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Leon Awerbuch, chairman, ida energy task force

SECTOR REPORT the Resurgence of renewables

ELECTRICAL REVIEW Testing power transformers


Is the oil and gas industry prepared to tackle its growing water footprint? HEAD LINES

• Japanese group targets Iraq’s produced water market • Venture capitalists shy away from water tech



contents july2012 4/ Editor's Letter

NEWS 6/ The Metre 8/ Round up 19/ At large 22/ SIWW 2012 24/ Industry notes Asia's largest UF plant Power to the people

SECTOR REPORT 27/ Here to stay

In 2011, solar surged past wind power to become the renewable energy technology of choice.

ON THE RECORD 30/ A tough task

Leon Awerbuch, Chairman, IDA energy task force

PRODUCT FOCUS 36/ Protection from induction

Mitigating the impact of induction currents on concrete foundations supporting high-voltage applications


38/ Double power

3M is seeking to change the overhead power transmission landscape in the Middle East through its high temperature, low sag conductor solution.

SPECIAL REPORT 40/ Frost & Sullivan Environment Excellence Awards 2012

ENERGY WORLD 42/ PV Cost Cuts: More to come?

Following the free fall of module prices, solar energy systems cannot get that much cheaper for the time being - or so we thought.


14/ In the region

Cable talk

45 / Insight • MI offers solar cell internships • A central innovation • Optimal planning of solar power plants • Cleaning sewage while making electricity


48/ Testing power transformers Safety tips and references for performing transformer tests in the field

FLIPSIDE 52/ In the centre of things

Tim Armsby, Partner, Eversheds Middle East


PLUS 54/ Market Place 56/Tenders & Contracts 62/ Events Watch Striking a balance July2012


CONTENTS editorsnote



Dominic De Sousa

Associate Publisher

Liam Williams •

Chief Operations Officer


Nadeem Hood

Anoop K Menon

Editorial Director

Melanie Mingas •


Anoop K Menon •

Low expectations


n a world beset with economic uncertainty, issues like sustainable development and universal access to water and sanitation seem to have taken a backseat, if the results of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, held in Rio de Janeiro last month were an indication. Given the economic turmoil in Europe, the political divide in the United States, and urgency on the part of emerging economies like China, Brazil and India to balance social and environmental goals with economic priorities, any type of firm commitment would have been a hard-sell. The end result, to no one’s surprise, was a vision statement that contained plenty of good intentions but very few solid commitments. In the absence of firm pledges of financial assistance to ease the switch to green development, the adoption of green economics as a definitive development path was quietly set aside at the insistence of developing countries. In terms of numbers, a total of 692 voluntary agreements were made in the main and side events; however, governments were involved in only 50 of the 692 commitments or seven per cent of the total, which conveyed a lot about the political apathy towards the event.

Online Editor

Gavin Davids •

But on the plus side, the campaign for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to succeed the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which expires in 2015, drew widespread support. For a change, the UK set the pace by becoming the first country in the world to force major companies to measure their Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) - their carbon footprint – in full. Also, the UN obtained pledges worth $513 billion from governments and companies for projects aimed at reducing the strain on the planet’s resources. Host Brazil committed to investing a further $4.3 billion to achieve universal energy access at a national level by 2014. From the private sector, among the notable announcements, Italian energy major Eni allocated approximately $5 billion to achieve their gas flaring and carbon intensity reduction goals, while Microsoft announced that it will be rolling out an internal carbon fee that will apply to its business operations in over 100 countries. While Rio+20 could have achieved much, much more, I would go along with the conference secretary general, Sha Zukang’s observation that: “equally unhappy means equally happy.”

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MW-H2O combines the bi-monthly legacies of two power and water industry thought-leadership brands into a monthly edition that provides an unbeatable, 360 degree perspective of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region's utility and energy sectors. You can read the digital version of the print edition at: I



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NEWS innumbers

themeter $10.2 Billion The total projected revenue for the global remote microgrid market by 2017, according to Pike Research. The market is forecasted to expand from 349 MW of generation capacity in 2011 to over 1.1 GW by 2017. The purchase of Powercorp of Darwin, Australia by Swiss transmission and distribution giant ABB is a clear sign that larger, wellcapitalised companies are beginning to recognise this sleeping giant of a microgrid market.


The total number of companies in Singapore’s water sector today, which is double that of 2006 when water sector was identified as a strategic growth industry. Over the same period, Singapore-based water companies also secured over 100 international projects worth close to S$9 billion. Singapore’s water industry has continued its growth momentum in 2011 with investments which will add S$130 million of annual value-add and generate 460 jobs when fully realised.


The current installed capacity of commercial wind power, more than 30 times that in 1997 when the Kyoto protocol was signed. Today, wind power is deployed in more than 75 countries around the world, with 21 countries having more than 1,000 MW installed. Industry projections show that wind power could, with the right policy support, double in capacity by 2015, and again by the end of this decade, delivering 9 – 12% of global electricity supply.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of Ambient Energy Harvesters (AEH) market during 2012–2016 period, according to GBI Research. Ambient energy harvesting is primarily used when the installation and maintenance of application systems is problematic, due to the potential cost or practical difficulty of providing power or communication through the use of cables. Demand for energy harvesters is expected to grow with the development of low-power electronics.



The projected percentage of homes and businesses in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region fitted with smart meters by 2022. The same study, by the North East Group, forecasts that smart metering market in the MENA region will reach 16.1 million units by 2022 with cumulative capital expenditure of $3.9 billion. The majority of near-term activity will be in the GCC region, where Saudi Arabia and the UAE are currently leading the way.

Tonnes of uranium discovered in in central Jordan by French nuclear giant Areva. In 2011, Areva discovered reserves of 12,300 tonnes of uranium in the same area. Importing 95% of its energy needs, Jordan is currently struggling to find alternatives to unstable Egyptian gas supplies, which normally cover 80% of the Kingdom's power production.



Roundup GE powers Baghdad’s newest power plant

NEWS inbrief

G GE Frame 6B gas turbine.

E has supplied four Frame 6B Gas Turbines for the Taji Power Plant, located 20 kilometres northeast of Baghdad. The power plant, commissioned by Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity (MOE), commenced commercial operations last month. The Taji plant adds 160 MW of critical capacity to the Iraqi grid, providing sufficient electricity to support about 160,000 households. GE is also supplying the MOE an additional 56 gas turbines for projects across Iraq that are expected to enter service from 2012 and add over 7,000 MW of electricity. More than 130 GE power turbines have been installed in the country to date.

First Solar joins KAUST testing programme


irst Solar is participating in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s (KAUST) New Energy Oasis (NEO) Testing and Demonstration Programme, a platform for introducing new and advanced technology to Saudi Arabia in the area of alternative energy. First Solar has donated a complete 3.2 kWp thin-film photovoltaic system including 40 solar modules, a ground-based mounting structure, an inverter and state-ofthe-art weather-forecasting and performance-measuring equipment for the project. KAUST and First Solar will work together to test the PV system under the extreme weather conditions of the Red Sea Coast, where summer daytime temperatures regularly reach 45°C.

Contract awarded for Pakistan’s largest solar plant Conergy has joined forces with energy solutions provider and project developer Ensunt to set up what the company claims to be the largest solar power plant in Pakistan. The partners will set up a 50 MW solar power plant for the DACC Power



First Solar’s 10 MW Eldorado facility in Boulder City.

Generation Company (DPGCL) in Bahawalpur, in the Cholistan region. Conergy will provide the overall planning, engineering and design of the solar park while Ensunt will carry out the construction. Once the plant is complete, 210,000 Conergy PowerPlus modules on some 210 kilometres of SolarLinea mounting systems will produce more than 78 GWh of clean energy per year; more than 140 Conergy IPG 300C central inverters will then feed the solar power into Pakistan’s grid. The climatic conditions in Pakistan are ideal for solar power with eight to nine hours of sunshine per day and annual insolation values of more than 1,700 kWh per square metre.

