Two major regional exhibitions are set to run in Cairo from September 27th to September 29th. The Cairo International Conference Center will house both the Middle East and Africa Power Exhibition (MEAPE) and the Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Exhibition (MEAOGE).
John Hassett, the exhibitions' director and regional manager of IIR Exhibitions - the company that organized and is covering the costs of the exhibition - held a press conference on September 25 to outline the exhibitions and their regional importance.
Hassett opened by detailing Egypt's current energy difficulties. "Energy production in Egypt has increased approximately 11 percent during the last ten years, but energy consumption has also increased by a massive 28 percent." Egypt is in an ironic position in that to produce more energy, the consumption will further increase.
Hassett presented the solution as improving efficiency. "One of the key issues addressed by the exhibitions' exhibitors will be the more effective and more efficient production of oil, gas and electricity as well as the more efficient supply for consumption and export."
The aim of the exhibitions is to bring foreign expertise and technology to regional producers, to allow these producers to "safely and efficiently enter the global energy market," stressed Hassett.
When asked if "safe" also meant environmentally responsible, Hassett responded, "With the new technology that is coming, international standards of production and supply will also be applicable."
The tourism sector in Egypt is causing some concern regarding the environmental damage done to the Red Sea, as more and more tourist destinations spring to life. How will increased production of energy, particularly natural gas, effect this?
In plain words, Hassett answered, "countries like Egypt need to develop their infrastructure and get money into their economies to allow them to address issues of social concern, but international standards and the growth of the Internet in Egypt will make it difficult for serious environmental damage to occur."
Foreign exhibitors include Enel Producione, an Italian company regarded as a world leader in owning and operating power plants. According to the IIR press release, Enel offers, "a completely integrated service, providing plant managers and owners creative solutions to industry related problems and ways in which to improve the efficiency of their operations."
Electricite de France and Gaz de France will also be present to represent their global and regional partnerships in the region, as well as demonstrating technical innovations.
When asked about Egyptian representation, Hassett said, "about 20 percent of the exhibitors are Egyptian, but the number can be misleading. This is due to the fact that many of the Egyptian companies work in partnership with foreign firms and these foreign firms often send their Egyptian partners as representatives."
Hassett felt the conference would be significant in developing Egypt's potential to become regional leader in energy production and export. He hailed the country as "the gateway to Africa." He described how recent energy exploration in Egypt, and the rest of Africa and the Middle East, displayed a tremendous reserve of natural resources, especially Egypt's natural gas reserves, which number in trillions of cubic feet.
As growing international demand increases, exhibitions of this nature will couple technology and resources, and allow countries to gain much-needed wealth. Side benefits, such as necessary infrastructure and IT developments, will further spark overall development within the region. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )