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CENTRALISED AND OPTIMISED How QMAX Solutions’ supply chain operations help it deliver success to the oil and gas industry

For a greener tomorrow

The TOP 10 Solar Manufacturers SPECIAL FOCUS

Lights out for the US SOLAR INDUSTRY?

FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME to the May edition of Energy Digital magazine. Changing the face of real estate, JLL is looking at the future of cities to drive its transformation. We speak to Emma Hoskyn, Director of Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL, to look at how sustainability has taken hold, and will ensure the company will further innovate to provide the services customers need. In the US, President Trump has recently placed tariffs on solar equipment imports. Saltanat Berdikeeva discusses how such decisions will continue to impact the fastest growing sector in the country. Wind power has also grown apace, where Danish wind energy company, Vestas, is set to expand into further markets. We caught up with Fransisco Ruiz, Head of Business Development in Latin America, to find out more. Next, speak to some leading lights in the energy space about the need to address the future of global charging infrastructures for electric vehicles. We have also looked at the top 10 solar manufacturers in the world.

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JLL and a

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JLL and a

greener tomorrow JLL is changing the face of real estate with its powerful vision of 2040. Emma Hoskyn, Director of Upstream Sustainability Services, explains how

Written by: N E LL WA LK E R


ENERGY 4.0 IT’S NO SECRET that the world is barrelling towards a technologically advanced future at an incredible rate, and while the innovators of the world fight to set the tone for that future, it’s up to real estate developers to ensure they’re creating the appropriate physical infrastructure to support that. This is where JLL comes in. Already at the forefront of real estate expertise, the company recently published a report – The Transformation Framework – outlining what the ideal city will look like in 2040 and how developers, builders and investors can ensure they are doing all they can to be a part of this evolution. The way JLL gauged what the future cityscape would look like was simple: around 30 of its key clients were brought together for a workshop whereupon they were handed a piece of paper with a basic city outline on it, and asked to annotate it with the key elements that the city of the future is likely to contain. JLL then aggregated those ideas and focussed on the seven most common: tech innovation, urbanisation, land and resource scarcity, the low carbon economy, demographic and workplace change, health and wellness and transparency 10

May 2018

and social value. It is on these seven key elements that JLL then based its framework. Emma Hoskyn, Director of Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL, explains how it all began. “18 months ago we were looking towards 2017, because that was the year in which we celebrated 20 years’ experience in helping real estate businesses transform,” she says. “We reflected on what has happened over the last 20 years of sustainability within real estate and what the future might hold. Back in 2015 we’d done some research on real estate trends that looked out to 2030, so we

“In order to really reflect on trends that were coming around the corner, we had to discuss it with our clients” EMMA HOSKYN

Director of Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL

revisited that and went a little further on our time horizon since things move and change at such a pace. “In order to really reflect on trends that were coming around the corner, we had to discuss it with our clients, but they are used to looking at physical buildings which are practical and tangible, so we thought ‘how can we make this idea tangible to people?’ Hence last May, to kick off the campaign and launch the microsite, we held a workshop and had people put pen to paper.” Hoskyn has been with JLL for just over a decade and runs Upstream, 11


the client advisory team that works with property owners, occupiers and developers to advise on all aspects of sustainability. She is, therefore, realistic about the fact that many of the seven trends JLL has identified are not exactly new, but they are goals to work towards which continue to shift and evolve. Hoskyn makes no claims that the elements outlined 12

May 2018

in The Transformation Framework paint a picture of exactly what 2040 will look like or that they will only come about at that point in time – rather, they build a bridge defining the direction of travel and encourage discussion around those themes. “Things like using space more flexibly – with healthier buildings, co-working hubs, multi-generational

housing and co-living spaces – they’re really interesting perspectives for the future,” she explains. “Then there are eco elements like green walls, electric car charge points and wind turbines – these are obviously things that are happening now. The circular economy, however, is a really new concept to a lot of people and is really gaining momentum as we think harder about how to use resources properly, considering that buildings are enormous consumers of resources.” What JLL aims to really drive home is that it’s not simply one or two of the seven trends (and the hundreds of more specific ones beneath the seven umbrellas) that are moving on apace at the moment – the speed of change within the entire real estate sector is being challenged at the same rate at a fundamental level. What the company is communicating outwards is that these changes can be broken more comfortably into seven generalised chunks and they should be given equal focus. “Really what you need to do is make sure that you can manage all of this at once and deal with it in a way that means you are, in 2040, still relevant and thriving as an organisation rather

“Businesses need to think about their sense of social purpose and create a vision based around that” EMMA HOSKYN

Director of Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL



than merely surviving,” says Hoskyn. “If you want to thrive, you have to think about things in a slightly different way. That’s why we created The Transformation Framework because historically, while we’re in a position where we’ve spoken about the trends hitting real estate with clients for many years, we’d never before done a paper to say ‘okay, how do you deal with these challenges at an organisational level?’ Businesses need to think about their sense of social purpose and create a vision based around that, at which point JLL can step in and support them on their journey.” Of course, not all organisations are as willing to evolve as others or will take on board the advice that JLL has to give, but Hoskyn believes that even those lagging in their sustainability 14

May 2018

“What you need to do is make sure that you can manage all of this at once and deal with it in a way that means you are, in 2040, still relevant and thriving” EMMA HOSKYN

Director of Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL

initiatives and processes can keep up if given the correct tools. She is conscious that JLL’s vision of the future is an idealistic one, but with good reason – the company hopes that 2040 will see all businesses have a defined social purpose that creates only benefits, cuts down on its use of limited natural resources and values humans and the environment. “The Crown Estate is a good example of an organisation which is doing some of this; it published its second Total Contribution report in 2017 which presents its actual impact across six capitals and not just financial capital,” says Hoskyn. “It calculated total contribution through the impact it has on nature and communities, amongst other aspects, and put a value to that.

It’s a completely different way of thinking and it’s possible that in 10 or 20 years’ time, that approach could develop further to be part of a normal accounting process.” JLL’s aim is to increase knowledge across real estate and the wider world. While the business communicates a lot with sustainability experts, it also deals with heads of real estate, fund and asset managers who are beginning to understand the opportunities available to them and are being pushed by investors to respond to the future’s call. Hoskyn believes there need to be short-term drivers as well as long-term drivers in order to get the more resistant to respond, since it’s so difficult to articulate something that might happen in the future to reach a decision today, but a savvy investor who knows exactly what they want can make all the difference. “Our strapline for this project is ‘change today for a sustainable tomorrow’, which may sound a bit cheesy but it’s to encourage people to think about those everyday decisions they make today,” says Hoskyn. “Those decisions will ultimately accumulate and will have a significant impact on their future.” 15





How will President Trump’s tariffs on solar equipment impor ts affect the industr y. Saltanat Berdikeeva gives us the inside line… W r i t t e n b y S A LTA N AT B E R D I K E E VA


IN A MOVE that threatens to kneecap the fastest growing energy sector in the US, the administration of President Donald Trump imposed a 30% tariff on imports of solar equipment and washing machines on 22 January 2018, with the aim of stimulating domestic manufacturing. President Trump approved the tariffs for four years that will start at 30% the first year and decline 5% every year until 2021. The US solar industry relies 80% on imports of solar panels and their components that turn sunlight into electric power. Imports of cheap solar cells and modules, mainly from China, South Korea, Germany, and Mexico, as well as state and federal financial incentives have created favorable conditions for the growth of the solar industry in the US. Solar jobs in the US are mostly concentrated in installations, not manufacturing. The making of solar panels is a minor portion of the American solar sector, which is unlikely to be competitive with global producers in a foreseeable future. An industry worth $28bn and employing nearly 260,000 workers in


May 2018

2017, the solar energy sector surpassed the fossil fuel-based power generation twofold in terms of jobs. According to the US Department of Energy’s data for 2017, the US solar industry accounted for the largest share of employment, i.e. 43%, in electric power generation, largely due to growing solar installations. By contrast, employment in fossil fuel generation was 22% of total employment in electric power generation in 2017. Solar jobs have risen 20% annually over the past few years. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national solar trade association in the US, the tariffs will hit the solar industry hard. SEIA expects that over 23,000 solar jobs will be lost in 2018 as a result of lost installation and investment plans. Even if solar manufacturing creates the anticipated 6,400 positions with the help of the tariffs, job losses in other parts of the sector, particularly those working in installations of solar panels, will vastly exceed the relatively small gains in manufacturing jobs. Solar installations already started slowing down. Industry observers




believe the decline will be particularly noticeable after 2018, as installers use up stockpiled inventory and demand tapers off as costs go up to potential customers. Changes in the solar sector have not only to do with tariffs, but also with shifting consumer incentive programmes in some of the mature markets in the US. Leading the country in solar installations, states such as Massachusetts, California and Nevada have provided strong financial incentives to residential and commercial customers to go solar. But for the first time in recent years, the industry lost about 10,000 jobs in 2017, primarily because incentives in Massachusetts and California have become less profitable and solar installations began to slow down. Despite these job losses, the growth trend in 29 states and the District of Columbia appears to be strong, particularly in New York, New Jersey, Utah, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona. This indicates that the solar industry is not declining in absolute terms. If history is any guide, President Barack



May 2018

SOLAR ENERGY Obama also slapped tariffs higher (35%) than President Trump’s on imports of Chinese solar products. The tariffs of 2012 and 2014 did not lead to the surge in American production of solar cells and modules, but only stalled the growth of the solar market. Unlike the current tariffs, the Obama administration’s tariffs did not affect imports from other countries. In response to Obama’s tariffs on Chinese solar equipment, China responded with a ban on imports of American polysilicon. Signaling a possible retaliatory action this time, China is considering imposing tariffs on imports of American sorghum, a move that would hurt farmers who voted for President Trump. China, South Korea and Taiwan are now contesting the US tariffs at the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming that the US violated certain WTO rules. In the near term, President Trump’s tariffs are likely to slow down the growth in the US solar sector, but they will not kill it. Indeed, there are reasons for optimism that the American solar industry will not only survive but will thrive again. What is likely to push the

industry forward are renewable energy goals and regulations at local and state levels, which have so far been vital for the expansion of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in the US. Currently, 29 states have mandates requiring that utilities procure a certain percentage of their power generation from renewable energy, including solar energy. At the federal level, the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will also help keep the momentum going for the industry. The ITC allows residential and commercial solar system owners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing solar from federal taxes. The ITC will decrease from 30% to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. As global prices for solar equipment and labour costs are expected to fall further, the ITC may not be necessary after 2021. Furthermore, senators from President Trump’s own conservative Republican Party expressed support for the solar industry and stood against the tariffs, which portend a favourable policy from both sides of the aisle toward solar down the road. More than that, traditionally pro-free trade Republicans do not like protectionism.