Itron Implements MDM system in Dubai

Itron has completed the installation of a Meter Data Management (MDM)

system for Emirates District Cooling (Emicool), a Dubai-based district cooling service provider. The MDM integrates all of Emicool’s cooling meters into one unified system, consolidating data from different meter manufacturers and provides Emicool with automatic reading schedules, streamlined customer billing and a single alarm system for its meters. The system captures data from meters serving the Dubai Investment Park and Dubai Motor City and supports 10,000 Emicool customers. “Itron is dedicated to helping utilities like Emicool make the most of their meter data,” said Ayman El Shareif, Itron sales manager. “Our experience tells us that the true value in data is derived through analysis, and Itron’s software provides the tools utilities need to better manage information and improve processes.”

"Under his capacity as the CEO of Masdar and as the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, Dr Al Jaber has championed climate change mitigation"

Masdar CEO named UN Champion of the Earth


r Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar has received this year’s United Nations’ Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category. Organised by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the award seeks to honour individuals whose actions and leadership have made a far-reaching positive impact on the environment. Under his capacity as the CEO of Masdar and as the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, Dr Al Jaber has championed climate change mitigation, sustainable energy access and energy security. As the UAE Special Envoy, he is responsible for developing and advocating the UAE’s position on international climate negotiations. Al Jaber serves as a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Sustainable Energy for All, and is also a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC).

Metito to invest $133-mn in Saudi Arabia

Metito has formally re-launched its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, positioning the company as a provider of total water treatment

ABB bags $30-mn worth substation deal in Saudi Arabia

ABB has won orders worth over $30 million to execute substation projects for the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). ABB will design, supply, install and commission two new 132/13.8 kV substations in the Al-Kharj area and in the adjoining Second Industrial City in the SouthEast of Riyadh. The substations will also be equipped with capacitor banks to reduce electricity losses and enhance the stability and quality of power supply by improving the network’s power factor. The turnkey project scope includes delivery of key products such as high- and medium-voltage gas and air insulated switchgear, transformers, auxiliary systems and cables, SCADA as well as the automation, control, protection and communication systems, compliant with the international IEC 61850 standard to enable remote monitoring and control of power assets.

inbrief NEWS

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.

solutions for the Kingdom. Metito Saudi, which re-started operations a year ago, has projects worth in excess of $15 million. The company has also drawn up plans to invest $133.3 million in the Kingdom’s water and wastewater industry over the next three years. Fady Juez, Managing Director, Metito said: “More than 40 years ago, Metito’s journey of success started here. Since then we continued to develop as professionals, grow as a business and to refine our expertise to successfully expand in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and China. We were adamant we wanted to come back to Saudi Arabia and harness our resources to build an operational backbone that can support Metito in playing an effective role in the development of the water, desalination and wastewater industry.” The re-launch conference was held in Riyadh and attended by Abdullah Al Gholaikah, former governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) as a special guest.

Switching to LED lighting could save energy consumption for lighting by 40% worldwide.

Honeywell offers free LED lighting consultancy


oneywell Electrical Devices & Systems (ED&S) has launched a free lighting consultancy service to support facilities managers switch to LED lighting. Through consultations, site surveys, devising bespoke lighting schemes, producing detailed energy and cost saving calculations and offering pilot installations, the company aims to arm facility and energy managers with a rigorous energy-saving and ROI assessment before making an investment. Commenting on the launch, John Storey, Global Business Director of LED Lighting for Honeywell ED&S said: “Currently, around two thirds of lighting is based on older, energy wasting technologies developed before 1970 – this is not sustainable. However, we recognise that the key issue for facilities and energy managers is justifying the initial investment to switch.” According to the IEA, a worldwide switch to LED lighting could save energy consumption for lighting by 40%. July2012



Spotlight Revised IEC Specification for Supply of Unused Transformer oil Adaptation to today’s application requirements


pecifications for supply of unused oil are published and used as a standard by both buyers and suppliers to define their mutual obligations. In developing a liquid for electrical insulation purposes, information related to most of the characteristics should be obtained so that potential user may see the scope for possible application. Certain characteristics are inherent to the type of fluid and this should therefore only be applied to those fluids. The value for certain characteristics are also inherent to the type of fluid. In such cases limits are not applicable although typical values for the type and grade of liquid may be necessary for design purposes. Other characteristics are useful for identifying a material and again typical values should be quoted. The important characteristics from the specification point of view are those which affect the fluid

At Nynas, we’re passionate about everything to do with power.



life and performance. These parameters must be limited in order that the material will fulfill its intended purpose. Therefore, a standard can be divided into various sections to cover physical, chemical and electrical properties of the oil. For the Electrical Industry, important for purchasing unused mineral insulating oil lies in using international specification IEC60296. It is one of the most widely used standard for supply of oil in the electrical industry. The previous issue was revised and published in 2003 and since then quality of the oil and expectation for performance of the oil in service has improved tremendously. This specification is recently revised and published in February 2012. The changes are as follow: ●● Additives are more described and defined in this version and also declaration of additives

"Potentially corrosive sulphur (IEC62535), DBDS (IEC62697), metal passivators (IEC60666) and other additives has been added to the general specification table"

●● Stray gassing has been added to the general specification table but there is no general requirement. No method is available from IEC or ISO, this will probably cause misunderstandings and unclear demands. ●● ECT has been added to the general specification table but there is no general requirement. No method is available from IEC or ISO. This will probably cause misunderstandings and unclear demands.

All Nynas products are produced and delivered according to these latest specifications IEC 60296 edition 4. Visit our website or contact for more information.


●● Potentially corrosive sulphur (IEC62535), DBDS (IEC62697), metal passivators (IEC60666) and other additives has been added to the general specification table ●● The BHT amount for uninhibited products have been specified to <0,01% ●● It has been added that any product containing a passivator should pass the 500h oxidation stability test. This makes it impossible to have uninhibited passivated products since these will not pass 500h. ●● The limit for furfurals has been lowered to <0,05 mg/kg for each individual compound, before it was <0,1 mg/kg. ●● Particle content has been added to the general specification table but there is no general requirement only a note referring to statistical data being used as a base for agreement between supplier and purchase.

Need to talk to a transformer oil supplier who understands your business? One who’s local enough to be near you, yet global enough to have the expertise you need. Get in touch.



NEWS inbrief

Roundup The rooftop segment will drive the industry forward.

Europe’s own consumption solar capacity to grow


urope is poised to lead the world in solar energy for own consumption segment, which is forecasted to reach 150 GWp by 2020. According to a recent McKinsey study, more than half of all installed solar capacity worldwide could be for own consumption by the end of the decade. Also, Germany is the global frontrunner in solar power, accounting for more than a third of the world’s photovoltaic capacity. “Those companies who survive the current consolidation wave will experience a bright future. Especially the rooftop segment and downstream business models are expected to drive the industry forward,” said Tobias Rothacher, photovoltaic industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin. According to the McKinsey report ‘Solar Power: Darkest before dawn,’ while the global solar industry is experiencing growing pains as prices and margins continue to fall, demand is likely to increase by an additional 400 to 600 GWp of photovoltaic capacity worldwide by 2020.

New CEO of DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability


avid Walker has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DNV KEMA. He joins from the position of Chief Strategy Officer for the DNV Group. Chairman of the



N.V. KEMA Supervisory Board, Henrik O Madsen said: “David Walker has more than 30 years of international experience covering the entire energy value chain and has been closely involved in the start of DNV KEMA. I am confident that he and his management team will contribute to further strengthening DNV KEMA’s position as a globally leading energy consulting, testing and certification company that can drive the transition towards a safe, reliable, efficient and clean energy future.” Concurrently, Aad van den Bos has been appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Van den Bos is of Dutch nationality and has 30 years of international experience in senior financial management positions in DNV. Both Walker and Van den Bos will be based in DNV KEMA’s headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Singer Valve launches new valve automation division


inger Valve, a leading manufacturer of control valves, has officially launched its Electronic Control Systems Division. The company has been expanding its offering of customised electronic solutions to accompany their valves over the years and now has a complete suite of options for valve automation requirements. Brad Clarke, VP of Sales & Marketing for Singer Valve said, “The secret of many of our valve solutions lies within their electronic control capability. We are able to customise solutions to meet the demands of unique applications all over the world.” The new division employs dedicated electronic, instrumentation and control specialists to provide full client support from product recommendation to product start-up and beyond. They design, build and test all the electronic control panels and accessories in the plant so that installation and on-site setup is quick and easy.

