Electrical suppliers you should know

Leading firms gives their insights on the shape of the market

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The GCC power sector will require about $50bn of investment in new power generating capacity. The region alone will add 76.8 gigawatts (GW) of capacity for power generation between 2016 and 2020, according to the pan-Arab energy investment bank Apicorp.

And according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), GCC electricity consumption is expected to reach 856 terawatt-hours by 2020, requiring 100 GW of additional power over the next 10 years to meet the demand.

Strong economic and demographic growth, driven in part by the GCC economies’ highly energy-intensive industrialisation programmes, has led to a dramatic surge in power consumption. As the demand increases, the GCC countries are also experiencing significant requirements for power sector infrastructure development. The GCC countries have collaborated in developing a joint Gulf power grid, to develop the region’s electricity network and also help unify the six countries. The grid has already led to savings of $3bn in investments, in addition to a savings of $330m of operating costs and fuel, according to the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority.

The total value of GCC power projects is estimated to be worth $247bn (as of 7th February 2016). Saudi Arabia registered the highest project value among the GCC countries worth $118bn followed by the UAE and Kuwait.

Interest in renewable energy in the GCC has been on the rise in recent years. The GCC countries are as richly endowed with renewable resources, and benefit from strong regular sunshine and the space to develop large solar power plants.

The countries could save up to three billion barrels of oil, if they reach their 2030 renewable-energy targets, which would save them about US$ 200 billion. Renewables have formed an important part in the GCC governments’ strategies to diversify the domestic energy mix with the region’s consumption anticipated to continue growing at a fast pace over the next two decades.

The UAE is the leading country among the GCC countries for launching several solar-power projects. The country is likely to be more successful in diversifying its energy sources within the next decade, with the development of a nuclear power plant and increasing focus on renewable energy. However, natural gas will play a crucial role in fueling the country’s power sector.

Faisal Jassim trading co

How 2016 is shaping up?

We are targeting all the major opportunities across the GCC. The UAE Government is investing in the health and education sectors by constructing clinics, hospitals and schools across the emirates. Moreover, property developers are busy in developing numerous villa projects that will be accountable for future prospects. And, with Dubai being the host for Expo 2020, the potential for the hospitality sector is on the rise with an increase in the requirement for several budget, luxury hotels and shopping malls.

The UAE remains our strongest market opportunity, with the target of having 50% in the next three years generated from the rest of the GCC. And Qatar being the host for 2022 FIFA World Cup is offering the strongest regional opportunity, rocking up in positivity; we find a lot of existing and future opportunities. Notwithstanding Saudi Arabia, the biggest regional market, we have forged our market presence over the years. Hence, we are quite positive and optimistic about working on the major projects in 2016 with the current market scenarios.

New products coming to market?

One of our core businesses is in low-voltage switchgear where our brand Promaster is well known for MDB (main distribution boards, SMDB (sub distribution boards), FDB (final distribution boards), MCC (motor control centre), control panels, capacitor banks ATS panels, VFD (variable frequency drive) and soft starter panels. Promaster has all the necessary certifications like ASTA for various ampere ratings and are approved by ADDC, DEWA and SEWA.

We would highlight in particular Samsung’s latest varibale refrigerent flow, Flowtech VAV Boxes. Our latest addition to our family of products is the air cooled chillers from Climaveneta, a European leader in HVAC and HPAC with 40 years’ experience. This will cater to small and medium project requirements. In addition, we are working on launching Ice Thermal Energy Storage Systems. This technology will help save energy and will benefit schools, hospitals, airports, office buildings by supplying energy during peak electricity demand resulting in power savings.

Market trends and areas of growth?

Conventional is on the way out and sustainable is in. Energy usage is well scrutinised and optimised. This is driving a strong search for well-engineered products, built to rigorous norms, capable to deliver well-defined performances to help reach and secure some demanding objectives from industry.


How 2016 is shaping up?

The first quarter of 2016 has been positive in the Middle East for Eaton. Our core segments as well as our power distribution channels have seen steady growth and activity this year. The market may have softened slightly, but there are continued investments being made and we see new opportunities coming from sectors including commercial construction and utilities.