May 2018


10,000 JOBS IN 2017,


Some Republican leaders in rising solar markets are concerned that falling electricity prices and solar jobs would be in jeopardy. A recent unanimous rejection by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the White House’s plan to force utilities to buy more coal and nuclear power demonstrates that even President Trump’s appointees at FERC understand the value of cheaper and cleaner energy sources, including solar. FERC’s decision is a clear signal that renewable energy is no longer a politically divisive matter, but it is increasingly an economically

valuable and reliable sector for Republican government officials. In the end, these political forces may help undo the protectionist policies. Lastly, the continuously declining global prices of solar will percolate to the US market, eventually. World prices of not just solar cells and modules, but also those of inverters, trackers, and labour costs are expected to decline more. While the tariffs make the cost of solar equipment costlier in the US for the next few years, the industry will overcome the hurdles as it has in the past.



Making wind power work for Latin America Danish wind energy company Vestas is the largest of its kind in the world, and is set to expand further in emerging markets. Energy Digital caught up with Fransisco Ruiz, Head of Business Development in Latin America, to find out more Writ ten by HARRY MENE AR

“VESTAS HAS MORE experience than anyone else in making wind work,” says Francisco Ruiz, Head of Business Development in Latin America. Over the last 37 years, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer has expanded its operations to become a world leader in sustainable energy solutions. Operating across 30 markets in 77 countries, Vestas products represent over 17% of the global installed turbine base. Ruiz reflects on Vestas’s position as an industry leader, and the ways in which the green energy giant is seeking to expand its foothold in emerging markets, as the renewable energy sector continues to gain traction across the globe. With a total of 11 years in the energy sector, Ruiz came to Vestas in 2009, following a role in corporate finance

23,300 Number of employees at Vestas

at Spanish multinational Abengoa. A Spanish national himself, Ruiz reflects: “I have had different managerial positions including Executive Advisor to the Presidents in Southern Europe, MENA and Latam regions. During this time, I had a strong focus in new markets, so my current role was a natural path.” He claims the role of executive advisor to Vestas’ President of South Europe helped to grant him a “holistic approach… focused on execution” which he is using to approach new challenges


posed by the Latin America region. “I intensively worked on strategy, organisation, culture change, leadership and new markets,” he adds. A world leader since 1986 As a company, Vestas has a strong pedigree of pioneering work in markets only just opening their doors to the possibilities of wind power. Back in 1986, Vestas installed the first ever wind turbine in Greece, on the southern island of Mykonos. Ruiz says his experiences at Vestas,

learning from the company’s long history of creating thriving markets where none existed, have “helped me set up a clear strategy in Latam”. “With 90GW of wind turbines in 77 countries, we have installed more wind power than anyone else,” says Ruiz, who puts the company’s impressive track record down to the its commitment to working in close partnership with customers to offer the most effective solutions towards energy independence. He adds: “Through our industry-leading smart data capabilities and unparalleled 76GW of wind turbines under service, we use data to interpret, forecast, and exploit wind resources and deliver best-in-class wind power solutions.” In addition to industry-leading technology, Vestas maintains supremacy in the renewable energy sector by virtue of a powerful, motivated workforce. “Employees are crucial to staying competitive and providing customers with the best service,” says Ruiz. With over 23,000 staff on Vestas’s books 29

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y (almost four times that of its nextlargest competitor, Chinese company Xinjiang Goldwind) the company is able to attract, employ, reward, develop and retain the best. Ruiz emphasises: “We are also dedicated to continuous improvement of competences. We do that through a variety of internal learning possibilities as well as career development and opportunities.” Vestas is firm in its commitment to foster an inclusive and diverse environment to attract employees of different nationalities, and with the company ranking at 43 on Forbes’ Global 2000 Multinational Performers list, it must be noted that its 23,300 employees are helping to build a more sustainable world. Vestas in Latin America Now, Ruiz is overseeing the firm’s newest expansion, bringing its bright future to the Latin American market and expanding an already impressive global footprint. “We are pioneers and it is part of our DNA,” says Ruiz, but why Latin America? “Today the region represents a recurrent volume that makes an attractive market for the company.” Highlighting the progress his initiative has already made in the 30

May 2018

region, he adds: “Currently we have installed more than 4GW in Latin America, leading the market share of most of the countries where we operate.” This strong development trend is set to continue. “2017 was an excellent year. Within the Latam region, we have secured orders for more than 1.2GW.” This success, Ruiz explains, “is the result of many years of hard working, and deep understanding of our customers’ needs and the markets where we compete. This has been also supported by an extraordinary, passionate team.” Of course, the Latin American region is a far cry from Vestas’s home market of Denmark. “It differs in many ways,” Ruiz admits. “The regulation in both countries and the decision criteria of our customers are some of the main differences.” While emerging markets are becoming increasingly receptive to the possibilities of sustainable energy solutions, the Latin American market still has a lot of room to grow in comparison to Northern Europe. “Denmark is a global reference using wind energy efficiently. More than 40% of the energy consumption comes from wind.” These differences lead to challenges for a foreign

“We use data to interpret, forecast, and exploit wind resources and deliver best-in-class wind power solutions” – Francisco Ruiz, Head of Business Development for LatAm, Vestas



Vestas operates across 77 countries

company entering the market. Ruiz explains: “Auctions are the predominant way of competing in the different Latin America markets. These allocation systems normally increase the pressure on prices and are not necessarily technologicallydriven. Maintaining profitable growth levels is probably one of the main challenges for the entire renewable energy systems industry.” Ruiz remains confident in Vestas’s ability to rise to the challenge. “At Vestas, innovation, time to market and forward selling are key elements to continue leading the industry in such challenging conditions. Markets evolve really fast – anticipating these changes, and positioning Vestas in a good place to compete in the near future, is part of my daily challenge.” Working for a company with an industry-leading brand, and the resources to support its aims, means Ruiz is committed to “being part of the changes, bringing them about, and leading them instead of waiting for someone else do the job for us.” Plans and strategies that “help deal with the ambiguity of such a role as mine,” Ruiz reflects, include “interacting with governments, developers and

customers and actively promoting the use of renewable energy”. Focusing on provisioning the socio-economic and political change it wants to see in these emerging regions is proving successful for Vestas. Its Latam installed base grew by over 25% last year, and Ruiz expects the trajectory to continue. “Anticipating the markets and customers’ needs is essential for success. We have a strong knowledge of the wind in Latin America and, together with the increase of the efficiency of our products and being more competitive and modular, it helped us maintain our leadership position in the region.” In addition to Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, which Ruiz says are the countries with the biggest potential regarding volume of sales and size of installed base, Vestas is also eager to move into the Columbian renewables market, which he enthuses “will also be an interesting country in the coming years”. The way the wind is blowing The next five years look to be exciting for the Danish wind giant. “The company is evolving very fast to adapt to the changing market conditions,” 33

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y Ruiz comments enthusiastically, outlining plans for the near future. “We will continue working to reduce the cost of energy for our customers. New turbines, hybrid solutions, storage, local productions and multi-brand services will be part of our offering.” Being a worldwide industry leader means Vestas is – as shown by its operations in Latin America – poised to effect change, keeping itself at the forefront of where the company wants the world’s turbine markets to grow. “The renewable industry will continue developing new markets and gaining ground,” says Ruiz. “We will see the integration of different technologies as unique solutions (wind and solar), and storage will play a key role in electricity generation over the coming years.” The prevailing winds of the energy sector are undoubtedly blowing towards a greener, more sustainable future. With Ruiz overseeing new, growing operations in Latam, and over 1.2GW worth of orders already placed with the company this year, Vestas is in an ideal position to shape the landscape of wind power for years to come.


