“Ambipar Response creates a program to manage risk and a detailed action plan in case of an emergency, and this mobilization plan and training program is not only for the companies – our clients – but for all stakeholders in the vicinity of a chemical plant.”
Can you provide an introduction to Grupo Ambipar and its current focus?
Grupo Ambipar is a Brazilian capital business group with a global reach and a significant presence in Latin America and other continents around the world. The mission of the company is to offer integrated environmental solutions to industries and governments. We are currently rebranding the group into four principal business lines – Ambipar Response, which offers specialized emergency services; Ambipar Environment, which deals with the management, treatment, evaluation and transport of chemical and non-chemical residues; Eco Products, the arm of the company that works with recyclable products and products that protect the environment; and Ambipar Logistics, a business that transports chemical and non-chemical products.
How extensive is the geographic footprint of Ambipar Response’s emergency services?
In Latin America, Ambipar Response has multiple bases in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia. The company has also expanded beyond the borders of Latin America, having just acquired the British company Braemar in October 2018, which specializes in oil spill treatments and is present in 55 countries worldwide. This strategic acquisition now gives Ambipar Response more than 140 operational bases globally with registered employees and more than 10,000 active clients. Our call centre is open 24/7, which forms a part of our global network for incidents.
Can you outline the range of services that Ambipar Response offers to the petrochemical and chemical industries?
Ambipar Response offers a wide range of services that can be categorized into separate groups. The first is the prevention of accidents (Risk Assessment), which from a petrochemical and chemical standpoint starts with risk analysis at industrial plants and transport routes. As well as identifying the probability of the potential risks, we define what would be the consequences of an accident, such as a chemical spill near a local community. When an accident does happen, we support ours clients with a specialized and technological structure and our hazmat emergency response team. To complete the prevention and preparedness services, we have a multi-technological training center for emergency response in Brazil, the largest in Latin America. Ambipar Response creates a program to manage this risk and a detailed action plan in case of an emergency, and this mobilization plan and training program is not only for the companies – our clients – but for all stakeholders in the vicinity of a chemical plant. Therefore, Ambipar Response works hand in hand with communities and local governments.
How important is it to educate local communities so that they can identify a potentially hazardous situation?
It is vital and key in the prevention of serious accidents that can cause multiple fatalities, not to mention long-term environmental damage. On 18 January 2019, a pipeline transporting gasoline exploded in the town of Tlahuelilpan in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, killing 80 people. Ambipar Response did an evaluation of the site afterwards, but ideally detecting the problem at an earlier stage should prevent disasters like these. We train local communities so they know how to detect the symptoms of risks such as chemical spills. The earlier a risk is reported, the much greater the chance of an effective response. Recently we supported a simulation of a chemical spill of pipeline in the municipality of Osasco, Greater São Paulo, involving 400 members of the local community. At Grupo Ambipar’s International Training Center, the largest of its kind in Latin America, over 150,000 people have been trained for a diverse range of scenarios.
In the case of an emergency, such as a chemical spill, what can Ambipar Response do to minimize the impact?
Ambipar Response has attended over 200,000 hazmat emergencies in over 70 years of operation, and this vast experience gives us unparalleled expertise in dealing with any type of critical situation. In Latin America, we have over 200 pieces of specialized equipment and over 500 employees working directly for the emergency response team. Within Grupo Ambipar, there are synergies between each business line: Ambipar Response can call upon the help of Ambipar Environment, Ambipar Logistics or Eco Products depending on the type of emergency. Eco Products, for example, has technologies such as specialist chemical absorbents that can dramatically minimize the risk of environmental contamination should a hazardous product leak.
Ampibar Response’s Manual Portos book was launched in October 2018. What does this manual contain?
Manual Portos contains a selection of the principal legislative texts in Brazil regarding shipping ports, as well as the best international practices of emergency responses in a port setting. We have used this model for the last 15 years for road and rail logistics with the manual PP14, focused on the transport of hazardous goods. Manual Portos is an industry tool that contains the knowledge and experience of Ambipar Response’s team of engineers and technicians, and it is a reference for best safety practices in Latin America.
Do you have a final message for the members of APLA and readers of Global Business Reports?
Ambipar Response has a wide portfolio of customers working in a variety of industries, from large multinational players in petrochemical and mining, to small private distributors. The priority of our strategic business plan is to be able to respond to emergencies in Brazil in areas of chemical transport in a maximum of four hours. In Latin America, we are in the process of expanding, with the intent to add bases in Mexico to complement the company’s presence in South America. Grupo Ambipar is a long-term partner that offers consolidated and integrated services to ensure the safety and environmental integrity of the areas it operates in so that clients can focus on their bottom-line.