View from the top: Ana Amicarella, CEO, EthosEnergy

Energy Focus talks with Ana Amicarella about EthosEnergy’s focus on extending asset life through equipment reuse, global collaboration for sustainable energy solutions, and navigating changing business landscapes amid geopolitical uncertainties

ana amicarella headshot - credit - supplied

What is the market, product, service, scope and core business model of EthosEnergy?

EthosEnergy is a global independent service provider for rotating equipment used in power generation, oil and gas, industrial and aerospace sectors. Our services encompass three key areas: maintain, enhance and operate. We provide routine maintenance services, including repairs, parts manufacturing and field services throughout the year. Additionally, we offer off-the-shelf or customised solutions to optimise or enhance asset use. This includes our ability to help increase power output, reduce emissions or enhance steam production. Furthermore, EthosEnergy operates entire power plants on behalf of our customers, ensuring their assets are well-maintained and efficiently managed.

EthosEnergy is jointly owned by Wood and Siemens Energy; what do both parties bring to the joint venture?

Wood and Siemens Energy primarily interface with EthosEnergy at the Board of Directors level. They provide oversight of our financial performance and offer guidance on our strategic growth plans for the company. In addition, there are times where we have partnered with our shareholders to provide an expanded scope of services and solutions to our customers.

How has EthosEnergy adapted as a business to net-zero policies, and how are decarbonisation and low-carbon affecting your business approach?

We are actively working with customers to help them with their decarbonisation strategies. There are solutions we can provide that can be ‘fit for purpose’ to help reduce emissions from rotating equipment. Whether it’s an offshore oil and gas operator or a power plant in Texas, there are economical ways to lower emissions and still generate power. We are also big proponents of reuse versus buy new. Many of the parts we offer customers are refurbished, which can lower the supply chain’s carbon footprint and help extend an asset’s life.

We are actively working with customers to help them with their decarbonisation strategies

What’s your view of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)? How will it impact EthosEnergy’s operations and investments in the US?

The direct impact of the IRA can be felt and seen in how our customers are using the incentives and tax credits in their individual power generation activities. We are participating in conversations on how to provide solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, implementing carbon capture and using alternative fuels (such as hydrogen). In addition, the IRA has a positive impact on job creation and the strengthening of domestic supply chains, which can benefit EthosEnergy.

What’s your view of the gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) market? Do you agree with the US policy regarding LNG exports to Europe and its cooling relationship with China?

The need for gas and LNG still exists and will be needed throughout the energy transition, especially when you apply the lens of energy availability and energy security. Regardless of geopolitical happenings, the demand and need for LNG are clear and present. EthosEnergy sees a tremendous opportunity in the LNG space, where operators are looking for alternatives to reliable maintenance services and cost reduction.

Oil and gas has regained its position as a central element of energy policy due to energy security. Do you see this changing? Do you see oil and gas declining quickly, and if so, how is EthosEnergy preparing?

I’ve spent most of my career providing services to the oil and gas industry, which has always seen cyclical activity. As we go through the energy transition, we will continue to see the need for a mix of energy sources to ensure energy demand and energy security. Every energy source has a role to play, and with the demand we see coming, it’s even more important. While not our biggest sector, we support rotating equipment operating on offshore oil platforms and in downstream activities such as petrochemicals and refining.

ana amicarella meeting with customers apac - credit-supplied

Everyone needs energy – we cannot live without it. Energy is a basic human need – it must be equitable

Are you seeing energy demand growing? If so, why? And what might this mean to net zero and energy affordability?

Energy demand is absolutely growing, and the need to ensure available, accessible and sustainable power is ever-increasing. The ‘electrification of everything’, the rise of artificial intelligence and the need for more data centres, as well as extreme weather events, are putting a strain on the existing supply. As a power generation industry, the challenge we face is the need to continue to innovate while working with governments and the private sector to ensure that energy demand can be met while reducing emissions and keeping energy affordable.

Which technologies are most exciting for EthosEnergy in terms of growth potential, net-zero impact, profitability and skills?

The energy industry can improve its adoption of equipment reuse. Rather than disposing of equipment nearing decommissioning, we should explore reusing it. At EthosEnergy, our mission is to extend the life of existing assets through economically, socially and environmentally beneficial solutions. Our efforts reduce CO₂ emissions in two ways: by reducing new equipment production and by deferring or eliminating the recycling of older assets. Additionally, we are currently collaborating with Politecnico di Torino in Italy to identify ways to use lower-carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen in gas turbines.

Do you worry about an increasingly uncertain business and geopolitical climate? How do these factors influence EthosEnergy’s operations and strategic decisions?

There’s one thing you can count on with business and geopolitical climates – they are always changing landscapes. While these are discussed and can influence our strategic and operating decisions, we are working to futureproof EthosEnergy to be nimbler and more adaptable to change. This means ensuring we have the right processes, systems and trained people that can all flex as market conditions fluctuate. We are also working to secure global supply chains in order to mitigate risks from those affected by geopolitical occurrences.

Which regions of the world are most active to trade with, and which are least?

EthosEnergy does business with customers worldwide, in more than 100 countries. We are predominantly active in North America and Europe but see significant growth opportunities in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. We are focusing our efforts on ensuring our ability to operate locally while also using our global network of shops and field service specialists. We want to get the right people, tools and equipment where they need to be for our customers to ensure maximum availability and reliability of power.

What can governments around the world do to encourage more collaboration and sharing of lessons to help reach net zero by 2050?

Governments can be facilitators, enablers and catalysts for global collaboration. By fostering partnerships, providing resources such as research and development funding, facilitating the sharing of data and best practices and aligning policies, they can accelerate progress toward a sustainable future.

What role do you see for the energy industry in promoting global peace, trust and trade relations?

Everyone needs energy – we cannot live without it. Energy is a basic human need – it must be equitable. The industry must work with all governments, organisations and stakeholders to ensure this need is met sustainably. I also think everyone in the industry, regardless of the source of energy they provide, needs to realise we are in this together. While we are in this energy transition, working together goes further than us working in silos.

As a successful leader in energy, what advice would you give other women considering a role in the energy industry or unsure how to get to the top?

As professionals, acknowledge that your position is well-deserved. Seize your seat at the table and amplify your voice. Be authentic, embracing your distinct viewpoints and insights. Remember that diverse perspectives drive innovation, so embrace challenges as chances to showcase your expertise. Believe in your abilities – you belong in this industry just as much as anyone else. Trust your skills, knowledge and expertise. Connect with other women in the industry. Seek out mentors who can guide you, share their experiences and provide valuable insights or be a mentor for the younger generation of future women leaders.

About Ana Amicarella

As CEO of EthosEnergy since 2019, Ana Amicarella leverages more than 30 years of experience in the energy sector. She previously held executive positions at Aggreko and General Electric, overseeing various business units. Ana, a Six Sigma Black Belt, holds an electrical engineering degree from the Ohio State University and an MBA from Oakland University. She is recognised as an industry leader, honoured as POWER Magazine’s 2021 Energy Executive of the Year and listed among Hart Energy’s Influential Women in Energy for 2023 and 2024.

Image credit | Supplied