May 2018

“Markets evolve really fast – anticipating these changes, and positioning Vestas in a good place to compete in the near future, is part of my daily challenge”

– Francisco Ruiz, Head of Business Development for LatAm, Vestas



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greener future TOWARDS A

We speak to some leading lights in the energy space about the need to address the future of global charging infrastructures for electric vehicles Written by MARK SPENCE

TRA N SP O RTAT IO N RECENT FIGURES FROM the World Health Organization show that outdoor air pollution is responsible for over 3mn deaths a year. As populations continue to rise and the number of cars on the road is expected to hit the 2bn mark by 2050, this death toll is expected to double. Clearly, a definitive shift towards a greener, more sustainable world is required and one area that has come into sharper focus recently is the pivotal role that could be played by the increased adoption of electric vehicles. To better understand how close we are to the mass roll out of electric vehicles and how cities need to cope with the development of a reliable, flexible charging infrastructure, we spoke to a number of expert voices about the need for serious, tangible change. Into tomorrow “If we want to move towards the greater implementation of renewable energy then there is only way: more use of electricity,” says Dutch expert, Jacob Klimstra, Senior Energy Consultant and Member of the Advisory Board for Electrify Europe. 40

May 2018

“I worry that we concern ourselves with high speed rapid charging, especially in urban areas, that will ultimately become obsolete and not before astronomic investment” Sam Clarke, Founder of Gnewt Cargo

“To really reach the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions then you can’t ignore the impact of road traffic. For example, in the Netherlands our roads are packed with cars and 99.9% of them are all based on fossil fuels. This has to change. Many cities throughout Europe are suffering because there are too many particulates in the air and the only solution is electric vehicles.” Given that modern electric

vehicles are quieter and require little maintenance, why hasn’t deployment and mass roll out been more rapid? Klimstra has some very distinct views on this issue: “They might sound really simple, but the main problems have been charging and driving range,” he continues. “If you look at how many cars have to be electric in the future and then look at the current charging infrastructure, there really does need to be a revolution. The whole

grid system has to change. We have to put a lot more of these charging points in and connect them to the grid. This process has to be enforced or you can forget about it. The main problem, however, has always been the storage of the energy.” Echoing these points is Christian Hellmund, partner in energy and renewables at law firm DWF. He too feels that a drastic overhaul is required and cites the UK as an example. 41

TRA N SP O RTAT IO N “Research from Nissan indicates that electric vehicles will be at cost parity with their petrol and diesel equivalents by 2025. But, for a mass roll out of electric vehicles to become a reality, the UK needs to overcome the obstacle that is the current lack of reliable, smart charging infrastructure. The National Grid predicts that electric vehicles will require a capacity increase of approximately six gigawatts, a figure that will triple without the implementation of smart charging technologies.” So, how do they plan to tackle this situation in the UK? “The National Grid is currently looking at plans to install superfast charging points (350kW) along Britain’s motorways to feed off its high-voltage transmission network,” Hellmund reveals. “Installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure will also provide an impulse to accelerate the transition from a distribution network operator to become a distribution system operator managing the network more actively. This transition will help create a more intelligent network infrastructure, better able to cope with charging demand and the influx of electric vehicles.” 42

May 2018

‘By all accounts there are solutions out there to tackle the current lack of charging infrastructure to support the increased demand for electric vehicles but many experts, including Klimstra, feel that we need to make rapid progress immediately’ Better solutions With the mass roll out of electric vehicles an increasing reality, Tesla is already selling 300+ mile range capable vehicles for example, what major concerns are there and just what will our future smart cities look like as they attempt to counter these previously-identified problems? “I worry that we concern ourselves with high speed rapid charging, especially in urban areas, that will ultimately become obsolete and not before astronomic investment,” says Sam Clarke, Founder of Gnewt Cargo, a fully electric logistics company.

“People will want to charge slowly and cheaply through the night from driveways and lamp posts, or equivalent. I think we will all want service station style options for convenience at higher KwH rates but, overall, we will wish to recharge back at base and have an almost endless array of convenient charge points wherever we wish to park.” Much like Klimstra and Hellmund, Clarke also worries about the impact on national grids but is hopeful of a concrete solution. “The impact will certainly be significant. But there is 43

“I think many governments are underestimating how much work has to be done to enforce the grid. We need a lot of investment put into grid enforcement and we have to start right now� Jacob Klimstra, Senior Energy Consultant and Member of the Advisory Board for Electrify Europe

a huge amount we can do on load balancing and smart technology to ensure that while we sleep the energy distribution is replenishing the electric vehicles we will be driving in a more holistic way. I also think that battery/ energy storage will be a key factor to storing and harvesting energy at low demand periods to be used at high demand intervals,� he confirms. Indeed, strides have already been made recently with pioneering 44

May 2018


technology leader ABB launching the world’s fastest e-vehicle charger at Hannover Messe. The Terra HP fast charger operates at powers of up to 350 KW and adds up to 200 km of range to an electric vehicle in just eight minutes. Tellingly, the new charger is ideally suited for use at highway rest stops and petrol stations. The power industry Greater implementation of these solutions will also require the relevant global power industries to be more flexible too. “There are many major cities in Germany, for example, where they are installing engine-driven systems,” says Klimstra. “These systems are running at a time when there is not a lot of electricity available

from renewables such as wind and solar. They can also partly run on biogas and biomethane. When there is a lot of renewable energy on the grid you can simply stop the engines. It’s an ideal situation,” he continues. By all accounts there are solutions out there to tackle the current lack of charging infrastructure to support the increased demand for electric vehicles but many experts, including Klimstra, feel that we need to make rapid progress immediately. “I think many governments are underestimating how much work has to be done to enforce the grid,” concludes Klimstra. “We need a lot of investment put into grid enforcement and we have to start right now.”


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“We recently worked with BizClik Media on an article which characterizes and explains the total value that Kudu Supply Chain has on company growth plans. From start to the finish, it was a pleasure working with the BizClik team. The feedback we have received from different audience groups on the article was phenomenal. It has attracted a lot of interest and attention to our company, our growth plans and has definitely created additional value to what we are trying to achieve.”

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TOP 10


MANUFACTURERS PV Tech has ranked the top 10 module suppliers for solar panels, based on shipments in 2017. Energy Digital takes a look at what these solar giants have to offer W r it t e n b y O L IVI A MIN N O C K

TOP 10



Ranking 10th on PV Tech’s list, Yingli Green is a solar energy company headquartered in Baoding, China. Since its foundation in 1998, it now employs upward of 19,000 people and has shipped over 85mn solar panels, representing over 20 GW, to over 90 countries. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007 and says it focusses on long-term reliability and performance in its solar products.


May 2018

Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd claims to have generated over 667,051 MWh of power in total and is a world leader in solar photovoltaic manufacturing. The company produces solar wafers, solar cells and solar modules. Its most recent acquisition, SunTech, which it took over in 2014, has boosted the company’s solar module offering significantly. SunTech was founded in 2001 and works across 80 countries with the aim to “light each corner of the world by use of the cleanest and richest solar energy”.


LONGi Solar


Risen Energy was first founded in 1986 and is headquartered in China. In 2010, it launched on the Shenzen Stock Exchange. The company employs around 5,600 people and works on the development, production, sale and service of solar modules and photovoltaic technology. It also produces LED lights covering the commercial lighting, bright lighting and project lighting sectors. Some of the clients Risen supplies lighting for include hotels, supermarkets and hospitals.

LONGi solar is a leading manufacturer of mono-crystalline solar modules. The company was established in 2000 and now boasts assets of about $2.78bn, with its most recent revenue having been reported at $1.67bn. Headquartered in China, LONGi conducts research and development as well as producing, selling and marketing its own products. In 2012 it made its debut with an IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The company describes its goal as delivering “higher efficiency to the global photovoltaic industry�.



TOP 10



GCL Systems Integration Technology Ltd is part of the Golden Concord Group which was founded in 1990 and has over 30,000 employees. GCL supplies 29.1% of the total worldwide photovoltaic capacity yield and represents a 22.2% share of the photovoltaic silicon market. GCL’s total global assets amount to around $16bn. GCL’s solar offering, GCL Solar Energy utilises economies of scale to bring down the cost of solar, through Chinese manufacturing facilities and lower-cost raw materials as well as investing heavily in research and development.


May 2018

Hanwha Q Cells was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in both Seoul, South Korea and Thaleim, Germany. The company produces solar cells and modules which it says are high quality and highly efficient. Its manufacturing facilities can be found in South Korea, Malaysia and China. The business describes itself as a “future-proof, passionate and trusted partner to our investors, installers and end consumers”. Hanwha has markets across the globe including North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. It has achieved many notable accolades, including the Intersolar Award 2017 and the Solar Industry Award 2017.




Founded in May 2005 and publicly listed on the NASDAQ in February 2017, JA Solar has been the world’s top cell producer since 2010 according to the company website. It has eight production facilities around the world where it works on silicon wafer, cell and module production, and the development, construction, operation and maintenance of photovoltaic power plants. Its main markets are China, Japan and Europe. It produces cells to be sold on to solar manufacturers to assemble and integrate them into modules.

Canadian Solar has subsidiaries in over 20 countries and recently acquired Recurrent Energy, bringing it up to 12,000 staff members. It has manufacturing facilities in China, Canada and Vietnam. The company has shipped more than 26 GW of panels in the past 17 years. Along with its subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, the company says it is “ushering the way into a new era of clean, competitive mainstream power”. Under the leadership of its founder, Dr Shawn Xiaohua Qu, the company currently has over 250 scientists working at its three PV research centres.



TOP 10


Trina Solar is a leading producer of photovoltaic products, applications and services which aims to “boost global renewable energy development around the world for the benefit of all humanity”. Since its foundation in 1997, having gone public in 2006, the company has filed 1,300 patents and delivered 32GW of solar modules within 20 years, which is about 10% of global market share. The company now employs about 15,000 people and in 2016 was named 19th on the “Global Top 500 New Energy Enterprises” list. Trina Solar has also previously been named by Deloitte as the fastestgrowing company in China’s tech sector, and by Bloomberg as a Tier 1 Manufacturer.

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Jinko Solar delivers solar products and solutions to a global market. Sectors it serves span from utility to residential, and it supplies PV products across Asia, Europe, South Africa, North and South America and the Middle East. Jinko enjoys the largest market share across China, Italy, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. The company has over 1,200 employees working at eight production facilities around the world, as well as its 16 overseas subsidiaries. Jinko was founded in 2006 but issued an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. So far, it has deployed over 12GW of PV products. The company not only manufactures solar panels, but is also known for its important research and development work.




