GD Energy Services (GDES), a Valencia-based international business group chaired by José Dominguis Renard and directed by CEO Héctor Dominguis Pérez, is celebrating 90 years of providing services to industry, particularly to the energy sector.
Founded in Valencia in 1932, this business group is today a leader in support services for operations, maintenance and decommissioning, surface treatment, logistics, energy efficiency and digital transformation for industrial sectors such as nuclear, wind, solar photovoltaic, metallurgy, and many others. GDES currently has a presence in 8 countries and a highly qualified team with a turnover of 84 million euros in 2021.
The history of this family business is the story of three generations that began in Pego (Alicante), at the beginning of the 20th century and in the midst of the post-World War I crisis, when Joaquín Dominguis Cardona, like many other young people from La Marina and La Safor, decided to emigrate to the United States at the age of 17 to forge a future for himself.
The origins of GD Energy Services
Joaquín Dominguis Cardona returned to Spain in 1923 with a clear business plan. He set up his own painting company Pinturas J. Dominguis, founded in Valencia in 1932, which focused on the wall painting business and was involved in major projects in the city such as La Finca Roja, the Cooperativa de Agentes Comerciales building and Los Chalets de los Periodistas.
With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Joaquín Dominguis Cardona was forced into exile, moving to Algeria where he was sent to a concentration camp, leaving behind his fledgling business, his wife and four children. He did not return to Spain until 1948 but, despite the hardships at the time, he swiftly and successfully relaunched the business, securing painting contracts for residential buildings and maintenance contracts for landmark buildings owned by the Provincial Council of Valencia: Teatro Principal, Plaza de Toros, Beneficencia…
In the 1960s, led by José Dominguis Renard, who joined the company when he was just 20 years old, the company’s scope was expanded to include painting and coatings in the industrial (electrical, oil, metallurgical, chemical) and naval (shipyards) sectors, and the company consolidated its position as a national leader in these sectors. His father, Joaquín Dominguis Cardona, and his eldest son, Joaquín Dominguis Renard, handled residential painting projects until the end of the seventies.
The move into nuclear and the consolidation of Grupo Dominguis
In 1973, José Dominguis, under the name Dominguis SL, decided to branch out into other sectors, and spotted an opportunity in the nuclear sector, as the construction of the second generation of nuclear power plants had begun in Spain at that time.
The quality and safety requirements were very high, but they met them, and in 1975 they landed the contract for painting and coating services on buildings and facilities at the Almaraz Nuclear Power Plant. Next came the Cofrentes contract in 1978, followed by Trillo and Vandellós II.
Once established in Almaraz, the company identified the maintenance and support needs required in the following phases. Faithful to its philosophy of growth and diversification, in 1977 Grupo Dominguis set up LAINSA (Logística y Acondicionamientos Industriales, S.A.), which specialised in industrial cleaning work: hydro-blasting, absorption, chemical, cryogenic, sandblasting, etc.
The company continued to broaden its scope by gradually offering new services that covered the entire life cycle of the nuclear power plants – decontamination services, radiological protection, waste management, decommissioning, emergencies – consolidating its position as a leading group in support services for operations, maintenance and decommissioning in the Spanish nuclear industry.
From 2000 to the present. Diversification, internationalisation and innovation
In 2005, the Grupo Dominguis holding company was set up, incorporating all the companies of the Group, with José Dominguis as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, until 2012, when Héctor Dominguis, Managing Director of the Group, took over as CEO, continuing with the Group’s strategy of growth and diversification.
Today, GDES, in addition to being a pacesetter in the provision of services to the nuclear industry at European level with a presence in more than 20% of French nuclear power plants and with decommissioning projects in Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, has expanded its services by working in new sectors such as wind energy, digital transformation and photovoltaic solar energy, with a presence in 9 countries: Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Panama, Mexico and the United States.
Strategy for the future
Since 2020, GDES has sought to consolidate its services geared towards environmental sustainability and has set out its strategy for the coming decades in 4 key areas: decarbonisation, providing services and supporting all low-carbon energy sources; energy efficiency, to promote self-consumption and the reduction of electricity consumption in industry; digital transformation, as a source of improved efficiency and reduction of waste; and the circular economy to promote the recovery of waste and its reintegration into industrial processes.
An evolution in pursuit of sustainability, both business and environmental, made possible thanks to the values promoted by its founder Joaquín Dominguis Cardona all the way back in 1932 and passed down from generation to generation: the need to provide added value, the virtue of good customer service and innovation as a differentiating factor.