Summit calls for ways to rein in utility costs
Ras Al Khaimah, November 25, 2013
The 2nd Global IWPP (Independent Water and Power Projects) Summit kicked off in Ras Al Khaimah with a call to utilities companies to review ways to rein in escalating costs of new projects and understand the risks involved in them.
The three-day summit is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Leader and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and hosts representatives of government authorities, policy-makers, regulatory authorities, utilities companies, financial institutions and technology leaders.
The summit was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Kayed Al Qasimi, the chairman of Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah.
Nick Carter, the director general of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sectors of Abu Dhabi, delivered the keynote address on IWPPs – The Workable Model, during which he underlined the importance of reining in costs, especially during the establishment of new projects.
Carter pointed out that even as utilities providers explore the most competitive options to secure funding for their projects, the role of private capital was still not completely understood or often viewed with scepticism.
Underlining the role for private equity in projects, he said, “With the high number of projects being announced by governments in the region, private equity can help the developers to complete their projects on time and at less risk to governments.”
Organised by Fleming Gulf, the summit focusses on the issues and challenges affecting IWPPs across the globe. The summit also featured top officials from the region’s top utility providers including the Federal Water and Electricity Authority (FEWA), Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA).
Earlier, the delegates were welcomed by Dr Fareed M. Al Yaqout, the summit chairman and president of the National Power Company in Saudi Arabia, followed by an address by Richard Menezes, the executive vice chairman of Utico Middle East, the region’s leading private utilities company.
The summit also featured a host of key speakers, notably Dr Fares M. Howari, Professor and chair at Abu Dhabi University, who focused on how carbon trading was an emerging new market in the GCC countries besides highlighting the huge potential for Gulf companies to reduce emissions and earn money from generated credits.
Abdullah Al Hajri, the executive VP (Customer Services) Dewa, underlined the need for employing the most sophisticated technologies to serve customers better.
Another important technology highlighted on the first day concerned increasing plant power output and reliability through enhanced (HEPA) filtration for gas turbine machinery. James Kenneth, the aftermarket manager of AAF International, emphasized on the issue of gas turbine availability and reliability improvements through cleaner air.
The highlight of the opening day was a panel discussion on the opportunities that await private sector players in existing and upcoming government projects, said the event organisers.
With increased dependency on IWP and IPP, and government bodies now have the option of using public resources more effectively and focus on other important development priorities, they stated.
The discussion was aimed at understanding the global requirements, opportunities and challenges and provided a platform for developers and financiers to capitalize and build partnership models that are well understood and are of mutual interest.-TradeArabia News Service