The outlook for 2017?

That is hard to predict at this stage but with oil prices already slowing on the rise, we would expect the market to respond accordingly. Additionally, as we get another year closer to Dubai Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup 2022, projects will be ramping up quickly and Eaton’s product portfolio provides significant added-value across infrastructure, safety and energy efficiency.

New products coming to market?

One of our most recent new products is the CGLine+, a user-friendly monitoring system for emergency lighting, which aims to eradicate the cost and time pressures associated with manual maintenance checks in commercial buildings. Each CGLine+ controller supports the monitoring of up to 800 luminaires. Internet connectivity allows the interconnection of controllers to allow advanced monitoring and automatic testing of up to 25,000 luminaires from a single control point. Open system interfacing to building management systems is also supported.

The system ensures that faults are detected and logged in real-time so that steps can be taken to keep them in safe working order. As a result, emergency lighting can be relied upon to support safe evacuation from a building in the event of a fire alert or other emergency.

Within our switchgear range, we launched the CXH in Q1 this year. The Power Xpert CXH is a high-performance solution for low voltage motor control and power distribution designed for critical applications. A global platform up to 6300A, 380 - 690V, the Power Xpert CXH is fully-scalable, enabling a fit-for-purpose switchgear system. The CXH is designed for added flexibility.

Dorman Smith switchgear

What have been the strategic additions to your product portfolio?

One of the key additions is the introduction of Busducts which offer an excellent synergy to our existing range of LV switchgear. We will also be launching our range of power factor correction equipment, power contactors, overload relays, and changeover switches.

Tell us about your joint venture facility in Oman?

We take great pride in announcing our JV with WJ Towell Oman for the establishment of a full-fledged LV Switchgear assembly facility in Oman. With this, we bring together Dorman Smith’s product expertise and WJ Towell’s rich experience in the Oman market.

We have entered into this JV taking a long-term view of the growth prospects for our product range in Oman. The facility will be operational soon. We will design, assemble, test, supply and provide after sales service for a wide range of tested and certified Dorman Smith products.

What is your latest project win?

One of our latest project wins is the prestigious Al Waab Mall project in Qatar. We are contracted to supply the full requirement of low voltage switchgear for this project. Our supply has already started. Another significant ongoing project in Dubai is a prestigious hotel project in the Palm area in Dubai. This project is at an advanced stage and we are excited to be a supplier for this project.

How have global oil prices affected your business?

We have not seen a major impact in our business due to the volatility in global oil prices and for this we have to congratulate the vision and planning of the governments in the Middle East in handling the growth plans during such tough times. We have a strong order book and a good project pipeline for the year 2016. This has been due to the efforts we have taken over the past few years to consolidate and grow our brand and our product portfolio.


What was your main objective at Middle East Electricity?

To gauge and tap into the growing regional demand for energy alternatives. Our Eco Solutions division also forecasts a growth of 20% sales over the next two years along with developing new business activities for growth. MEE provided us the perfect platform to interact with the electrical solutions industry.

What did you showcase at the event?

Panasonic showcased an array of electrical solutions. These included energy creation (solar panels/water pumps) to wiring devices, lighting and indoor air quality solutions. Basically, the latest in our sustainable living concepts were highlighted at the event.

What leads did you generate?

The main work actually begins after a trade show such as MEE when it comes to qualified leads. Panasonic has always been careful to sustain the momentum generated out of such events. We try and identify what we need to do to nudge prospects further along the sales pipeline and focus on that.

Were there any market trends that emerged at the event?

We had a lot of interest from visitors, specifically from developing markets such as Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. With the oil slump already affecting regional markets, investments in smart technology/solutions is definitely the way forward. So yes – this isn’t something we just read/hear about anymore, we learned that energy is indeed being taken very seriously in the GCC.

Will you be back next year?

Exhibiting enables us to stay on top of the latest industry trends, gain competitor insights, make key industry contacts, and further solidify relationships with our current customers. With all this and more, Panasonic will definitely be back next year.

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