E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Events The biggest and best events and conferences from around the world‌ Writ te n by A N D R E W WOO DS

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week (ASE) BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand 6-9 June

This massive show expects 27,000 visitors, over 1,500 brands and over 80 seminars tackling renewable energy sources and the latest technology in this area. Wind and solar power are among the many systems and programmes featured and discussed along with thermal and waste-to-energy, hydro-powered programs, biomass and other green technology. Renewable energy and energy efficiency clinics staffed by experts are also conducted at the show. www.renewableenergy-asia.com/AbouttheShow


May 2018

Intersolar Europe 2018 Messe München, Munich, Germany 20-22 June

Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners and takes place annually at the Messe München exhibition center in Munich, Germany. The event’s exhi­ bition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, solar thermal technologies, solar plants, as well as grid infrastructure and solutions for the integration of renewable energy. Since being founded 26 years ago, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry. www.intersolar.de/en/home.html

Ees North America 2018

Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, United States 10-12 July Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ees will welcome hundreds of 530 exhibitors and 15,000-plus trade visitors. The conference features 40 sessions and 25 workshops with more than 200 speakers. With over 20 years of experience, Intersolar brings together members of the solar industry from across the world’s most influential markets. Intersolar exhibitions and conferences are also held in Munich, San Francisco, Mumbai, Beijing and São Paulo. www.ees-northamerica.com 


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa 17-19 July

With 3,000 attendees, 100-plus speakers and 70-plus exhibitors, POWER-GEN is Africa’s premier electricity industry forum that brings together international business leaders and technical experts committed to powering up a continent. www.powergenafrica.com

Intersolar South America 2018 Expo Center Norte, José Bernardo Pinto St, 333, São Paulo, Brazil 28-30 August

With 11,500-plus visitors, 1,500-plus conference attendees and 180 exhibitors, Intersolar has become the most important platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers, investors and partners of the solar industry. Intersolar South America takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage and solar thermal technologies. www.intersolar.net.br 


May 2018

Offshore Wind Executive Summit Norris Conference Centers, Houston, TX, USA 13-14 September

Bringing together decision makers from wind and offshore oil and gas, both from the US and Europe, the Offshore Wind Executive Summit provides the forum to establish new business relationships. Discussion points include project development, important policy issues and supply chain. www.offshorewindsummit.com


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Asia Power Week

ICE, BSD City, Jakarta, Indonesia 18-20 September 2016 saw Asia Power Week take place outside of the ASEAN region, and also for the first time in South Korea, at KINTEX, Gyeonggi-do. For the second year in succession event attendance records were broken, with over 8,300 delegates and visitors attending the three co-located events. The event attendance record was then further broken in 2017 in Thailand, for the ninth staging in Bangkok. This year, for the first time Asia Power Week will take place in Indonesia at ICE, in BSD City, Jakarta. www.asiapowerweek.com

World Congress on Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refinery Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE 27-28 September

Conference Series LLC welcomes you to attend the “World Congress on Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refinery” in September at Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event invites all the interested participants to sharing their knowledge, research and gaining the information in the arena of oil, gas, petroleum and its allied areas. Petroleum Refinery 2018 gives a platform for analyst scholars, researchers and academic people to share and globalise their research work while the participants from industry/business sectors can promote their products thus felicitating dissemination of knowledge. https://goo.gl/4JV95u


May 2018

Intersolar India

Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai 11-15 December With events spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. ‘Our objective is to increase the share of solar power in the energy supply. By providing first-rate services, our exhibitions and international conferences bring businesses, technologies and people from the most important markets around the globe together. We have 25 years of experiences in opening up markets, providing specialist knowledge and creating links’ www.intersolar.in/en/home.html






Through the advent of a centralised supply chain strategy, QMax continues to deliver success for drilling fluids customers in the global oil and gas industry Written by Dale Benton Produced by Denitra Price



s a company that promises to deliver with no excuses, the role of supply chain is crucial for QMax in staying true to its word. But that is what it proudly promises, and in 2015 the company brought in the talented Veronica Brown to oversee the development and continued growth of a market leading supply chain function. With over two decades of global supply chain experience in the oil and gas industry in roles with both Halliburton and BP, Brown brings significant experience of working with international customers in her current role as Vice President of Supply Chain at QMax. “I have been on both sides of the table when it comes to oil and gas,” says Brown. “I have worked as the operator and as the buyer. So, I understand how things work with regards to buying the products. We need to provide the services, but also how these services are then used by the operator, understanding their pain points, and what they are truly looking for in their product.” The supply chain function


May 2018

is undergoing a significant transformation in industries all over the world. No longer seen as a separate business function, supply chain is now recognised as a key driver of growth and, in some cases, guiding the strategic direction of a company. This is no different for QMax. Throughout her career, Brown has seen this evolution happen first hand. “This is something where I think QMax is a perfect example. I sit in planning meetings surrounding the future of the company, where we want it to go, what we want it to be, and supply chain is right there in those discussions,” she says. “It is very clear from the CEO to the VPs of Operations and Technology that they need to work closely with supply chain. It has been refreshing, to say the least. Supply chain is part of the discussion from the beginning, and it really enables true collaboration which, in turn, drives the company forward.” As a global supplier of solutions for


Veronica Brown Vice President, Supply Chain

Veronica Brown holds a BS in Business and a MBA from Bellevue University. She began her oil and gas career in 1994 with Halliburton in Mexico City. Following a twoyear stint in Finance, she moved to a Supply Chain role, and then she was offered a position in the Latin America Region ERP implementation team based in Houston. She then progressed to several management Supply Chain roles within Halliburton before accepting job with BP in 2008. Within BP, she led teams in the Gulf of Mexico Region and as the Global Fluids Category Manager. Early in 2015, Brown joined QMax as Head of Function for Supply Chain.

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May 2018

Mud plant midland


drilling needs, waste management, the Middle East, etc. need to order transportation, technical testing products from the US, they contact and analysis services, QMax has our central supply chain team and we always had a logistics arm, but buy the product and ship it to them.” through Brown it has its very first QMax has also implemented a Vice President of Supply Chain. Supply Chain Manager role within Following the acquisition of QMax each country it operates. These by Palladium Equity Partners, LLC managers communicate their local in 2014, the new CEO recognised an needs directly with Brown who, issue across the company, one working with the global team, that saw a siloed way of leverage their global working between supply volumes across the chain and logistics. organisation. This is where Brown One example is a came into play. discount that was Year founded “There was a negotiated with a US logistics department, supplier. Now that a very siloed one, QMax buys directly and there was a with this supplier in representative in every one the US and ships to other of our locations. The problem countries, the whole organization was they never communicated reaps the benefits of the discount. with one another,” says Brown. This is an example of how “So, the decision was made Brown, through her role, has to create a global supply chain an almost real-time view and organisation and this is when my role understanding and of what is was created. One of the changes we happening across the organisation, implemented was to centralise our working with the CEO, operations, supply chain operation. So, when and technology to leverage cost our operations in Mexico, Colombia, savings and enable efficiencies.


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Barite silos midland

In three short years QMax and Brown have come a long way, but no supply chain journey ever truly ends. As noted above, supply chain is a continuously evolving space and so Brown understands that the company must not rest on its laurels and continue adapt to this changing landscape. “Right now, as an organisation we are implementing an ERP system that will provide us with greater visibility not only of what we are buying, but also the contract negotiations surrounding that purchase,”


May 2018

she says. “We are negotiating a number of different agreements in different countries, and currently there is no visibility to see what exactly these countries are buying, unless I ask for that information. “Having an ERP system in place will provide us with that visibility, but it will also enable us to have a better understanding of our performance and generate better, more valuable KPIs as an organisation.” An ERP system is but one of the many ways that technology is redefining the supply chain


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process, and while QMax currently runs most of this data capture through manual processes, technology will open the door to a more efficient and agile function. “Technology, starting with the ERP system, will enable us to improve our planning and demand planning for a product,” says Brown. “Once that is in place, we can add to that, such as transportation management systems. It will make the supply chain work better. I can have less inventory and be more efficient with planning and giving

forecasts to my suppliers.” With any transformation, particularly one that has been, and will continue to be, defined by technology and changing of process, challenge is inescapable. Brown recognises as much. In building the very foundations of a supply chain network to be more efficient and centralised, Brown knew that the first component required to enable change was the people. “Changing the mindset of people, be it operations or sales, and making them understand that supply chain

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May 2018


is not a roadblock, but rather enablers for their jobs. That was a challenge at first,” says Brown. “As we work closer together, they can see the benefit much better than before. They understand that just because we are not out in the field with the technologies or products in action, it does not mean we cannot come up with innovative ideas and solutions to help them address their pain points.” As a means of reinforcing this message, Brown promotes a culture of collaboration. She insists that everyone on her team meet regularly with their internal customers in operations across the different regions to understand their needs and listen to them. In creating an open dialogue across the entire organisation, Brown and her team are better prepared to help those who need it. This open dialogue extends further, as Brown has redefined the negotiations process through the creation of mixed negotiation teams. “It is not just supply chain going to

Anchor USA a QMax Company negotiate with the supplier. We engage technology, operations, sales, and finance,” she says. “Together we developed a negotiation strategy centred around how we can go out and work with the suppliers, understand exactly what is required, and how we can tailor and shape our negotiations to generate the best possible deal for both parties. For me, that has been a huge milestone for the company.” As QMax continues to grow and expand its supply chain network, Brown points to the implementation of the ERP system as the next big doorway to opportunity, as it will pull together the various elements of the

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supply chain into one centralised system, enabling visibility that will prove key in achieving future success. “My goal for QMax is to grow the organisation in a way that we can manage all the categories of spend, including the indirect spend categories such as IT,

and manage our total spend much better,” she says. “Because they are important. Of course, we want to continue to ensure that we are getting the best product or the best service, but for me it is the centralisation that will drive us into the future.”

