Expansion of the Middle East energy sector continues
Governments throughout the Middle
East region are continuing to develop and enhance
their energy infrastructures to deal with the massive
increase in power demand that is resulting from population
growth and the expansion of the industrial sector.
United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, July 19 - 2005 at
One of the key developments currently underway is
the US$1.25 billion Gulf Power Grid, which will connect
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia by 2008, the
and Oman being added later. Viewed as an essential
project by the countries of the GCC, it will enable
the linked countries to use electricity from its neighbours
in the case of emergency, ensuring greater stability
of power supply and eliminating the risk of blackouts.
It is also expected to eventually result in a pan-Arab
With cabling, substation construction and advanced
networking required in each of the six countries,
there is great business potential for both regional
and international companies to win a share of the
contracts, the first phase of which will be announced
in September this year.
One of the many companies tendering for work related
to the project is ABB, the Zurich-based international
power and automation technology specialist. Already
anticipating its turnover in the UAE
to top US$150 million this year, ABB has been heavily
involved in a number of high profile projects, building
substations for projects including The Palm Jumeirah
(at a cost of US$30 million).
'The MENA region is one of the largest markets anywhere
in the world for energy related products and services'
said Sarah Woodbridge, Exhibition Director, Middle
East Electricity Exhibition. 'The growth of the industry
here far exceeds global norms - Iran, for example,
has grown its power generation output by 53% in the
last eight years - and many international companies
are therefore establishing and expanding their regional
presence to compete for the many highly valuable contracts
that are announced on a regular basis'.
ABB is a typical example - 'With the MENA region accounting
for 30% (US$1.5 billion) of the group's global turnover,
Dubai has been developed as a business hub for the
region' said Naji Jreijiri, ABB's Head of Automation
Products. 'We invested US$3 million on refurbishing
our Dubai facility which now features a 7,000 sq m
workshop and 2,500 sq m of offices and acts as the
central base for our 300 employees in the UAE'.
A stream of new developments, and the enthusiastic
adoption of innovative technologies is further stimulating
the growth of the energy industry - one of these,
Bahrain's US$225 million 'Green City', has been environmentally
designed and ecologically oriented, and will have
its own desalination and power plants using solar
energy, plus a waste water treatment plant and sewerage
system based on pressurised air and suction technology.
Solar, wind and water power, alongside natural gas,
are also being seriously considered as alternative
energy sources that can generate income in Saudi Arabia,
with natural gas topping the list as an eventual replacement
Middle East Electricity, internationally acknowledged
as one of the world's most important trade events
of its kind, has been specifically developed to support
the development of regional energy infrastructures
and stimulate the energy industry. Acting both as
a showcase for the global energy industry and a platform
that allows the key decision makers from around the
region to see, first hand, the latest products and
services that the world leaders have to offer.
'The exponential growth in energy demand throughout
the region means that governments are heavily committed
to undertake essential infrastructural development'
added Woodbridge. 'This is reflected right across
the industry, with sectors such as cabling experiencing
unparalleled demand - evidence of this is the fact
that Ducab (Dubai Cable Company) is projecting a sales
turnover of US$543 million by 2010 and has opened
a new factory in Abu Dhabi, expanding its manufacturing
capacity by 60%.'
Already over 90% sold out, Middle East Electricity,
which takes place at Dubai's International Exhibition
Centre from February 5-8, 2006, has already attracted
the leading names from the global industry, with ABB,
Eaton Electric, Ducab, LS Group, Lucy Switchgear,
Danway, GE Energy, Perkins, Matsushita/Panasonic,
Al Babtain, Cummins, Philips and Osram amongst the
exhibiting companies. The show will also feature additional
country groups making a total of 18 already confirmed.
The event comprehensively covers the energy industry,
with specific sections for Lighting (already virtually
sold out), Gas, Power Generation and New & Renewable
Energy, reinforcing its position as the power behind
the Middle East energy industry.
Notes and media contacts
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Stensgaard, News Editor
Tuesday, July 19 - 2005 at 12:47 UAE local time (GMT+4)
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