High Gain Antenna Gimbal (HGAG) for the rover Perseverance of the Mars 2020 mission
The Lehendakari of the Basque Government, Iñigo Urkullu, presided over the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the new facilities of the engineering and technology group, in which the mayor of Zamudio, Lander Aretxabaleta, also participated, accompanied by the president of Sener, Andrés Sendagorta, and the CEO of the group, Jorge Sendagorta.
With an initial investment of more than 25 million euros, the first phase of the project includes 8,000 square meters of facilities dedicated to industrial production and engineering services for the aerospace market, which will host more than 300 highly qualified professionals in the coming years, 100 of those jobs newly created.
Iñigo Urkullu, Lehendakari of the Basque Government, has presided over the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the new facilities of the engineering and technology group Sener in the Zamudio Technology Park, in Bizkaia. The event was attended by, in addition to the Lehendakari, Elixabete Etxanobe, General Deputy of Bizkaia; Lander Aretxabaleta, mayor of Zamudio; Arantxa Tapia, Counsellor of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government; Andrés Sendagorta, president of Sener; and Jorge Sendagorta, CEO of Sener, as well as various representatives of the industrial, economic, and educational fabric of the aerospace field in Euskadi.
The new facilities will house an industrial production and engineering services center for the aerospace market, in which Sener has experienced notable growth in recent years. More specifically, it will focus on the development and production of aerospace technologies: electromechanical, pointing and precision, optomechanical, actuation and robotic systems. These types of systems are essential for the correct functioning of advanced commercial, scientific, exploration and defence projects.
The first phase of the project includes an initial investment of more than 25 million euros to enable an area of 8,000 square meters, although the building will be located on a plot of 30,000 square meters, to follow Sener’s future growth in the aerospace market and other industries. Of those 8,000 square meters, 4,000 will be dedicated to industrial production (1,200 to clean rooms, rooms specially designed to obtain low levels of contamination; 400, to space environment simulation facilities; 1,600, to assembly and testing areas; and 800 to production engineering). It is estimated that, in the next years, the center will house more than 300 professionals, generating 100 brand new direct jobs. After the start of construction, scheduled for December of this year, it is estimated that the facilities will be fully operational by the end of 2025.
The building is being developed by Sener’s team of architects, who have designed sustainable facilities, equipped with unique and modern energy efficiency systems, which will allow its technicians to grow and develop their capabilities, as part of a world reference in the fields of space and science.
The main motivation for the opening is due to Sener’s desire to expand and concentrate its production capacities for the aerospace market. The center, in addition to providing its professionals with highly specialized facilities, will be in a location that brings together companies and organizations in the sector, many of them currently partners or suppliers of the group.
Sener expansion in the aerospace Market
The decision has been possible thanks to Sener’s growth in the aerospace market, which has experienced positive evolution in recent years thanks to both organic and inorganic growth. The company allocates 12% of the area’s annual income to R&D and, in 2018, it acquired the company Tryo, focused on the development of communication systems for space, to complement its capabilities. More recently, Sener announced the opening of a new high-performance technological center in Santander, aimed at the design and development of electronic and radio frequency components and subsystems for space and defence antennas.
In the aerospace market, Sener has 1,000 highly qualified professionals, out of a total of more than 3,400 people worldwide, distributed in offices in 21 countries, in this and other markets, such as defence, energy, mobility, advanced facilities for data centers, digital and marine (in addition to promoting, through industrial participations, companies in the renewable energy sector). Of the approximately 600 Sener employees in Euskadi, 180 are currently dedicated to the aerospace sector, a figure that is estimated to reach 300 people in the coming years, incorporating engineering personnel and production technicians.
Among the most notable recent projects of Sener in the aerospace sector, it is worth to mention the participation in the Euclid mission of the ESA (to study the energy and dark matter of the universe); the JUICE mission, also from ESA (to explore Jupiter and its icy moons Ganymede, Europe, and Callisto) or participation in the Perseverance Rover, of the Mars 2020 mission of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Also, ESA’s Proba-3 mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2024 and will be the European agency’s first mission developed entirely by a Spanish company.
Iñigo Urkullu, Lehendakari of the Basque Government, highlights: “We appreciate Sener’s initiative and its investment. It is a step forward that, looking to the future, will contribute to improving our quality of life. We support and endorse this entrepreneurial attitude, of which Sener is an example and reference. Without a doubt, this foundation stone will serve to continue a dream that began years ago.”
Jorge Sendagorta, CEO of Sener, emphasizes that “the world increasingly demands more connectivity, more Earth observation, more scientific and exploration missions. Therefore, our projects are increasingly sophisticated, large and demanding (…) We want Bizkaia to be an industrial production hub for technologies in the aerospace field for Sener. The facilities that we are going to build in Zamudio will be a specialized center, with all the necessary characteristics to develop our activity and take it to the next level (…) With this investment in Bizkaia, we hope to provide a service to Basque society by doing our bit to generate employment, wealth, knowledge, and progress.”
Lander Aretxabaleta, mayor of Zamudio, declared: “The Zamudio city council welcomes Sener and thanks the company for the trust placed. You can count on our commitment to support a development that will allow our region to continue growing, as well as creating quality employment.”
The president of Sener, Andrés Sendagorta, highlights that “Sener was born in 1956, as a small marine engineering company on Ercilla Street in Bilbao (…) Since those beginnings, in addition to the headquarters, the commitment of Sener with Euskadi has been permanent. Sener has been an essential actor, and in some cases a driving force, in some of the great projects that have transformed Euskadi. All of Sener’s activities in aerospace and defence are growing at a rapid pace and urgently require new facilities. We have several suitable alternatives. Of all of them, we are opting for Euskadi and specifically for this Zamudio Technology Park.”