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BRIGHT Hypower has remained a leader within the construction sector thanks to its open-minded and bold approach to technology adoption Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Tom Venturo



ne of southeast USA’s largest specialty contractors, Hypower has completed over a thousand projects valued at over $1bn. The family business’s humble origins and passion to provide quality services has seen it amass a diverse portfolio, grow to over 600 employees and overcome a number of challenges which many others have failed. Hypower houses several divisions, ranging from commercial electrical, new construction, renovation, and service and repair; to outside plant power and communications, telecom engineering, airfield lighting, ground mount solar and prime electrical infrastructure projects nationwide. Established primarily to undertake infrastructure projects in the early 1990s, the company’s specialty niche in runway lighting and airfield lighting systems, and work at the new Denver International Airport Runways put it firmly on the map. Its subsequent growth enabled the company to not only spread out geographically but add a significant number of strings to its bow. “We added traffic signals, high


May 2018

mast lighting, street lighting. We got into the traffic signal business, which filtered into the intelligent transportation system business. This taught us about fiber optic cables and telecommunications,” explains President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus. “In 1996, Congress deregulated the telecommunication industry to open up markets to competition by removing regulatory barriers to entry into the telecommunication marketplace, which led to a tremendous amount of investment from the private sector. This created a huge boom in the installation of fiber, which we jumped into. We moved more into telecom, but never got away from our roots in airports.” Despite the burst of the dot.com bubble, Hypower’s niche markets enabled it to remain afloat without concern, until 9/11. “9/11 was our first real big challenge because nobody saw


Bernard Paul-Hus President & CEO

Bernard Paul-Hus, a 45-year resident of Broward County, began his career in 1986 as an electrical estimator. Bernard Paul-Hus directs the entire Hypower operation including corporate management and administration. He is committed to achieving excellence in every Hypower project through employee training, utilising cutting-edge industry technology and his unwavering dedication to quality. He ensures that every project team is unique and individually selected based on the qualifications and abilities of each team member to enhance the project delivery. His mentorship and guidance define Hypowerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s core values. Paul-Hus is actively involved in various committees and industry associations including TEC/VISTAGE Member since 1997; ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Board of Directors, a member of CASF (Construction Association of South Florida). Bernard is personally involved as a leader and a mentor with quite a few local charities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth), Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, 4Kids of South Florida and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hypower donates over $100,000 to local charities every year.

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that coming,” Paul-Hus explains “We’ve always been very reactive solemnly. “It wasn’t predictable in to the market, trying to stay ahead any kind of economic model, and all of what the market’s going to do. of our airfield lighting projects shut Right now, all of our divisions are down. However, we were fortunate firing on all cylinders, but sooner or to survive it, and within a year we later things will slow down. We now were back up and running normally. have enough foresight, vision and “The lesson we learned from data to anticipate these challenges, that, was that diversity was going and to weave our way through what to be our path going forward, the world throws at us.” so we needed to really diversify ourselves Forward planning into these counterBy paying significant cyclical niches,” he attention to its continues. “The tumultuous Hypower Inc most common history, Hypower was established in thing that gets has applied these done by companies lessons towards its like ours is buildings. future goals. Utilising But even buildings, as predictive analytics, we saw in 2008-2012 can a business intelligence pretty much evaporate. When this platform, and delivering ongoing happens, government-funded and training, employees are now able subsidised work stays relatively to elevate their abilities within steady, and if you’re good, you’re their own specialty niches. going to continue to win it. “Our focus needed to be on “We ended up with seven divisions, achieving the highest level of financial but when the recession hit, we acumen at a project management decided to narrow these down into level, and we’ve been working on the five groups that we have today. that since 2009,” adds Paul-Hus.


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HYPOWER INC “Having project managers that are effectively as good as any accountant at not only the historical, but the predictive part of a project, the forecasting side, has proven to be a huge home run for us. It’s also created the ability to go from micromanaging everybody’s decisions, to putting them in this world of ‘If-Then decision making thinking’. “We believe in autonomous management making decisions. We’ve created systems and processes that allow staff to make their own decisions based on the data they’re being presented with and with the options that are open to them.” Creating a system where employees are therefore encouraged to look at data on a regular basis and look at their own performance, as well as their team performance, has taken the company to new heights. “There’s a couple of different softwares which we’ve customised. We’ve now started integrating all those platforms into our proprietary platform, called HYPE,” explains Jeff Emerson, Vice President of Electrical Construction. “This pulls in real-time data, giving


May 2018

project managers and people in the field the systems and information needed to make decisions. It pulls in how much are we spending on material, or how many hours we have spent. What is our production goal? Are we installing as much every day as we need to? What are the open RFIs? It takes all these different systems and integrates them into one. “We’re in the middle of more app development now, that’s going to give every single person in the field, no matter what level they are, a daily goal on exactly what they’re supposed to achieve,” continues Emerson. “Up until recently, we did this verbally and with spreadsheets. Now, it is automated on an iPad or Smartphone that everybody will be able to see first thing in the morning and report on throughout the day.” Digital disruption The use of data within construction and design is continuing to reshape traditional


Jeff Emerson Vice President of Electrical Construction

Jeff Emerson is a talented and seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in electrical contracting management and operations. He brings a wealth of expertise with strengths in areas such as financial and project execution, profit and loss analysis, workforce talent investments and long-term corporate strategy oversight. In his eight years with the Hypower family, Emerson has shown a strong understanding of how to obtain measurable gains, identify key performance improvements and provide tangible evidence of success throughout his leadership roles. With a reputation for judicious use of resources and resulting cost containment, Emersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work has been instrumental in providing Hypower with leading edge best practices and management reporting capabilities critical to the success of production systems and company performance. In addition, Emerson has effectively raised transparency and visibility within the organisation by bringing technology decisions and issues to the forefront of crucial Executive Committee discussions. His commitment to excellence lead the company to become one of the local pioneers to implement and utilise the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and its newly designed studio houses over 20 VDC specialists. w w w. e n e rg y d i g i t a l . c o m


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practices which have remained relatively unchanged – until recently. For Hypower, it is clear that the company remains keen to take full advantage of embedding new technologies across its operations. By strengthening its virtual design and construction capabilities (VDC), as well as harnessing building information modelling (BIM) technologies, the company has optimised its processes, reduced the number of mistakes and delivered higher quality projects at competitive prices, leading the business to remain ahead of the curve. “A lot of technology that’s used in modelling software, such as Revit, Navisworks, and AutoCAD are all pretty much industry standard. It’s the level of detail that sets us apart. We look for jobs where our customers or clients are going to appreciate the value that this brings,” explains Emerson. “When we’re 3D modelling and working with the rest of the team, you can view areas of concern, such as whether a conduit clashes with a HVAC duct, for example. We fix all these things before the material

‘Hypower harnesses Virtual Design and Construction and Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to deliver higher quality projects at competitive prices’


is ordered, or a stick of conduit is installed. This provides a lot of predictability, allows the schedule to be maintained, and the owner can look at the model and see what his building is going to look like inside and outside before we even start. Paul-Hus adds: “It’s the ability to virtualise a project by building it in three dimensions, while working with our fellow specialty trade contractors. We can all see the problems we’re going to have ahead of time, so we can fix it in this virtual world, so that when we get out there in the job site, it goes much better.” With up to 20 dedicated VDC/ BIM specialists, all large projects at Hypower utilise these essential processes. Coordinating with various trades is therefore encouraged across all avenues and moves the company towards the purchasing and prefabrication process. “Instead of ordering what might be typically six parts and have them come out in six boxes in the field, we’ll assemble all six of those pieces off-site and ship it out with a clear label that matches our VDC


May 2018

design, where the parts are then to be put it in place. We also use the Trimble Total station, which is our layout equipment,” adds Emerson. The use of new, digital tools has also overhauled traditional layout processes. “The team used to get in the field and use a tape measure, a chalk line, flags and drawings to figure out where everything’s supposed to go based on information provided from the contractor,” explains Emerson. “Now, when we receive information, all our points are laid out in a tablet. One team member can go out with Trimble Total Station, set out the laser, and mark where it all goes. Through this, we’ve reduced layout time by 70%. “We’re now also at near zero mistakes,” he continues. “In the last seven jobs, we have never missed a layout point, to the point that we’re actually helping others who are doing it the old school way. It’s therefore


Barry Olson Vice President of Purchasing

Barry Olson started his career in the electrical industry in 1989, working for an electrical distributor and then transitioning into the contracting side of the business. Over the years, Mr. Olson has led the purchasing efforts of several large electrical contractors across the nation before settling in with the Hypower team in 2015. Devoted to the development of a procurement system based on partnerships with vendors, Mr. Olson has made significant changes to Hypower’s basic buying philosophy that has supported both Hypower’s long term growth strategy and contributed to bottom line profitability. Olson is also actively involved in the development of Hypower’s company culture; believing that the right working environment is conducive to maximum employee contribution leading to the company’s overall success. Mr. Olson holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees in organisational leadership as well as a master’s degree in management. Olson is also planning to start work on a PhD. in the fall of 2018 that he believes will equip him to further refine and develop Hypower’s workforce for continued growth and long term organisational stability.