Climate footprint of natural gas

The Sierra Club in the US has changed its stance on natural gas as a ‘bridge fuel,’ by switching to renewable energy instead. Speaking at Platts Energy Week, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said that the climate footprint of natural gas is much more severe than originally thought. This change in stance comes at a time when US natural gas reserves are reaching record levels and US power producers are increasingly turning to gas to meet federal clean air regulations. “We know that burning gas produces about half as much greenhouse gases as coal,” explained Brune. “But when you extract and transport natural gas there’s rather severe methane gas leakages that are contributing to a rather severe greenhouse gas footprint which is causing many groups to reconsider their support for gas and to re-evaluate what role gas should play in the energy mix for the next couple of decades.” Brune, formerly the executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, said renewables could replace gas to a larger degree than many believe. “Our challenge is that as coal comes off line is that we want to use as little gas as possible and making sure that what is used is produced as responsibly as it can [be],” he noted.

QSTec proposes Qatar as the Middle East’s solar hub

Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) has called on global polysilicon and solar industry experts to join it in building Qatar’s solar industry, making the Gulf state a solar hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. “We are looking for talented industry professionals to join our QSTec team as we develop a new industry for Qatar and the region from the ground up - the solar industry,” said Abdulla Saif Al Mesallam, QSTec’s Chief Financial Officer while addressing a panel session focussing on the MENA region at Intersolar Europe last month. “A number of our senior professional staff members come from Qatar, specifically from the oil, gas and petro-chemical industries as they have many transferrable skills that are highly suitable for the solar industry and especially the polysilicon manufacturing sector. We are looking to expand QSTec to

meet local, regional and international demand,” he added. QSTec is building a polysilicon production plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Initially the plant will produce 8,000 metric tonnes per year (MTPY) of polysilicon per year and can expand to 45,000 MTPY.

Dow Water to make RO membranes in China

IFC to develop solar power in West and Central Africa

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Scatec Solar, a Norwegian company specialising in photovoltaic solar systems, have signed an agreement to develop solar power projects that will supply renewable energy to address electricity needs in parts of West and Central Africa. IFC InfraVentures, the Global Infrastructure Project Development Fund, and Scatec Solar will develop, design, finance, construct and operate solar photovoltaic plants generating at least 10 MW of power. They plan to build a portfolio of projects in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, and Togo. This is the first time a multilateral financial institution is partnering with a private company to develop solar power energy in SubSaharan Africa. Africa has the fastest economic growth of any region, globally, with a rapidly increasing demand for electrical power.

Aquatech bags ZLD contract in Turkmenistan

Aquatech has been awarded a contract to design and supply wastewater recycling system for a gas field development project in Turkmenistan. Because the plant is in an area where effluents cannot be discharged and reuse is the only option, a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology was specified in the project. Aquatech is supplying the patented HERO (High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis) technology to achieve 90% recovery of the total wastewater. The plant capacity is 120 m3/hour and the system is designed to operate the outdoor equipment in an ambient condition of -28 °C. Sreekumar Pillai, General Manager International Sales & Marketing, for Aquatech said: “Aquatech has won this project based on our established expertise and experience in treating challenging waters, as well as our successful previous experience in similar projects.” The company has executed projects under similar ambient conditions, notably in China. The plant is expected to be completed in one year.

inbrief NEWS

Dow Water & Process Solutions is planning to set up a membrane manufacturing plant at the company’s site in Huzhou, China to make DOW FILMTEC reverse osmosis membranes. The new plant joins Dow’s ultrafiltration manufacturing facility in Huzhou, ion exchange resin facility in Qingpu, and a world class research centre in Shanghai to make the company the only solution provider to offer a full portfolio of water treatment technologies manufactured in the country. The new facility, which will be online in 2013, will also serve as a global sourcing point. “As the largest reverse osmosis membrane manufacturer with the most advanced technology around the world, establishing a China manufacturing facility at our site in Huzhou

represents a significant milestone in the growth strategy for our business,” said Ian Barbour, General Manager, Dow Water & Process Solutions

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intheregion NEWS MENA

Japanese group targets Iraq’s produced water market Hitachi Plant Technologies, Sumitomo sign pact with Iraq’s South Oil Company to set up advanced water treatment demonstration project.


itachi Plant Technologies and Sumitomo have entered into an agreement with Iraq’s South Oil Company (SOC) to investigate the introduction of Hitachi Plant Technologies’ advanced water treatment system for the Iraqi oil industry. SOC, one of the largest national oil companies, is responsible for Iraq’s southern region. As a first step, the three companies will install a demonstration produced water treatment system unit developed by Hitachi Plant Technologies in an oil field owned by SOC in southern Iraq, and study its various applications and environmental and technical requirements crucial to its performance. Hitachi Plant Technologies’

advanced produced water treatment system employs a flocculation magnetic separation system, which has already been approved for treatment of ballast water in ships in compliance with IMO (International Maritime Organisation) standard. In a produced water scenario, the oil in produced water from oilfields or oil refinery wastewater is mixed with a flocculent containing magnetic particle, flocculated and then removed in a magnetic drum. Extremely fine particles down to a diameter of 0.1 μm are processed at high speed to obtain processed water of high quality with less than five mg/L of oil. According to Hitachi, a treatment plant with a processing capacity of 350m3/h

NWC claims potable water savings of 21 million m3 The Saudi company deployed a host of technical and administrative methods to plug water leaks, including the use of helium gas to monitor leaks, which is a regional first.


audi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC) has claimed cumulative water savings of over 21 million m³ in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Taif by fixing the leaks in their water networks. The savings were roughly 11.7 million m³ in Riyadh, 2.4 million m³ in Jeddah, 6.2 million m³ in Makkah and 766,000 m³ in Taif. The monetary value of the savings were put at $34 million (SR127 million). NWC relied on a host of technical and administrative methods to plug the leaks, including the use of helium gas, a first in the region, to monitor leaks.



Leakage issues in houses are responsible for water losses amounting to 19 million m³/year in Riyadh alone.

NWC has also signed a number of contracts, worth over $10.7 million (SR40 million), with companies to detect leaks in houses with high water consumption in Riyadh. Through this contract, NWC will offer detection of visible and invisible water leaks as a free service to nearly 80,000 houses in Riyadh. The contracted companies will investigate the connections between the meter and the main water storage tank in the house, the main water tank and the float level switch, and the upper reservoir float level switch, in addition to checking the taps and toilet flush in bathrooms.

requires an installation area of only 24m2. The system is compact enough to be installed on oil rigs in the limited space available for treatment of produced water from offshore oilfields. Also, produced water can be sampled and processed on-site, or used for re-injection, eliminating the need for pumps and piping to transfer the water to land-based facilities. In 2010, Hitachi Plant Technologies delivered 10 units of Membrane Bioreactor-based (MBR) wastewater treatment systems for Al Shafa and Al Faw Hospitals in Iraq. The company also delivered a Reverse Osmosisbased (RO) water recycling system for the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works. NWC has calculated that visible and non-visible leaks in households are responsible for water losses amounting to 19 million m³/year in Riyadh alone. The company is also implementing a project to update the database of all subscribers of the water services and sewage in Riyadh at a cost of more than $2.4 million (SR9 million). In 2011, NWC achieved water savings of 67 million m³ worth SR400 million by repairing water breaks in Riyadh and Jeddah.

BAPCO selects GE technology for wastewater treatment Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) selects GE’s ZeeWeed Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) system to treat complex wastewater from oil refinery operations.


Joseph Anis, president and CEO, GE Energy for the Middle East.

A ZeeWeed 500 cassette.

