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Swiss firm ABB bidding for UAE projects worth almost $700m

by Fatima De La Cerna on Mar 19, 2018


ABB installed a 315kW rooftop solar energy system at its offices in Al Quoz last year.
ABB installed a 315kW rooftop solar energy system at its offices in Al Quoz last year.

ABB, a Switzerland-headquartered technology company, has revealed that it is currently bidding for nearly $700m (AED2.6bnworth of power projects in the UAE.

These include a 132kV substation project of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), as well as a solar power plant project with ACWA Power.

According to ABB managing director Mostafa Al Guezeri, the company is also quoting for ADNOC expansion projects and eyeing opportunities with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

“Overall, ABB is pitching for $600m (AED2.2bn) to $700m (AED2.6bn) of projects in the UAE,” Al Guezeri told Construction Week.

 

“The company has also been involved in a 400kV substation at the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park. Last month, it was also awarded 400kV substations for DEWA Shams projects.”

ABB, which produces electrification, robotics and motion, industrial automation, and power grids, announced in January last year that it has installed a 315kW rooftop solar energy system at its offices in Al Quoz, in Dubai. It is reportedly the region’s largest privately owned solar system.

READ: Dubai's DEWA awards four substation contracts worth $348.5m

Commenting on developments in the solar sector, Al Guezeri noted that advancements in technology have brought about a substantial reduction in the price of solar panels.

“China has taken a lead in this sector, bringing down prices dramatically from $10/kilotonne (AED36.7/kilotonne) in less than 15 years to less than $3 (AED11) now,” he said.

“In the next 10-15 years, the solar cost could go down below $1/kilotonne (AED3.7/kilotonne), as the technology is witnessing massive transformation on a daily basis.”

ABB has supplied 600 grid-connected single-phase solar inverters to power newly built villas in Dubai’s Hatta region.

The company also launched the country’s first digitalised remote service centre in Dubai this year.

The centre is designed to provide uninterrupted access to information and support on drives installed at customer facilities for predictive maintenance and condition monitoring for industries like power, cement, oil and gas, metals, and food and beverage.

Remarking on ABB’s four-decade history in the UAE, Al Guezeri added: “A land of endless possibilities is how the UAE likes being described and why not, as in a very short span the country has achieved global recognition for excellence in hospitality, logistics, airport management and now, clean energy and digitalisation.

“We are fortunate and proud to have partnered with the UAE right from building one of the first water pumps for desalination to today reliably harnessing solar energy at the Mohammed in Rashid Solar Park.”

According to ABB, projections suggest that there will be around two zettabytes of data in the Middle East by 2020.

“This massive increase in digitalisation comes with similarly sized opportunities,” explained Al Guezeri.

“We have already begun conducting workshops and knowledge transfer sessions with utility providers both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, discussing how [the] Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping utilities, and also the need for smart and connected devices, both in power generation and transmission, to reduce losses.”



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