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bringing value not just to us, but to them as well,” observes Emerson. “This will become the new norm in how buildings are constructed,” observes Vice President of Purchasing, Barry Olson. “People in their 20s and 30s are coming into the industry with their own ideas and paradigms of how much easier computer modelling makes things, for example. “We’re in a time where we’ve got a lot of senior managers that are also saying, ‘we’ve never done it this

way, we’ve always done it the other way’, and you now have enough new information and people in the industry asking the question, ‘well why can’t we do it this way?’ “Whilst there’s a blending of the two, at some point this whole platform of how buildings are put together is going to be the generally accepted practice,” he adds pensively. “I think we’re ahead of the curve in what we’re planning, because we are looking down the road as to where this will lead.” Nonetheless, Paul-Hus explains that the technology has presented a number of new challenges, particularly within Hypower’s

“Sooner or later things will slow down, but we now have enough foresight, vision and data to anticipate these challenges, and to weave our way through what the world throws at us” – President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus 90

May 2018


relationships with clients. “We can become extraordinarily frustrated at how difficult it is to sell the value of this technology to the end user, which is the owner or the general contractor,” he says. “If they are not experienced with the technology, we have not developed a good way to explain all of the things that would have gone wrong had we not gone through our processes. We have not been able to quantify in any meaningful way, all of the mistakes that we fixed before we got onto the site. “Us and the other trade contractors, through the virtue of our coordination, which is generally driven by the specialty trade contractors, have fixed so many problems, that when we go out to build the job, these problems will never happen, so the end user can never appreciate the fact that they didn’t happen. “We can measure year over year improvement, but if I tell a client that we’ve been able to drive 24% of our labor cost out of our jobs year on year on the same number of manhours, their first question is, ‘why isn’t your price lower?’” The cost



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trade off of planning for the labor gains yields predictability when done properly which ultimately saves time and the cost savings flow throughout the entire project. Increased agility Despite this, Hypower’s embrace of new digital tools continues to influence its positive culture of adaptability and change. “Five years from now, we expect that the hard hat that workers wear will have a chip in it with a visor that projects on the wall. I will walk into a room, flip down my visor and see all the work that I’m supposed to install that day,” explains Paul-Hus. “Rather than measure anything or do any layout work, it’ll actually be on the visor screen. I will simply need to walk up to where the device that I


need to install is, match it up with the shadow box that’s on my visor, and screw it to the wall, and I’m done.” “If you don’t have a culture that accepts the use of technology, you are going to be a company that struggles,” he adds. “The only way you do that is by implementing change, measuring performance improvement, rewarding people for following processes, and making sure that they understand this.” By placing significant emphasis on continuous improvement, Hypower is a strong believer in training and developing its workers, improving ways of working through the use of data, giving context to such data and then proactively reacting to the data received. “We don’t get focused on individual results, we get focused on

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Hypower-Employee Appreciation Night

the overall result,” says Paul-Hus. “We don’t want to put too much emphasis on profitability as the rest of our core values could get ignored; people might make decisions to boost profitability that hurts our professionalism, which then prevents us from continuously improving and ends up hurting our relationships.” Inspiring others Not one to rest on its laurels, Hypower expects the best of its staff, and makes a significant effort to give back, not just to its employees but to the local community. Its efforts to drive positive engagement and quality results have seen the company become recognised as

Business of the Year by the South Florida Business Journal in 2017. To reward employees, Hypower seeks to gather all required data and runs a number of events, inviting employees to attend. Presentations are undertaken and the company aims to recognise all staff which are leading the it to success. Additionally, Hypower’s growth has seen it give back to local communities, both through its charity events, raising over $1mn thus far, as well as recruitment of locals. Paul-Hus explains: “A young manager we recently recruited was through a charitable organisation, Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth (HANDY).

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“If you don’t have a culture that accepts the use of technology, you are going to be a company that struggles” – President and CEO of Hypower Inc, Bernard Paul-Hus

NBC Telemundo Headquarters

This individual was displaced from Haiti because of the earthquake in 2010. He was brought to the United States, where he finished high school, went to Florida Atlantic University and gained a degree in accounting. We brought him in as an intern and now he’s a full-fledged employee.” “Peter Stoykov, our Marketing Director, and I recently gave a presentation to kids on a career path


May 2018

in the construction industry. We go into the community and we say, ‘look, we understand that everybody wants to go to college, but we also understand that not everybody gets to go to college. It could be because you don’t have the grades, it could be because you don’t have the financial means, it could be for a variety of reasons. It could be because you have a child too young and you just don’t have the time to have a job, but none of that means that there aren’t career paths to success.’ “We use our company as an

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example that you can start off in the field as an apprentice electrician and apply into our program or go to school while you’re receiving training. After four years in a certified program and a Journeyman prep course, as part of our Workforce Development Plan, you will receive a professional electrician’s license.

“At the end of four years, you’re making $50,000 per year. Your career path can follow suit. You continue to take our training, supervisory training, go to seminars, whatever it takes to continue your education. Keep climbing the career path to an executive level,” continues Paul-Hus. “I’m the President and CEO and I don’t have a college degree. I’m a really good example to stand and say, having a child at 19 years old, like I did, and not having a college degree doesn’t limit your ability to think big, chase your dreams, build

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“We’re in a time where we’ve got a lot of senior managers that are saying,

‘We’ve never done it this way, we’ve always done it the other way,’ but you now have enough new information and people in the industry asking the question, “Well why can’t we do it this way?” – Barry Olson, Vice President of Purchasing


May 2018

a business and be a leader. Do all those things that some people might have you believe you can’t do. Don’t listen to them and don’t get discouraged. There are multiple paths to achieving your goals.” The path to success Hypower’s long-term vision to ensure its vendors, customers, employees and shareholders remain happy will see the company continue to grow and deliver exceptional value and quality services, where digital tools will continue to support decision making and guarantee exceptional results. “Growth is the cornerstone of our success,” reflects Paul-Hus.


“Growth means that we can continue to invest in these processes. It means that we can continue to show folks that are just coming into this industry to come to work for us, that there will be an opportunity. “There is a career path that will not be stymied by running into someone who you can’t pass due to attrition. We’re growing, we expect workers to learn. The more you learn, the more likely we are to be able to offer you that opportunity that’s been generated by our growth. So, growth is super important. “If, through the use of all of our processes, we continue to drive down what it costs us to do the work versus the market value of doing that work, even when times get tough and we lower our prices, our costs will already be in line with those lower prices,” he adds. “For now, we’re benefiting with higher margins, because we continue to pursue work at a market rate, not

at a cost-plus rate. However, when we get into that really tough world of the overall market shrinking, we should be able to maintain or even continue to grow our revenue in that tough economy, simply because we, during the good times, didn’t get complacent with our success. We continued to take the products of our success and invested in continuous improvement. When times get tough, we can perform at a lower cost basis than our competitors.” Paul-Hus concludes: “That’s really our goal, to continue to take what the market gives us. Right now, there are more opportunities than we could ever react to. “But when those opportunities become limited, we will be in an excellent position, with a very well skilled workforce, and with processes that have driven down our cost so that we can remain competitive without losing money even through those tough times.”

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POWERING PEMEX INTO PROFITABILITY Written by Tom Wadlow Produced by James Pepper




n 20 December 2013, Mexico’s oil and gas industry entered a new age. Having operated under a monopolised umbrella for 75 years, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a momentous energy reform bill which opened up the country’s largest revenue-generating Technology to private competition. For national oil and gas giant Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), this signalled a huge about-turn, an overnight change of course not witnessed since its formation in 1938. A massive transformation was required, from a company operating as a monopoly to one that can stand up to competitors. Once charged with delivering hydrocarbon energy across the whole of Mexico at whatever the cost, Pemex is now focused on efficiency, profitability


and long-term survival. It was the enormity of this challenge which lured Corporate Director and CIO Rodrigo Becerra Mizuno away from a decade of servitude at Microsoft. “I thought this would be the biggest professional challenge of my career,” he recalls, “so when CEO at the time Jose Antonio González Anaya invited me, I was extremely excited. I knew technology would be at the forefront of this transformation. “On top of this, Pemex is the largest company in Mexico and one of the largest in the world.” The numbers back this up. As the eighth largest oil producer and drilling company in the world, Pemex’s $52bn revenue is equivalent to the entire GDP of Uruguay. It generates 2.5mn barrels of oil and 6mn cubic feet of natural gas a day,

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delivering this to over 11,000 service stations in Mexico and abroad via 83 land and sea terminals. From exploration, production and refining to logistics and marketing, Pemex covers the entire value chain. Technology and the road to profit While the enormity and scope of operations no doubt presents a competitive advantage over new entrants to the market, it exemplifies






the challenge Becerra Mizuno and the Pemex leadership are facing. The 56-page 2017-2021 Business Plan signposts Pemex’s road to profitability, and notably sets a target to achieve financial balance in 2019/2020. Technology will be crucial to realising this ambition. “If certain markets we are serving are not profitable, we don’t have to operate in them anymore,” Becerra






Mizuno says. “In that case, we have to make better decisions with the information or the data that we have. That’s where technology plays a major role, because it can streamline our operations and create a better more profitable and safer environment.” Brief set, what did the technology landscape look like when Becerra Mizuno arrived in September 2016?

“I found that Pemex had a large amount of technology infrastructure. They own it, they develop it, they construct it, they deploy it. Everything was done in-house. I said to myself, we need to change.” Much of this sprawling infrastructure owes its existence to a self-built telco network, the second private largest in the whole country, which includes 130,000 phone lines and 10 data centres. Pemex was founded nine years before Mexico’s national telecoms company Telmex, and hence had to build its own communications capability from scratch. There was a time when people who worked for Pemex had two telephones at home: one from Pemex and the other one from Telmex. “They got used to building their own technology infrastructure from the bottom up,” Becerra Mizuno says, “and they used to do it extremely well. But the world changed, and there are people that can do it better, because they specialise on that.” Privatisation of these telco assets has proven vital in simplifying

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PEMEX’S PARTNER IN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Huawei is a leading global Information and Communications Technology solutions provider. Our industry-leading products and solutions have been deployed in more than 170 countries. In the 2017 Global Fortune 500 list, we ranked 83rd, thanks to our customer-centric vision and yearly investment in R&D (at least 10 percent of revenue). Huawei has delivered services to 70 percent of the world’s top 20 oil and gas companies. Mexico and Spain are prime examples. Mexico — Pemex, the largest company in Mexico, dedicated to petroleum and petrochemicals, is undergoing a major Digital Transformation project, expected to be the largest of its kind in the Latin America O&G Industry. Huawei helps Pemex ICT transformation by successfully deploying Agile Campus and IMS(IP Multimedia System) solution. Based on integrated networking and collaboration solution, more than 60,000 employees distributed in 13 branches enjoy ultimate experience. Huawei 8-inch HD video phone provides easy and secure collaboration, Agile campus switch makes network intelligent and smoothly evolution for future. At the same time, Huawei unified solution accelerates and simplifies Pemex network operations, improve O&M efficiency by 50 percent. Spain — CEPSA, one of the leading energy companies in Spain, has to process massive amounts of data during crude oil exploration and production, therefore, there is a need for an effective data analysis solution in order to improve exploration and production efficiency. As CEPSA’s business grew rapidly, traditional databases failed to meet ERP system requirements and were holding back business development. Additionally, traditional servers and storage require high maintenance skills. CEPSA was looking for a cost-effective solution that could be flexibly expanded. Huawei provided solutions for CEPSA, including mission-critical servers, storage, switches to build a reliable and stable new-generation database system. Huawei servers greatly enhance CEPSA’s ERP system performance, which has led to an improvement in production efficiency. CEPSA’s financial analysis system has doubled the number of transactions it can process, meeting strict service requirements.

