuclear sector is experiencing globally, are the company’s best prospects in the medium term in this sector?

–I would say it like this: what is new is this revision of the perspective on nuclear energy, not only of the most traditional things in terms of energy provision, but also in medicine. The revaluation of nuclear energy also drives the rest of the initiatives, because to be nuclear a country needs a regulatory authority, an agency, a culture and to train professionals. We want to continue doing what we are world leaders in and at the same time increase our offer.

Radars

Invap It is the only company in Latin America that manufactures radars for the commercial aviation sector. But this achievement is the result of political and technical decisions and a learning path. Since 2003, with the support of then-president Néstor Kirchner, Invap began the manufacture of radars for air traffic control and Defense. Currently, there are 22 radars installed in the country, a radar was also exported for the Nigerian aero-commercial sector and exports to Paraguay for Defense use are being negotiated.

“Technological development goes against urgency. If it is resolved with imports, the entire life cycle of the product is lost, from research and design to manufacturing. But also, There are no possibilities of exporting to other countries if you do not have the experience of selling in your own country. and clients are not going to trust a company that does not provide radars to its own public sector,” explains Javier Conti, manager of the Defense, Security and Environment area at Invap.

Satellites

The satellite division has two lines of work: Earth observation satelliteswhich orbit at 600 kilometers and are commissioned by the National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE), and the telecommunications satellitesin geostationary orbits at 36 thousand kilometers and managed by Arsat.

Invap’s task consists of design, manufacturing, integration of components acquired abroad and testing of the units. The company also collaborates in the installation of the satellite on the launch rocket and in its start-up once it is in space. During the useful life of the satellites Invap participates in the operation.

Invap has a clean room for assembly of components satellite and an environmental testing roomunique in South America, which allows us to recreate the conditions that the satellite suffers during takeoff and during its operation in space in terms of vacuum and temperature.

Among the satellites developed by Invap are the SAOCOM observation satellites. Among its functions is to measure the soil surface moisture and generate information for the management of natural disasters, such as floods, fires or an earthquake. “It is an entirely national development and there are very few countries that have mastered this technology,” explains Luis Genovese, manager of the satellite area.

Arsat 1 and 2 came to occupy the two Argentine orbital positions that were on the verge of being lost after the ’90s. The Arsat project gave rise to an entire program in which Invap was the main contractor. In 2014, Arsat 1 was launched and in 2015, Arsat 2. Currently, all coverage of Arsat 2 is sold to provide services to the United States government, which implies an important income of foreign currency for the country. “We have been using Arsat satellites for ten years with complete sales of their service, without idle capacity,” details Genovese.

Invap is working on two new satellites. One of them is the Sea-Wise, whose function will be to study the color of the Argentine sea, which is a measure of health, indicative of the impact of climate change, fishing resources and tides. It is a unique project of its kind, which has the support of NASA and the European Space Agency. Its launch is scheduled for the first half of 2026..

The other project underway is Arsat SG1, the new national telecommunications satellite. The SG1 incorporates new generation, high-performance equipment, capable of provide satellite broadband throughout the Argentine territory and neighboring countries. This will mean having a high-speed and highly reliable connection. It would be launched at the end of 2026. “Although we have already exported satellite equipment, we have not yet been able to complete the export of a complete satellite. It is one of the great challenges ahead and we hope to be able to achieve it soon.“, enthuses Genovese.

Nuclear

Invap’s nuclear division has 20 projects between execution and offer. In all cases, it is research reactors and for the manufacture of radioisotopes, which are used for medical purposes. Among the projects, the Pallas reactora 500 million euro contract whose construction is beginning in the Netherlands and with which The European Union hopes to supply 60 percent of the radioisotopes it uses in the health sector. There is also the CNEA RA10 project, one of the most modern in the world in terms of power and capacity.

In addition, Invap works in a development center in Uganda, a radioisotope production plant in Brazil and has projects in the Philippines and Japan. Likewise, already research reactors have been exported to Australia, AlgeriaEgypt, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Brazil. Associated with the nuclear area, Invap also sells “turnkey” nuclear medicine and radiotherapy centers. Along with placements in the domestic market, it accounts for exports to Venezuela and recently to Bolivia.

“The differential that Invap has when it comes to competing with other countries in the nuclear sector is that The development is carried out jointly with the client, listening to the specific needs of each project. Furthermore, Invap provides support before, during and after the installation and there is a firm policy of technology transfer in favor of the client,” says Pablo Abbate, deputy manager of the Nuclear Business Area.

 
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