GE will supply its hollow-fibre ZeeWeed MBR system consisting of four MBR trains, each with 10 membrane cassettes containing ZeeWeed 500 membrane modules. It is being supplied under contract with EPC contractor GS Engineering & Construction, and is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2012. GE will also provide support during its first five years of operation. GE’s water and process technologies business has previously supplied water-treatment chemicals for the BAPCO refinery.

next five years from 490 MIGD to 700 MIGD. Kuwait was recently named as one of the countries with the least secure water supply in the world. “With this contract, Babcock Borsig Service will make a significant contribution to-wards Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water aim to deliver essential water supply to Kuwait’s residents,” said Dr Thomas Suckut, CEO of Deutsche Babcock Middle East. Deutsche Babcock Middle East provides customised services, technology and products to a wide range of clients involved in power and desalination, Oil and Gas and other industries in the Gulf Region.


he Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) has chosen GE to design and supply a Membrane Bioreactor System (MBR) system for BAPCO’s oil refinery wastewater treatment plant in Sitra, near Manama. The project and the GE-supplied advanced water treatment technology will support BAPCO’s Environmental Leadership efforts to achieve the stringent wastewater quality levels specified by Bahrain’s General Directorate of Environment and Wild Life Protection regulation for wastewater discharge into the gulf. “BAPCO is committed to managing its precious water resources wisely,” said A Jabbar A Karim Acting General Manager, Major Engineering Projects Division, BAPCO. “With this project, GE is supporting us to realise our goals of minimising the environmental impact from our refining operations, while safeguarding the refinery’s capital equipment at the same time.” The BAPCO Refinery, one of the largest in the Middle East and the oldest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) union, refines over 250,000 barrels of crude daily. GE’s ZeeWeed technology will handle a maximum wastewater flow of about 24 million litres/day, roughly the amount of water required to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool , from the refinery and Sitra Tank farm. “The BAPCO wastewater treatment plant is another example in GE’s long history of supporting customers in Bahrain with innovative energy technology - in this case, advanced water solutions - to meet their toughest operational challenges,“ said Joseph Anis, president and CEO, GE Energy for the Middle East. “We are committed to continue delivering advanced solutions that increase the supply of clean water necessary and meeting the environmental commitments for the expansion of Bahrain’s economy.”

BBS to refurbish desalination plant in Kuwait Babcock Borsig Service secures $10.68 million worth refurbishment contract for desalination units in Kuwait


abcock Borsig Service Kuwait (BBS) has been appointed by the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) to carry out repair and replacement works on three distillation units at the Shuwaikh Power and Distillation Station. The scope of the project, with a value in excess of $10.68 million (€8.5 million), includes design, procurement, manufacturing, supply of parts and material, dismantling, refurbishment, testing, commissioning and maintenance services over a period of three years. The contract covers the Shuwaikh facility’s three distillation units each with a capacity of Six MIGD. BBS will propose an increase in the efficiency/ output package for three distillers using the company’s patents STRT (Steam Recirculation System) and BRIC (Improved Brine Recirculation Circuit). The change is in line with the Gulf state’s plan to raise the desalinated water capacity within the

Adnan Amin and Dr Anwar Gargash signing the agreement.

IRENA signs permanent HQ pact with the UAE The agreement recognises the legal status and capacity of IRENA to perform its mandate as an international agency.


he International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Headquarters Agreement was signed by IRENA DirectorGeneral Adnan Amin, on behalf of the Agency, and Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State representing the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The signing ceremony took place at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi. The Headquarters Agreement is an important foundational document for IRENA, as it expresses the future relationship between the Agency and the government of the host country, the United Arab Emirates. It recognises the commitment made by July2012





the Government of the UAE to host IRENA’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and their responsibilities to the functioning of the headquarters. A previous agreement existed between the UAE and the Preparatory Commission for the International Renewable Energy Agency. When IRENA became a full-fledged Agency on April 5, 2011 and with Abu Dhabi being designated as the permanent seat for the Agency, it became necessary to adjust the text to reflect this new relationship. “Today’s agreement is historic. It formalises the permanent Headquarters of IRENA and its relationship with the UAE, hosting the first international organisation in the region. It provides the firm basis for the mission of IRENA to support the rapid deployment of renewable energy as a central element for international efforts to ensure a sustainable energy future, improve standards of living and strengthen global economies,” said Amin. Dr Gargash also recognised the importance of the signing for the UAE. “Formalising IRENA’s permanent presence in Abu Dhabi is an important milestone for our country, and puts us alongside countries that host some of the world’s most respected international organisations. In much the same way that Switzerland is associated with international diplomacy, the UAE is poised to be internationally recognised as synonymous with renewable energy,” he said. The signing of the Agreement is also significant to the region as it represents the first time that an international organisation with global membership has been headquartered in the Middle East. Currently IRENA engages with 158 countries around the world, and of these 95 are Members and 63 are signatories or applicants for membership. These countries cover all areas of the world, and include many different economic and social situations. The UAE became a member in June 2009. July2012

The trial is all about ‘flattening’ the peak load in a voluntary way.

Abu Dhabi launches energy purchasing trial Sixteen-month trial to study electricity consumers’ behaviour when placed on a time-of-day pricing


s part of a wider initiative aimed at increasing consumer awareness of electricity consumption, Abu Dhabi’s Powerwise Office, which is part of the Emirate’s Regulation and Supervision Bureau, is rolling out an energy purchasing trial for up to 400 volunteers. The trial is designed to help customers and electricity companies assess and analyse consumption behaviour. The 400 volunteers will be recruited from villas in pre-selected gated communities and the trial will run for approximately 16 months. Speaking on behalf of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, Nicholas Carter, Director General said: “Meeting electricity demand during peak hours means generators working only perhaps eight hours a day in the summer and even less in the winter. Ideally, to maximise these generators for a longer period, we need to reduce the short-term peak by making the load flatter over a 24-hour period.” Ramiz Alaileh, the Bureau’s Powerwise Manager explained: “It is all about “flattening” the peak in a voluntary way by incentivising customers to change their behaviour. We are doing this by offering a special electronic display which will inform customers of their electricity consumption at any time during the day.” The trial introduces two indicative charge rates during a 24-hour period. Peak time (2pm – 8pm) is when electricity is most in demand, particularly in the summer months, and will be assigned a higher charge rate. Off-peak time will cover the

remainder of the 24-hour period, when rates will be lower. Throughout the trial, volunteer households will continue to pay their standard published rates to Abu Dhabi Distribution Company. At the end of the trial, the Bureau will be able to determine if price signals have changed a customer’s behaviour or not. The energy purchasing trial has started with recruitment of volunteers, after which there will be a pre-assessment of houses for installation of the electronic display. This will be followed by familiarising volunteers with the process of reading and interpreting their display. Once comfortable with the process of monitoring and optimising energy consumption, time-of-day pricing will be introduced to assess if the knowledge of having a lower rate has an impact on electricity consumption. Ramiz explained: “This is a very exciting trial and will enable the whole sector to think about how to use its assets in a more efficient way, once we know the results. In the end, we can only change the way people use electricity wisely when we have good data and that is what this trial and Powerwise is all about.” The trial will end in late 2013, when all displays will be collected and the two charge rates are switched off. To reflect the performance of households during the trial, a personalised report will be sent across to volunteers at regular intervals. Participating volunteers will still pay the standard rates (15 fils/kWh for non-nationals and 5 fils/kWh for nationals) throughout the trial. However, there will be a hypothetical electricity pricing structure for nationals and nonnationals during peak and non-peak hours. For nationals, the same is 10 fils/kWh and 3 fils/kWh respectively, while for non-nationals, it is 30 fils/ kWh and 10 fils/kWh respectively. Consumers who have managed to save under the hypothetical tariff structure will receive a refund at the end of the trial.

Jorf Lasfar’s output equates to about a third of Morocco’s total capacity.