Huawei servers achieve a failure rate 15% lower than industry average, guaranteeing that the system runs reliably. Huawei uses industry standard components, greatly reducing costs for procurement and future capacity expansion.

Huawei cooperates closely with top global partners in the oil and gas industry. In oil and gas industry, we focus on digital pipeline, oil and gas IoT, High-Performance Computing (HPC), and operations management application platforms. Huawei is committed to providing one-stop ICT infrastructure solutions. Meanwhile, we have established an open, diversified, and win-win ecosystem. These include underlying automation enterprises, upper-layer application providers, and oil and gas engineering design enterprises worldwide. • Huawei’s server and Schlumberger’s reservoir analysis software have completed integration and admission testing • Huawei and Honeywell have jointly developed and officially released a wireless gas detection solution based on Huawei eLTE • Huawei and PCICT, a branch of Sinopec, together have developed a smart engineering solution for oil refining

Huawei is commited to being Pemex’s best partner in its digital transformation. Huawei is dedicated to building innovative infrastructure platforms for enterprise digital transformation by making optimal use of emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, SDN, Big Data, and the IoT. Also, by working closely with skilled partners, Huawei helps enterprises attain their goals of agile, intelligent digital upgrades. To date, 197 companies in Fortune’s Global 500, 45 of which are in the top 100, have selected Huawei as their partner for digital transformation. Huawei looks forward to implementing digital transformation with you and creating a fully connected and intelligent world.





Pemex’s technological landscape, which Becerra Mizuno stresses needed streamlining with a degree of urgency. “We needed to kickstart this immediately because we are working on the political clock, so we had to hit the ground running.” Becerra Mizuno is referring to upcoming presidential elections which, depending on the result, could signal further reform at Pemex. The need to demonstrate the viability of the 2017-2021 Business Plan to any incumbent administration, and indeed the Mexican public, is therefore paramount.

THE GREAT ENABLER Tangible progress has already been made. According to Becerra Mizuno, $50mn of savings have already been realised through strategic moves such as telco asset stripping, and by the end of the year Pemex will be relieved of its data centre management burden, instead operating on a hybrid cloud model and paying on demand for what it uses. Becerra Mizuno also points to a shift in spending priorities. “When

I arrived, our budget was 90% focused on investment, 10% on operational excellence. That means that 90% of things we did here with our budget was purchasing, which is how we arrived at this point where we have amassed a large amount of infrastructure.” “This year, we’re shifting that mix to 70% opex, 30% capex. We’re still not done, but we have changed the way we’re doing business now. We’re hiring service, not buying it.” The CIO points to the influence of both CEOs he has worked under – Jose Antonio González Anaya and now Carlos Treviño Medina. Without their leadership, much of this change would not have materialised. This shift in priorities is better demonstrated by the recent Pemex Drive event, which invited key industry stakeholders to learn about the company’s new technologydriven strategy. “We also wanted to create excitement around the company, which had been lost. It’s only now been revived by this and many other factors as well, including the efforts of the CEO.”

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Automation and the Industrial Internet of Things

Why is is everyone everyone talking talking about about it? it? Why Improved sensing technologies Cost-effective, secure connectivity Advanced computing and analytical methods

Leveraging decades of digital automation expertise, Emerson introduces the expanded Plantweb digital ecosystem, a scalable portfolio of standards-based hardware, software, intelligent devices and services for securely implementing the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) with measurable business performance improvement. Plantweb becomes the most comprehensive and integrated Industrial IoT portfolio in the industry.

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IIoT, the key to achieve a Top Quartile Performance in the oil and gas industry Oil and gas companies strive to meet business and performance goals. Constantly changing market dynamics and operational challenges can make it difficult. Whether you are producing from a conventional or unconventional field, key challenges like reducing operating costs, minimizing HSE risks, and maximizing production are paramount. For decades, the industry has primarily used closed, private networks to control critical plant functions, or Operational Technology (OT). But in recent years, oil and gas companies have been among the first to explore Internet of Things (IoT) applications that enable more widespread and cost-effective monitoring and control of facilities, along with reduced costs and increased flexibility. Companies are dramatically improving the speed and accuracy of decision-making based on having the right information in the hands of the right expert, no matter where they sit. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is ushering in a digital transformation that enables companies to exploit technology and expertise better than ever before, but only if the right scalable technology strategy is matched to your business goals. The digital era is a reality for oil and gas leaders like Pemex, where state-of-the-art technology will bring about important operating improvements and increase productivity throughout the company’s value chain. Digital transformation has become a fundamental tool to bring about a change that will lead the company towards modernity and that will help Pemex face the challenges of the new Mexican energy model. This digital transformation will add value to production, reduce the overall costs of production processes, and optimize and streamline logistics, in addition to increasing the operating security of the company. This is why Emerson introduces the extended the extended Plantweb Digital Ecosystem, a scalable portfolio of standardsbased hardware, software, intelligent devices and services for securely implementing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with measurable business performance improvement. Plantweb Digital Ecosystem harnesses the power of Industrial IoT to expand digital intelligence to the entire manufacturing enterprise, while also providing an architecture for on-premise applications. Plantweb provides a comprehensive framework to help manufacturers achieve Top Quartile performance in the areas of safety, reliability, production and energy. Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies. In addition to highly secure process control, safety and asset management systems, Plantweb supports enterprise-wide operations with an expanded portfolio of Pervasive Sensing field instruments, the Secure First Mile family of software, gateways, security devices and services, the Plantweb Insight™ and Plantweb Advisor™ scalable suite of software applications, the Plantweb Optics™ Platform, and Microsoftenabled, cloud-based remote expert Connected Services.

Pervasive Sensing expands the industry’s largest portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies. Secure First Mile is a security architecture that allows customers to selectively connect highly secure data from protected control and operation systems (OT) to operational performance applications in the cloud environment (IT). Plantweb Insight Software provides a comprehensive, lightweight portfolio of IT-friendly applications with analytics for monitoring asset health which can run independently of existing business systems and distributed control systems (DCS) and provide a simple and powerful entry point to Industrial IoT. Plantweb Advisor Software is a robust suite of integrated analytical expert applications for asset health, performance modeling and facility-wide energy optimization. The widely adopted OSIsoft PI System’s highly scalable open data infrastructure is used as a platform for these applications. Plantweb Optics is a mobile-ready collaboration software platform that provides cross-functional collaboration and decisionmaking to help plants operate safely and profitably. Lastly, Connected Services is an Industrial IoT-enabled cloud services offering for real-time monitoring of important assets’ health, energy consumption and other operational applications. But the Industrial IoT is not only transforming the way information is conducted across the company to improve decision making. Industry is at a critical inflection point where efficiency-focused operational improvement programs have reached a point of diminishing returns, and personnel are being strained to achieve more with less than ever before. In the next era of manufacturing, Top Quartile performers will embrace digital transformation through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to accelerate, institutionalize, and sustain best-in-class behaviors across their workforces. The Emerson Digital Workforce Experience, is an immersive experiential environment that transforms, via Industrial IoT, the nature of work and improves workers’ lives through real-life work scenarios in five key industrial areas: project engineering, commissioning, control and simulation, maintenance, and reliability. The Digital Workforce Experience empowers workers to transform traditional behaviors and deliver value in fundamentally new ways by adopting innovative approaches enabled by Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem. In summary, the potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is bound only by the limits of our creativity. But its realization will forever be tied to security. This trend is already playing out among early Industrial IoT adopters in the oil and gas industry, where there is tremendous motivation to adopt networked technologies and smart sensors. Many oil and gas facilities, especially offshore platforms, are located in dirty, distant, dull and dangerous environments. In these harsh areas, automation and remote management can increase efficiency, improve performance, and enhance profitability. But most importantly, they keep people out of harm’s way. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EMERSON’S PLANTWEB DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM GO TO EMERSON.COM


POWERED BY PARTNERS Touting potential partners was also a key objective at Pemex Drive. Indeed, a major facet of the 2017-2021 Business Plan involves the creation of joint ventures along the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entire value chain as a mechanism to increase investment and efficiency. One example of this in action is a software factory developed with French consulting giant Capgemini. Based on mutual incentives such as delivering cost savings for one another, this initiative has already helped Pemex to begin cutting the sprawling number of costly applications embedded throughout


its operations. By carefully identifying which processes could either be outsourced, merged or removed entirely, Becerra Mizuno hopes to cut 800 line of business applications down to 200-250, which even by his admission is still high. Accenture is another company helping Pemex to develop a digital ecosystem based on mutual benefit, while Microsoft and Emerson Work Services are helping deliver important work regarding migration of applications and processes to the cloud. Longstanding partnerships have also been redefined, such as the



one with SAP. Having utilised SAP’s oil and gas expertise for more than 50 years, Becerra Mizuno explains how this venture has evolved to provide all important flexibility to Pemex. “We have established a new partnership with them, where it’s not only them charging for their licenses or their service, but it’s also on a payas-you-use scheme on some of their modules, especially the oil and gas modules. Before, we had to pay for these no matter what, but we can now take into account peaks and troughs.” Becerra Mizuno further highlights an increasing number of pilot projects

- Rodrigo Becerra Mizuno, Corporate Director and CIO

being initiated with suppliers in a bid to uncover the next game-changing solution. Typically lasting eight to 12 weeks across all business units, these programmes are helping convert vendors and suppliers into true partners which build solutions tailored to Pemex’s priorities. “I’ll give you a small example,” Becerra Mizuno says. “In the refining process, one of the things that affects us the most is unprogrammed outages, because of the resultant

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maintenance. So, we’re working with Baker Hughes, part of GE, to create a pilot around these. The idea is that we can create savings, which will increase the value of the partnership to both parties. We’re not just buying sensors from them or their software, we’re doing things in a mutually beneficial way.”

