fmME Supplier focus: Henning Andersen, Grundfos ME
Henning Sandager Andersen, Area Managing Director for Grundfos’s Middle East and Turkey operations, talks to fmME about how the right pump can contribute to energy efficiency
What is your operational presence in the Middle East?
Grundfos operates in the buildings, industry, and water segments, and our success has allowed us to expand our sphere of influence as a global leader into additional applications and products. As well as pumps, the company develops, manufactures, and sells both standard and submersible motors for pumps, electronic drives and controls, sensors and monitoring systems, and dosing and disinfection systems.
Within the Middle East, we started to establish a legal entity in the 1980s so that we could support our partners with sales and marketing, after-sales services, and create a local assembly of certain product lines. Today, the operation is supported by Grundfos companies in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, as well as a number of branch offices across the region.
How is your supply chain organised in the Middle East?
We have been in the region for more than 40 years and have had our own facility in the UAE for more than 25 years. Being locally present and served different stakeholders with highly competent staff makes a difference to our operations. An efficient supply chain along with local assembly of certain product lines makes material availability a key element for us.
How would you say FM operations are evolving in the UAE?
When FM service providers approach us, they are looking for sustainable and energy-efficient solutions for their operations. Most people do not know that 10% of total global electricity is consumed by pumps. If all the pumps in the world were replaced with the latest technology, then up to 4% of the planet’s electrical energy could be saved as a result.
In addition, smart technologies such as optimised controls, sensors, and monitoring devices can reduce consumption by up to 60% in many applications. Our mission is to be a sustainable business, and that is why we have taken a strong lead in providing energy-efficient solutions to our clients. At present in the UAE, we are trying to engage with different governmental stakeholders – partly to influence their work, but mainly to provide them support and information about targets that are achievable today.
Should the ongoing slowdown in regional construction activity worry FM service providers and suppliers?
The UAE market seems to be performing well and we are confident that it will remain strong, especially since the country is an export hub for the surrounding countries.
In the wider region, there is a slight slowdown due to the difficult financial situations and [political] turmoil, but the UAE is doing fine, and Dubai in particular is doing well.
We achieved growth as expected in 2015 and are on track with this year’s aims. However, we are taking a more pragmatic approach for 2016 as the year so far has been quite unpredictable – not just for UAE but globally, and specifically for the MENA region.
What are some of your standardisation efforts in the Middle East region?
Grundfos pumps are manufactured to strict ISO performance and environmental standards.
Furthermore, we are setting high targets towards our own global footprint with regards to CO2 emissions, and are committed to not release more CO2 into the atmosphere than we did in 2008, despite the growth and expansion of our operations. We also offer our expertise and knowledge by compiling data that can support incentive programmes or legislation such as, for example, the minimum efficiency requirements of a pump or a motor. We tie up with energy service companies (ESCOs) to provide our products, services, and energy audits.
Where do you see the Middle East’s FM industry in the next five years?
The main [economic] driver in the UAE has been – and remains – new developments and projects. However, we believe the market will move more strongly in the direction of renovation and refurbishments, and important operational improvements.
Regional energy efficiency and sustainability agendas will be a major driver in the long term. This is where we are going to find new revenue streams as well. It is likely to take some time – and it’s is questionable whether this will happen in 2016 – but it will be a key focus for Grundfos in the region.
We also want to take advantage of being in the digital age from a marketing and transactional point of view.