Jorf Lasfar is the largest coal-fired power complex in the MENA region and the first independent power project (IPP) in Morocco.


bu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) announced that its whollyowned subsidiary, Jorf Lasfar Energy Company 5&6 SA, has signed financing arrangements for $1.4 billion equivalent of 16-year, multicurrency non-recourse project financing for the 700 MW expansion of TAQA’s Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power complex in Morocco. BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank are the mandated lead arrangers for the international debt facilities, while Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) is the mandated lead arranger for the Moroccan Dirham credit facilities, representing approximately 40% of the total debt. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) will provide direct loans and loan guarantees for more than 50% of the total project debt. This is the first time the Japanese and Korean export credit agencies have participated in a project finance transaction in Morocco. Jorf Lasfar is the largest coal-fired power complex in the MENA region and the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco. The expansion is a key infrastructure project for Morocco’s energy strategy intended to meet the needs of ONEE (Office National de l’Electricité & de l’Eau Potable) and to increase the country’s installed electricity

UAE Solar Atlas released at Rio+20 Masdar Institute, IRENA and stakeholders officially release UAE Solar Atlas at Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil.


asdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Abu Dhabiheadquartered International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and other collaboration partners jointly announced the official commissioning of the UAE Solar Atlas at the Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil. The beta version of the Atlas was released earlier in April 2012. The data on solar energy will be freely available online from early 2013 and can be accessed by government organisations or private enterprises for assessing the technical feasibility of any proposed renewable energy project. The data would also be fed into IRENA’s global geo-referenced renewable energy (RE) potentials database. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Special Envoy for Energy & Climate Change, United Arab Emirates, and CEO of Masdar, said: “The official

launch of the UAE Solar Atlas comes at a time when investment in solar energy is witnessing an uptrend. This multi-stakeholder initiative will immensely help investors to assess risks and commercial viability before implementing new solar energy projects. Masdar is proud to be part of this project that will provide further momentum to greater adoption of clean energy sources.” Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA, said: “The official release of the UAE Solar Atlas at the Rio Summit signifies the remarkable commitment of the global partner organisations in bringing clean energy closer to the community. This Internet-based platform is designed to raise awareness of technology opportunities and serve as a repository for high quality renewable energy resource data, offering an avenue for those seeking to choose the solar energy route as part of their energy mix.” Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said “The commissioning of the Solar Atlas ensures renewable energy markets regularly receive reliable and stable data on the annual solar irradiance. Such data can prove extremely valuable for deploying various technologies including roof or land area for photovoltaic cells. The MENA region offers abundant potential for tapping solar energy and we believe the UAE Solar Atlas, supported by the country’s leadership, will encourage other countries in the region to implement renewable energy projects in this part of the world.”



TAQA secures financing for Morocco power project

generation capacity. The 700 MW expansion will bring Jorf Lasfar’s gross capacity to 2,056 MW. Frank Perez, Executive Officer and TAQA’s Head of Power & Water said: “Our profile, as the sponsor, developer, and operator of this significant infrastructure project together with ONEE and the Moroccan Government’s support, has undoubtedly helped secure favourable terms.” The long-term debt, maturing in 2028, represents the equivalent of $1.3 billion. The medium-term debt, maturing in 2014, will amount to the equivalent of $100 million. The expansion units 5 and 6 are scheduled to be commissioned in December 2013 and April 2014 respectively. The EPC contract for the expansion was awarded to Mitsui & Co (Japan) and Daewoo Engineering & Construction (Korea) in 2010. The expansion is expected to generate 3,000 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs during construction. In the long term, the new units are expected to provide 135 jobs while providing indirect employment to 1,000 people



intheregion The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a leading role in initiating the national contribution to the IRENA Global Atlas Project. Other local stakeholders include the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), UAE National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) and Masdar Power. International partners in the IRENA Global Atlas initiative include the Energy Research Centre (ERC) of the UK, ParisTech (France), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the US, and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) of the World Bank. Dr Steve Griffith, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute, pointed out that the UAE Solar Atlas is part of the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy project and developed by Masdar Institute’s UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment. Dr. Hosni Ghedira, Director of the Center, represents Masdar Institute, while Ali Nimer, Acting Director, Administration and Management Services, represents IRENA. A team of 12 researchers and engineers contributed to building profiles of solar and wind resource quality, land use, and grid connectivity in collaboration with local and international partners.

Hotel chain reduces GHG and water use All Mövenpick hotels in the Middle East achieve Green Globe certification.


reen Globe Certification and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts have announced major reductions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and significant water savings by all Mövenpick properties across



the Middle East. After the first year of Green Globe certification of hotels in UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, analysis of energy and water consumption reveals the reduction of 11,765 tonnes of CO2e and savings of 129,346 m3 of potable water in the last 12 months. Green Globe Certification CEO Guido Bauer said, “This is absolute proof that certification by Green Globe leads to great outcomes for the environment as well as utility savings for hotels and resorts. These reductions are equivalent to saving one Olympic pool of water per week, each week for a year. The GHG saved by Mövenpick hotels is the same as the emissions of five non-stop roundtrip flights from Dubai to London.’ Green Globe Certification has been contracted by Mövenpick to certify all their hotels and resorts worldwide. The certification process covers all sustainability criteria including the key environmental indicators of energy and water. Green Globe Certification’s preferred partner in the Middle East, Farnek Avireal provides third party verification of the sustainability achievements of Green Globe members including Mövenpick properties. Avireal’s online environmental monitoring system Hotel Optimiser has tracked the improved performance of the hotels throughout this first year of certification. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Vice President of Operations in the Middle East and India, Gerard Hotelier said, ‘The energy savings we have achieved in the last 12 months are equal to powering a 200-room hotel for one and half years. The total savings on utilities in this period are Dh2.5 million which is almost $700,000 and this represents a four per cent savings in water and electricity costs, while at the same time we have seen a 8.3 per cent increase in occupancy across the properties.”

PDO’s NIMR Produced Water Treatment Project bagged the KIMMCO Sustainable Project of the Year award.

UAE sweeps MEED Quality Awards for Projects Winners included EMAL, RTA, Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company and Damac.


EED Quality Awards for Projects 2012, in association with Ernst & Young, announced the winners of its annual search for the region’s best projects. The MEED Quality Project of the Year Award, in association with Ernst & Young, went to Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Shell’s Pearl GTL joint venture project which also won the HLG Leighton Contracting Oil & Gas Project of the Year honours. The UAE led the region with four awards, including Industrial Project of the Year for Emirates Aluminium Smelter Complex, Transport Project of the Year for the Road and Transport Authority’s Dubai Metro Green Line, Metito Social Project of the Year for Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company’s Saadiyat Construction Village, and the Emirates Steel Building Project of the Year for Damac’s Ocean Heights. The other GCC winners include Saudi Electricity Company’s Riyadh Power Plant #10 in the Power & Water Desalination Project of the Year category; Kuwait Ministry of Public Works Sanitary Engineering Department’s Pumping Station and Waste Water Treatment Plant which won the Water Reuse Project of the Year Award; Petroleum Development Oman’s NIMR Produced Water Treatment Project, winner of the KIMMCO Sustainable Project of the Year award; and the Royal Court Affairs’ Royal Opera House, Oman and Qatar’s Extension to the Qatar National Convention Centre and Link Bridge, joint winners of the Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year award.

Almost half of the nuclear power stations currently in operation may close down by 2030.

Is Europe abandoning nuclear energy?

Europe accounts for 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030.


urope expects to decommission almost 150 of its nuclear power plants by 2030, while the US has granted life extensions to 71 and chosen to close only five, according to a report by GlobalData. The report shows that the figure for Europe accounts for nearly 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030, the largest amount for any region. Barring any changes, the European commercial nuclear decommissioning market value stands at $81,484 million. As of January 2012, France, the UK and Russia have the highest decommissioning market values in Europe, with market values of $21,494-million, $18,717-million, and $13,446-million, respectively. Following the 2011 disaster at Fukushima several European countries have decided to phase out the generation of nuclear power, with both Germany and Belgium aiming to end production by 2030 and Switzerland by 2034. The US however remains undeterred and has announced plans to extend the lives of 71 of its nuclear reactors by 20 years, with further life extensions expected in the future. Only five reactors in the US are due to undergo the decommissioning process by between 2012 and 2030 while neighbour Canada will shut down 17. GlobalData’s report shows that more than 200 nuclear power stations across the world are expected to be closed by 2030, almost half of the number that are currently in operation.

IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012 predicts doubling of Chinese demand and further US growth


atural gas is well on its way to a bright future, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that projects China will more than double consumption over the next five years while lower prices from the unconventional gas revolution will continue to benefit the United States. The report, Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012, released at the World Gas Conference 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, says China will become the third-largest gas importer behind Europe and Asia Oceania, driving a 2.7% average annual growth in global gas demand through 2017 (up from the 2.4% annual growth rate predicted in last year’s report). During the period, North America will become a net LNG exporter, while Japanese imports will increase, although by how much will hinge on the country’s nuclear policies. Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012, part of a series of IEA medium-term market reports also featuring coal, oil and renewable energy, presents detailed forecasts for the next five years of sectoral demand by region plus supply and trade. An in-depth analysis addresses infrastructure investments in LNG and pipelines. The release of the report came a week after the IEA issued a special report, Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas, which looks at the environmental impacts of unconventional gas production and how those impacts are being - and might be - addressed over the next 25 years. “The Golden Age of Gas has dawned in North America, but its continued expansion worldwide depends on producing gas and bringing it to the market in a way that is friendly to investors and society as a whole,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van

Natural gas is the most important commodity with no global market price yet.

der Hoeven during the launch of Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012. “As gas competes against other energy sources in all market segments, notably in the power sector, pricing conditions are a key element to keep it competitive everywhere. This medium-term report aims to facilitate investor decisions by providing a timely, in-depth analysis of the current trends and what we expect to take place over the coming five years.” While Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012 sees growth for natural gas in most regions, low economic growth, relatively high gas prices and strong growth of renewable energies will limit demand in Europe. Successful and timely developments of new resources should lift gas demand in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The report identifies other future sources of supply, with most incremental gas production coming from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and North America. Further growth in unconventional gas will come mostly from shale gas in North America plus tight gas and coal bed methane (CBM) production elsewhere. Shale gas developments in other regions are likely to be concentrated in China and Poland.

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Bright future for natural gas over next five years

Other key findings of the report include:

●● A quarter of new gas demand will come from China, another quarter from the Middle East

and other Asian countries together, and a fifth from North America. ●● Low gas prices will result in gas generating almost as much electricity as coal in the United States by 2017. ●● Global gas trade will expand by 35%, driven by LNG and pipeline gas exports from the FSU region; most of this expansion occurs from 2015 onwards, following a period of further tightening of global gas markets. ●● Natural gas is the most important commodity with no global market price yet. Divergence among regional gas prices will decline but remain a feature of global gas markets. The emergence of a spot price in Asia would aid regional producers and buyers.



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atlarge Atlas Copco unit bags biogas upgrade pilot project

Biogas upgrading is the starting point to bring biomethane to end users in the form of liquified bio gas (LBG).



irmac International, a part of Atlas Copco Group, has been awarded the project ‘High efficiency Low Pressure CO2 Absorber LP Cooab’ by the Netherlands government. The solution will offer an environmentalfriendly and cost efficient upgrading of biogas to higher qualities. One of the ambitions of the Dutch government is to achieve 20% of the energy supply from sustainable sources by 2020. Within this framework, the Energy and Climate of invited companies to propose projects to make the fermentation chain more effective and efficient. Although biogas upgrading to green gas has a high efficiency compared with the production of electricity from biogas, Atlas Copco believes that it is possible to improve this high efficiency. Biogas upgrading is the starting point to bring biomethane to end users. Anaerobic digesters typically produce the raw gas from organic materials and waste. CO2 is extracted from the raw gas to obtain Methane. During this process, undesired inert and corrosive substances are removed. The goals of the pilot project include: Reduction of the green gas cost price, lower environmental impact by reducing CO2 emission, reduction of the system energy consumption and efficient biogas upgrading to higher qualities in order to gain Liquified Bio Gas (LBG). The LP Cooab technology is based on low pressure reversible chemical absorption, specifically designed to remove CO2 from biogas. An July2012

essential element in this process is the absorption liquid, in this case a special amine composition with Cirmac’s trade name ‘CO2 Absorber LP Cooab’. Horst Wasel, President of Atlas Copco Quality Air Division, said: “I am convinced that the final results and findings of this project will cope with our high expectations. These technologies will not only strengthen our leading position but also enable us to grow – together with this future oriented market segment.” Cirmac is working on the project with Royal Haskoning Consulting, which will look after project management, monitoring plan and market investigation and Waterschap Veluwe, a wastewater treatment company, which will provide the location and biogas for the pilot project.

Only about 10% of industrial motors globally are combined currently with electric drives.

to the electricity generated by more than 30 nuclear power station blocks, or to the annual power consumption of 75 million EU households (Average of EU households electricity consumption, source: IEA world energy outlook 2011) “The future potential for energy and cost savings is enormous since only about 10% of industrial motors are combined currently with electric drives,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, member of the Group Executive committee and head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “Using energy more efficiently will remain, for a significant time, the biggest opportunity available to cut energy consumption as well as costs and emissions.” ABB’s annual savings estimate is based on a comparison of the average electricity consumption in applications with and without drives. Many electric motors that are not equipped with drive technology run at maximum speed and are simply throttled if less performance is needed. Energy accounts for 92 to 95% of the life cycle cost of a motor, depending on its size, so an investment in electric drives typically pays back in less than two years.

ABB electric drives save 310-mn MWh

Venture capitalists shy away from water tech investments

Energy savings equivalent to the output of 31 nuclear power station blocks.

Equity transactions are financing a bounce back in water technology innovations after last year’s drop off.


ccording to ABB’s annual estimate, about 310 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electric power was saved by its installed base of drives in 2011, an increase of 19% compared to the previous year. Electric drives are used to regulate the speed and power consumption of electric motors. Industrial electric motors account for about 25% of all the electricity consumed worldwide. The savings from ABB drives in 2011, correspond to 260 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – had this power were generated by fossil fuels – or electricity costs savings of approximately $34 billion for customers (At 2011 US electricity prices). These savings are equivalent


hile global water technology investments have touched $3.1 billion over the past five years, Venture Capital (VC) is losing interest in the sector with VC infusions in water technologies steadily declining from a 2008 peak of $448 million to $133 million in 2011, thanks to the lack of IPO success. In contrast, growth and private deals are on the rise, having replaced venture capital as the major source of funding since 2010, according to Lux Research. Water treatment and conservation technologies have been funded by $3.1 billion in private investments since 2007, and investors are showing an increased willingness to provide

WindFloat is an innovative floating support structure for offshore wind turbines

Toshiba, NET Power, Shaw and Exelon sign agreement to develop next generation thermal power system.

Standby power for floating wind turbines


Innovations in the water sector are not commensurate with the market size.

capital for companies to scale up their operations. As a result, average latestage deal size increased from $4.5 million in 2007 to $12 million in 2011. Equity transactions are leading rebound in investments after last year’s dropoff, as firms seek to tap new opportunities arising from a projected 40% increase in global water use by 2030. “Innovations in the water sector still are not commensurate with the size of this enormous $600 billion market, especially when compared to younger cleantech sectors such as smart grid or bio-based materials and chemicals,” said Daniel Choi, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, Big Cleantech: Investing in Water Innovations. “However, in absolute numbers, innovations abound and start-up activity is plentiful in the water sector.” Lux Research studied each sector of water with different timelines for venture funding, growth equity, and exit windows, identifying opportunities for investors and buyers in active regions of the hydrocosm. Among their findings: ●●Many are riding on the wave of the shale gas boom. Many water technology companies adapted their technologies for shale gas, hoping for lucrative applications in treating frack water. They include Miox, AbTech Industries, BioTeq Environmental, and Latitude Solutions. From only $37 million in 2008, investments into water technologies for oil and gas have grown to $62 million in 2011, and $34.2 million in the first four months of this year. ●●Chinese IPO frenzy ends. Between 2009 and 2011, Chinese water companies went on an IPO spree, with 10 exits valued at $1.6 billion. However, poor post-IPO performances have had an adverse impact, shifting the focus to M&A.