CULTURE CATCHES UP Pemex is not just embracing innovation with its partners. Internally, something of a cultural revolution is underway. This is no minor undertaking for Becerra Mizuno, who is responsible for around 3,000 employees spanning engineers, consultants and decision makers, many of whom are from an older generation and more cautious about new technologies. “How do I get an aging work force to adopt new things?” he asks. “That’s usually very difficult. We have to see that becoming digital was largely about a new mindset. It’s a radical change in the way we do things – we’ve run a tonne of programmes to get people who have

not used technology to embrace it.” An initiative which has fostered innovation internally is Idea Lab, which allows employees at all levels to submit pitches in a venture capital style, progressing through various rounds until a winner is chosen and their idea funded. Harnessing innovation by attracting new talent is altogether a different challenge, especially when it comes to luring younger, techsavvy recruits into oil and gas. Partnerships with educational institutions like Mexico City’s Tec de Monterrey will help to bridge this gap. Pemex Drive was hosted on one of its campuses, and Becerra Mizuno says Pemex is working closely with the university to develop interest in oil and gas IT careers. He cites his own example of leaving a private technology giant for a public-Technology oil and gas firm. “When I was at Microsoft, it was an extremely optimised company, so the things that I was able to do were very narrow. They were perfect, but they were narrow. “At Pemex, there’s so much to do,

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and we need so much help. If you’re someone that is ambitious, that is young and can see the silver lining coming to work for us, it’s the perfect place. That story has not been told or communicated yet – we’re seen as a monolithic company and what we’re trying to show is a different kind of Pemex. We’re open, we’re looking for talent, we’re looking for young people, and we’re going to give them the opportunity to develop their skills.”

THE ROAD AHEAD Both from a cultural and implementation point of view, Pemex is beginning to make strides, evidenced by the fact that Becerra Mizuno has been recognised as a top 100 CIO in Mexico and a HITEC-50 2018 Award winner. “I think success is something that you share,” he says. “It’s something that you can’t do alone. I’m very fortunate to have the people that I have around me. The most important thing for me has been the support of the two CEOs that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The current CEO Carlos Trevino is so open, so dynamic and


so supportive of what we do. He is really the transformation CEO for us.” But what about the path in front of Pemex and Becerra Mizuno? For the CIO, three important targets and ambitions remain. “The first thing is to deliver the things that we said we would deliver. To make sure that we overdeliver what we have promised and that we meet the expectations that we have set for the team and for the technology department of Pemex. “The second thing for us is, as you know, we have a big transition coming with a new administration coming in December. I would love to see a lot of the building blocks and the strategies that we have implemented become lasting. Pemex is going in the right direction, which has been validated by many experts. “The third big piece is to make sure the people in the team continue to believe that there are good things coming ahead, that they continue to be motivated, so the momentum continues whether I’m here or not. That’s the most important thing for me.”

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Securing Sharjahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Robert Gray


Chief Efficienology Officer Eng Afra Alowais discusses SEWAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to meeting the utilities needs of its citizens and businesses population of just 2,000 in 1950, Sharjah has witnessed unprecedented growth. Now the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates, its population exceeded 900,000 in 2010, and is set to surpass 1.5mn by 2020. To cater to such increased demands on its utility services, Sharjah is increasingly implementing new projects, technologies and partnerships to attract and retain talent in the region and further boost its economy. One such area of focus is the demand for electricity, particularly within peak hours. This is in addition to the growing need for reliable gas and water supplies to accommodate the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expansion. Responsible for regulating the power industry in Sharjah, the Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA) has undergone a significant change. The first utility provider in the Emirates to secure ISO50001:2011 certification in Energy Management Systems, SEWA


May 2018


“By regularly hosting customers in the Majlis of the Happiness Centres, SEWA is committed to understanding its customers’ needs”

harnesses renewable resources and has undertaken a number of strategic projects to support the green growth of the city. Whilst its power capacity has been increased and indeed stabilised, the business remains determined to provide the best value and services, exploring new business models and processes to cater to the increasing expectations of its customers. Appointed as Chief Efficienology Officer in 2016, Eng Afra Alowais explains that SEWA is developing ‘green growth’, alongside a strong sustainability approach across all of its operations. Responsible for driving the initiatives relating to efficiency and technology, Eng Alowais will thus contribute to the sustained adoption of best practices in the entire UAE power sector, spanning generation, transmission and distribution.

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Chief Efficienology Officer Eng Afra Alowais

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SEWA employees at a company innovation event

INCREASED DEMAND Overhauling its water lines in Sharjah has been the first step of SEWA’s sustainability strategy. “After careful analysis, we determined it was more costefficient to retrofit the old water lines. These are expected to last more than 30 years and continue to meet the highest environmental regulations,” Eng Alowais says. “SEWA is one of the main supporters of the national agenda for demand side management endorsed by the

“SEWA is one of the main supporters of the national agenda for demand side management endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Energy” Afra Alowais, Chief Efficienology Officer, SEWA

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Federal Ministry of Energy. This is also a policy to ensure water security and is the cornerstone of SEWAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Strategic Plan.â&#x20AC;? The projects will also seek to ease any water shortages experienced, and increase the capacity of traditional water lines. In 2017, the company installed over 80,000m of new water lines, which will

deliver over 100mn gallons of water per day. Its projects will also utilise new materials and technologies to increase water conservation, such as digital tools to detect, and help to alleviate potential water leaks. Fostering or establishing strategic relationships with more than 35 international companies has enabled SEWA to participate in knowledge sharing to guarantee best practices. The company has also recently SEWA recognises been in talks with GE to further innovative staff reduce its emissions as part of its 2020 Vision, promoting clean energy and advancing Sharjah as a City of Conservation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;SEWA has started an Energy Efficiency Program in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi for Sharjah to become the Sharjah City of Conservation, with the aim to save 30% of


May 2018


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Interview with Sky News arabia, Emarat TV

energy through energy efficiency initiatives,” explains Eng Alowais. “Recently, we have launched an ambitious retrofit programme under the mandate of the Energy Efficiency Program. We also aspire to create a sustainable shift in consumer behaviour and their energy consumption practices. This will achieve a consequent reduction in energy and water resources used and provide financial savings for

the participating companies. “Furthermore, The Clean Energy Business Council have supported our endeavours.”

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT By regularly hosting customers in the Majlis of the many Happiness Centres in the emirate, SEWA is committed to understanding their needs and works to extend this dialogue with them through social

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media and ad hoc projects. “We held some productive focus groups during the innovation projects and will sustain these interactions,” adds Eng Alowais. “Our customers are prosumers who want to have a voice in how their utilities are managed and operated. We have introduced a channel for customers to communicate directly with the SEWA

Chairman and the new insights this has enabled are invaluable.” Utilising the FORTH Innovation Method, SEWA recognised that customers were behaving differently in the way that they had historically interacted with utility providers. “Customers were becoming ‘time-poor’ and welcomed the chance to perform business online,” notes Eng Alowais.

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www.alterhab.com terhab@eim.ae


May 2018


“We gained a far deeper insight into customer needs through a series of customer focus groups. We received excellent co-operation from a number of our business customers who participated and helped us understand how to enhance our services and to investigate future opportunities. “Several new business cases were presented, at the conclusion of each innovation project, and SEWA was the first organisation in the Middle East to use this new innovation method,” adds Eng Alowais. Listening to customers’ concerns surrounding sustainability, and their desire to access and pay bills online, has prompted SEWA to implement Green Billing. “Green Bill has been optimised for use on a mobile app and customers have the flexibility to use a variety of channels to scrutinise their bill. It was a ‘no-brainer’ for us to adopt this because it reduces our overheads and immediately contributes to our global sustainability goals,” says Eng Alowais. Through the Green Bill campaign,

SEWA reduces emissions by eliminating the need to print invoices, and which additionally improves security of customer data. Invoices can be delivered monthly through a number of digital platforms, and grants over 400,000 subscribers the ability to pay their utility bills securely online. Dr Rashid Alleem

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NEXT STEPS SEWA has received unwavering support from H.H. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, who has placed increased value on the learning and development of human capital and the quality of life of inhabitants in the emirate, which is coupled with the vision and sustainability leadership of SEWA Chairman Dr Rashid Al Leem. Beyond this, SEWA will continue to partner with external stakeholders to enable long-term success and strong employee engagement. “SEWA is an approachable company with a willingness to embrace new ideas, transform and grow,” concludes Eng Alowais. “Over the next year, we will align our stakeholders and drive the focus towards preparedness for achieving planned energy efficiency. “We will be on track to achieve a 30% reduction in consumption patterns in Sharjah emirate by 2020. The business of our customers will be able to continue to grow but energy waste will be reduced considerably as awareness of the processes spreads.”


May 2018


Afra Alowais and the team at SEWA open a new project

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Profile for Energy Digital

Energy Digital Magazine - May 2018  

Energy Digital Magazine - May 2018