The countries of the Middle East have suffered a dramatic fall in oil prices since June 2014. Their response has been to turn to a new economic model focused on green energy generation. As the leading private developer of energy and water services in the region, the ENGIE Group is accelerating the pace of this energy transition by exploiting synergies between its production plants to bring energy closer to customers.
The strong demographic growth forecast for the Middle East, its finite hydrocarbon reserves and the increasing ability of solar power to compete effectively making investment in fossil fuels less and less attractive are leading many to consider a new model for energy strategy. As the number of projects now underway clearly demonstrates, the 'oil producing nations' are gradually moving towards solar power, wind power and energy from biomass. In Abu Dhabi, where the Masdar City so widely reported in the media has been focusing its research and development efforts on energy from clean sources since 2008. In Dubai, where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And in the United Arab Emirates, which has set a 5% growth target for its non-oil economy as part of the Vision 2021 program.
The ENGIE Group is making a direct contribution to the energy transition in the Middle East by providing its manufacturing and service industries with solutions that deliver optimal energy performance, and are tailored specifically to the needs of each customer and location: the Burj Khalifa Tower, the Dubai Mall and Zayed University in Dubai, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi are all excellent examples.
As the leading private developer of energy and water services in this region of the world, ENGIE recently extended its presence to include the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In these countries, the Group has equity holdings in 22 power generating plants, including Marafik in Saudi Arabia and Ras Laffan B and C in Qatar: the largest power generating plants and seawater desalination units in the world.
At the start of this year, ENGIE launched a new company called Energy, Power and Water in the Middle East (EPWME) to extract maximum performance from the energy generating potential of these 22 facilities. How? By identifying synergies that will bring energy closer to customers by listening closely to their needs and anticipating their new expectations. EPWME has a staff of around 40 people delivering cutting-edge expertise in power generation and drinking water production. A two-speed evolution that can only benefit the Gulf states!