Regional investment in electricity generation “recession-proof”
Committed expenditure for electricity projects throughout the Middle East has been unaffected by the current economic climate, as governments recognise that the expansion of generation capability, in line with rapidly expanding populations and manufacturing growth, are key to the continued development of the region.
“Leading global strategic management consultants A.T. Kearney recently estimated that the Middle East requires investment totalling more than US$500 billion in electricity infrastructure to facilitate economic growth in the coming years,” said Sarah Woodbridge, Group Director - Exhibitions, IIR Middle East - organisers of the Middle East Electricity Exhibition (MEE), which takes place in February 2009. “They also raise the threat that lags in infrastructure planning can result in - increasing supply-demand imbalances, power outages and soaring electricity prices. Furthermore, they estimate that similar investments for potable water, waste water treatment and district cooling will also have to be considered.”
The report also estimates that the additional generation capacity needed is potentially underestimated - while economic growth in the Middle East is expected to be in the region of 7%, the buildup of generation capacity is only 4% per annum. Countries are also running out of oil and need to secure their energy supply for the future, meaning that alternative sources of energy, particularly solar and nuclear power are also focus areas for significant investment.
Nuclear energy is another alternative power source that is now a serious option for countries across the region - the UAE’s foreign minister and the US secretary of state recently signed a bilateral agreement for the cooperative development of civilian nuclear energy to help the Emirate meet its future electricity needs. Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Condeleezza Rice signed the "123 agreement", which sets out a legal framework based on international standards of nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security.
Under the terms of the agreement, the UAE will gain access to significant capabilities and experience in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This will allow the UAE to develop its civilian nuclear programme to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation. The agreement will also give US firms the opportunity to become active participants in the UAE's nuclear energy programme.
The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission also recently signed an agreement with China to aid them in enriching and mining uranium, and Iran has tabled a proposal to develop nuclear power plants jointly with other Gulf states.
“The power industry as a whole is incredibly active on all fronts, with investment showing no sign of slowing - in fact, the trend is actually for increased spending,” said Woodbridge. “This is evident from the fact that the 2009 MEE exhibition, which takes place from 8-10 February, is completely sold out and that we already have an all-time record number of pre-registrations from energy industry professionals and decision makers.”
Middle East Electricity 2009 will feature major international representation, including country pavilions that feature the world’s energy industry leaders - around forty French companies, including SAGEM, SOCOMEC, SDMO and the SICAME Group, covering a wide range of products and services including electricity generators, transport and distribution equipment, lighting systems and electrical modelling software.
Massey Ferguson will also be among the many international exhibitors at the show, displaying their Power Series generating sets, and unveiling, for the first time, their brand new Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) with programmable digital controller for mains failure applications plus an AGCO SISU POWER standby Diesel engine under the new AGCO SISU POWER branding.
“For us, MEE is our most significant exhibition for years, reflected by the fact that our stand will be manned by senior sales and technical staff from the factory,” said Andrew Ridley, Sales Manager, Massey Ferguson Power Series. “MEE not only serves the important local markets of Dubai and the Emirates but is a magnet for buyers and distributors from across the entire region - our distributors from as far afield as Africa and the Indian sub-continent will be inviting their customers to attend.”
German company Hedrich winding systems, a subsidiary of Hedrich vacuum systems, will present fully automated solutions for the manufacturing of windings for instrument transformers – this solution, compared to conventional winding methods, decreases processing time and increases process quality at the same time resulting in significant competitive advantages.
Middle East Electricity 2009 comes at a time of continued growth and activity for Prysmian in the region, where the Company is already carrying out and has completed several strategic power cable projects, particularly in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. These include a 140 million euro project with Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) for the development of the first ever submarine cable turnkey project serving Doha and an 83 million euro contract for the construction of a high voltage underground cable system. These deals, and others in the pipeline, further confirm the strategic role Prysmian is playing in the Middle East as a major utilities partner for the current power transmission network expansion program.
The Prysmian product portfolio at MEE will include its wide range of Plant & Petrochem Cables - complex and integrated power, control and instrumentation systems for chemical, petrochemical, power or industrial plants. Prysmian will also present its HV & Submarine cable solutions and FP® range of fire resistant cables, designed and manufactured to meet the most demanding requirements and standards to ensure safety and safe operation under conditions of fire.
Also in the canle sector, Dow Wire & Cable will showcase advances in its portfolio of materials and technology solutions for medium, high and extra-high voltage power cables. The company will also host a technical seminar for customers on February 8, focusing on the value that proven cable material systems can deliver to utilities seeking to optimise the cost of power delivery while enhancing system reliability.
“Dow Wire & Cable is committed to the Middle East market place and has chosen to participate at Middle East Electricity because it is a critical platform for demonstrating technologies for the region’s electrical power generation and distribution infrastructure,” said Robert Tarimo, Market Manager for Dow Wire & Cable in Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa. “We will use the exhibition to showcase not only our enhanced wire and cable materials but also broader solutions that help ensure performance, quality and consistency from cable manufacturing through to end-use.”
Middle East Electricity, rated by exhibitors and visitors as the most important event of its kind anywhere in the world, takes place from 8-10 February 2009 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre. The exhibition covers all aspects of the energy industry, with special focus areas including water, lighting, new and renewable and nuclear energy.
Leaders from every sector of the industry will use the exhibition to showcase their latest product and service innovations, bringing invaluable expertise to the region.
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