Caterpillar selected to supply standby power for floating wind power project in Portugal.


aterpillar announced it has been selected to supply generator power to Principle Power, a renewable energy technology developer, for its WindFloat Prototype project. The grid-connected floating structure supports a Vestas V80-2.0 MW turbine, with an Olympian GEP 88-4 generator set for standby power, rated at 88.0 kVA. The deal was handled by Cat dealer Barloworld STET, located in Prior Velho, Portugal. The project is being carried out by WindPlus, a joint-venture company led by Portuguese energy group EDP. Using pioneering technology for floating wind power generation units, the project is being tested five kilometres (three miles) offshore near the northern town of Povoa do Varzim, Portugal. Like deepwater drilling applications, wind and the waves will both be affecting the platform at any one time, making stability key. The Olympian generator set was used during offshore transport, and for standby power following installation. According to Principle Power, the Olympian generator sets were selected because of their proven reliability and because of the company’s relationship with STET. “Our Cat dealer helped us design a solution that would stand up to the harsh conditions of the marine environment,” said Craig Andrus of Principle Power. “We also had a critical delivery schedule that had to be met, and knew our Cat dealer would achieve it.”

oshiba Corporation has entered into an agreement to develop a next-generation thermal power system, NET Power, with three leading United States companies: NET Power, a power technology commercialisation company and the owner and initial developer of the NET Power system; Shaw Group, a leading global engineering and construction provider; and Exelon Corporation, a leading US electric utility. The four companies aim to demonstrate NET Power’s low-cost, high efficiency power generation cycle that produces little to no air emissions by commissioning a 25 MW natural gas plant by 2014 and a 250 MW full-scale natural gas commercial plant by 2017. The companies are developing a system that produces a supercritical pressured carbon dioxide (CO2) stream to drive a turbine generator. The system eliminates the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by burning a mixture of natural gas with oxygen instead of nitrogen-rich air and separates and collects pressurised CO2 without adding on a carbon capture system. Such CO2 can be subsequently used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or for underground sequestration. Toshiba will develop the system’s high temperature and high pressure turbine and combustor by making best use of its material, combustion and cooling technology. NET Power and Shaw will work on overall plant engineering and Exelon will support development and operations of the 25 MW plant, such as selecting the site, obtaining permits and commissioning the facility. By working jointly with Exelon, one of the leading US electric utilities, and Shaw, who has rich experiences in power plant construction, the companies aim to achieve early verification of the system. July2012

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Toshiba to develop innovative thermal power system


NEWS international


@SIWW 2012



lobal consulting, construction and engineering company MWH Global launched The Shipping News 2, an interactive iPad demonstration, to show how its engineers are doubling the capacity of the Panama Canal. MWH is the lead designer of the new Post-Panamax navigation locks for the $3.12 billion Third Set of Locks project of the Panama Canal Expansion. Key design highlights include: Lock walls: The lock wall designs incorporate foundation drains that reduce the hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads, enabling more efficient structures that achieve the performance goals for strength and durability. Water consumption: Water saving basins – the largest in the world – are designed to reuse 60% of the fresh water consumed for lockages, with an optimised filling and emptying system that meets aggressive performance criteria for system efficiency and throughput.





emsys has signed an MoU with Senoko Power Plant, the largest power supplier in Singapore, to set up a 50m3/day Membrane Distillation test system based on its novel Vacuum Multi‐ Effect Membrane‐Distillation (V-MEMD) process. Senoko will provide the site for installation and testing the system for a two year period.The thermal energy based V-MEMD is designed to treat different feed waters and can run using waste heat. At the Senoko Power plant, memsys will be using the boiler blowdown as a thermal energy source and will be treating the used‐water to provide a high quality distillate back to Senoko. The project will receive a grant from the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), an inter‐agency body that spearheads the growth of the water industry in Singapore.


MWH GLOBAL is designing the $3.12 billion Third Set of Locks project of Panama Canal Expansion.


novel concept developed by Singapore researchers in cooperation with international collaborators from Denmark and France may make wastewater treatment energy neutral. With support from Singapore’s Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), the new, so-called Energy+-Concept is currently being demonstrated at a pilot-scale plant in Kranji Water Reclamation Plant. Professor Ng Wun Jern from NTU’s AEBC-NEWRI pointed out that process manipulations, which allow for shortcut nitrogen removal coupled with a novel biological carbon accumulation process allows the energy intensive conventional activated sludge process to be substantially improved. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT will lead the studies on anaerobic digestion to optimise the process with regards to a maximum production of biogas. "With new and stricter international requirements on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the water sector has put energy efficiency high on the agenda”, explained Martin Andersen, Head of the Environmental Technology Department at DHI Singapore and Principal Investigator for the project. A typical water reclamation plant in Singapore consumes approximately 0.5 kWh/m3. With PUB collecting and treating about 558 million m3/ year of wastewater, the potential energy savings in Singapore alone are highly significant.

PUB, Singapore’s national water agency and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) signed an MOU to collaborate on joint research and development in desalination and water re-use technologies. PUB was represented by Chief Technology Officer Harry Seah while KAUST was represented by Prof Gary Amy, Director of its Water Desalination and Reuse Centre.

PUB, SINGAPORE’S NATIONAL WATER AGENCY SIGNS MOUs... With International Desalination Association (IDA) for cooperation in training and education. The possible areas of collaboration include training and education in desalination and water reuse, and the organisation of IDA Academy training programme held alongside key conferences like SIWW and the Saudi Water and Power Forum, Jeddah, where the Academy will hold its next set of training courses. With MEIDEN SINGAPORE (MSL) to establish the first Ceramic Membrane MBR Demonstration Plant in Singapore that will treat and recycle industrial wastewater in a more energy-efficient and costeffective manner. The demonstration plant will be sited at the Jurong Water Reclamation Plant and construction is expected to be completed by August 2013. The one year demonstration study will focus on process optimisation. The plant will be capable



ood Practices in Urban Water Management, a study released by Asian Development Bank (ADB) at SIWW 2012 notes that 150 million people in Asia could be supplied with clean water by cutting in half the amount of water lost through leaks and inefficiencies. By examining eight of the best-performing water utilities in Asia, Good Practices in Urban Water Management concludes that a low rate of unaccounted for water (UFW) is critical for efficient service delivery. While current UFW levels in the region are as high as 60%, an UFW level of less than 20% is a realisable goal. In fact, it notes that Phnom Penh managed to bring its lost water rate down to just six per cent in 2008. Asian water utilities need to show innovation to provide service to low-income households, the study says, noting that each of the eight water agencies studied provided some kind of subsidy for obtaining a water connection and, in deserving cases, for the use of water as well.

of treating 4,550 m3/day of industrial wastewater. The project will aim to combine Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) technology with Meiden’s Ceramic Membrane MBR system. The use of UASB, a biological process, can remove COD efficiently while the Ceramic Membrane MBR, which has a longer lifespan than conventional membranes, can produce a stable water supply for recycling purposes. For this project, MSL will be supported under the TechPioneer scheme, which is administered by Singapore’s Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI).

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Adrian Benepe (R), Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, New York City received the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg for New York City’s remarkable transformation after September 11. Dutch environmental biotechnologist, Prof Mark van Loosdrecht (L), was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012 for introducing a paradigm shift in the understanding of the wastewater treatment process.

With Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to collaborate on R&D of integrated water infrastructure system for wastewater treatment and reclamation. MHI’s first initiative under the terms of the MOU will be a test-bedding project at PUB’s Jurong Water Reclamation Plant, with construction expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013, followed by oneyear trial and testing.



ilot test of GE’s non-thermal brine concentrator technology has shown nearly 100% water recovery in the bottling plant of major global beverage company in Asia. In the pilot study, GE’s AquaSel technology had a capacity of 5.7 m3/h. In more than 1,000 hours of operation with this new process, the bottler was able to capture and convert 5,678 m3 of what was previously considered a waste stream into water suitable for reuse with a quality equivalent to that of the incoming water to the plant. The overall water recovery within the ingredient water room was increased to greater than 99%, which means that less than one per cent of the influent water is now a by-product of the new process. Currently, bottling companies can typically use 75 to 85% of the water supplied to their treatment room for bottled water and the variety of soft drinks they offer. The rest is discharged as a waste stream. GE launches energy-saving positive displacement pump system Page 54



NEWS industrynotes

filtration UAE company builds Asia’s largest UF water treatment plant The 14 MIGD Nawabshah Ultrafiltration (UF) plant was installed and commissioned by PakOasis, a Pakistani OEM owned by UAE-based RJ Trading.



f the residents of Nawabshah in the Sindh province of Pakistan aren’t bothered anymore by drinking water issues, related to health or supply shortages, they have Asia’s largest ultrafiltration (UF) project to thank for. The 14 MIGD Nawabshah UF plant was constructed and commissioned by PakOasis, an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in Pakistan owned by UAE-based RJ Trading. The UF membranes as well as technical support for this landmark project were provided by Dow Water & Process Solutions Middle East (DW&PS). Irshad Hussain, Chief Operating Officer (COO), PakOasis Industries pointed out that membrane-based treatment systems have huge scope in his country where potable water treatment plants mainly rely on rapid gravity sand filtration. “Not only do these plants have high operation and maintenance costs, the water quality cannot be guaranteed,” said Hussain. “In fact, a majority of the potable water plants based on sand filtration technology in Pakistan are not functioning due to poor maintenance. As a result, un-filtered water is often discharged directly into the distribution network from the sedimentation tanks.” When one also factors in the extensive biological contamination of surface water, it is easy to understand why water-borne diseases have become a huge public health issue in Pakistan. “Sand filters can remove particles down to around 10 µm, while UF membranes with pore sizes in the range of 0.01 - 0.10 µm have a high removal capability for bacteria and July2012

most viruses,” said Hussain. Last month, the Nawabshah plant completed one year of operations. The plant was completed in six months through the use of skidmounted packages of One MIGD capacity each, which were then integrated on-site. “This approach saves a lot of time in engineering and installation,” explained Hussain. “With the help of our technical partner Dow Water & Process Solutions Middle East, we designed the plant for handling very high TSS levels up to 35 mg/l, which covers maximum levels of suspended solids and turbidity while the UF membranes remove the bacteria and viruses.” To protect the membranes, the plant uses continuous backwash systems. PakOasis honed its integration skills by installing and commissioning small to medium scale Reverse Osmosis (RO) projects for government and industrial sectors in Pakistan. Hussain elaborated: “This helped us accumulate a skilled human resource pool as well as expertise in installing, testing and commissioning RO systems, which stood us in good stead when we entered UF segment two years ago. In fact, we have designated specific teams for the different segments of our water business.” The PakOasis COO also credits the commercial and technical support extended by DW&PS Middle East as a key factor behind the Nawabshah project’s successful operations. Sanjeev Unni, Technical Service Manager for the Middle East and Africa, DW&PS said: “PakOasis has been a Dow customer for past

two to three years. Previously, they would purchase small quantities of RO membranes through a local distributor. In 2010, they decided to do business with us directly, and specifically requested technical and design support from our Middle East office.” Unni pointed out that Dow is also supplying the UF membranes for PakOasis’ 6MIGD Khairpur UF project, and is helping company deploy nanofiltration technology to treat arsenic-contaminated ground water and provide clean drinking water for small villages. Hussain noted that the cost of operation for the UF plant has been calculated at Rs 2 per 1,000 gallon (approx. 2 US cents), whereas the cost for a similar size rapid gravity sand filtration plant is Rs 9 per 1,000 gallon (approx. 9.5 US cents). “You also get water quality of a very high standard,” he added. As the project was executed using existing engineers, many of whom have been with the company from the beginning, the company didn’t have to incur more overheads. Staff costs were also kept low through local hiring and training. “When you have local hiring and training, there is project ownership and dedication,” said Hussain. “We have always taken a low profits maximum turnover approach in our water treatment projects. These are factors that our international competitors will find hard to beat. Moreover, we have also offered a seven-year comprehensive warranty for this project.” (By Anoop K Menon)

Smart Energy Management Rising Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream Solution for the Middle East For more than a century major utilities all over the world have been using the high quality, state of the art electricity meters and future proof network management solutions of Landis+Gyr. With Gridstream we have introduced one the most advanced solutions for Smart Metering and intelligent energy management to the Middle East. The major energy companies as well as the Electricity and District Cooling Utilities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Oman,

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have chosen Landis+Gyr as business partner and preferred supplier. Find out more about our highly customized solutions and services: Landis+Gyr AG, PO Box 500470, Office 301, DIC – 12, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Switchboard: +971 4 452 66 26 / +971 4 447 20 52 Fax: +971 4 452 62 87 Attn: Rajiv Sawhney Managing Director

your pathway to the smart grid



NEWS industrynotes

metersavvy Power to the people In-house energy displays enable consumers to take charge of their electricity usage, paving the way for successful smart metering roll outs.



n-home energy display devices coupled with smart metering applications that provide information in real-time, have proved more effective in reducing energy consumption compared to detailed invoices or web-based displays,” says Rajiv Sawhney, MD, Landis+Gyr Middle East, who claims that his ecoMeter range of in-home energy displays connected to smart meters, is the largest deployed globally by volume. It has recently been selected for a pilot energy use trial scheme in the UAE. Sawhney continued: “Studies have shown that real time energy displays generate consistent proactive end user energy efficiency savings of at least three per cent; another study by VaasaETT, a Finland-based global energy thinktank in 2011, found reduction in energy consumption up to 8.6 per cent.” Basically, in-home energy display devices like ecoMeter take ‘smart metering’ into the home by presenting relevant data and functionality of smart metering as visual, actionable information to end-users in real time, influencing their consumption habits towards optimisation and energy saving. Connected to the electricity meter through wireless, the in-house display presents the relevant data at a convenient and accessible place for the consumer. “How many of us have actually seen our electricity meters? Now you get can see your electricity consumption real-time in a more convenient location and in a customer-friendly way,” said Sawhney. He regards in-house displays as a critical component in the success of any smart metering project as they July2012

engage the end-consumer engaged. “The consumer now becomes empowered by monitoring his own consumption and deciding how to manage it. The younger generation that now tutors the elders of the home on how to be green can visualise the connection between fossil fuel based energy consumption and CO2 emissions, one of the parameters on the display. This device leads the consumer into a different world of awareness and social responsibility.” The default screen on ecoMeter shows an instant display of the consumers’ electricity usage, details for time and temperature, cost per hour at the current consumption rate, current electricity usage in kW and a bar graph indicating the last hours’ power usage in kW. “Using a ‘traffic light’ sequence from green to red, an ecoMeter user can easily determine whether their consumption is low or high,” explained Sawhney. “Further, the device displays current and historic consumption with associated costs so that the consumer can track usage and see how they are reducing it over time.” There is an interactivity provision as well to enable utilities to send messages to their customers. In one of the largest ongoing deployments in Europe, Landis+Gyr is rolling out its multi-energy smart metering with in-house display units for British Gas in the UK where over a million smart meters (Electricity and Gas) and in-home displays are being rolled out. The display units tell British Gas consumers their past energy use in half hour, daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual timeslots; current tariff information and how their energy consumption is costing them as well as text alerts from the utility,

for example, on how they can switch to a cheaper tariff. The biggest cost for a utility, if their consumers are not reducing their consumption, is increasing the generation capacity,” said Sawhney. “In the Middle East, where higher consumption is linked to a particular time of the day i.e. noon and year i.e. summer, you will find utilities saddled with expensive peaking capacity that lies idle most of the year resulting in higher operating costs that are not necessarily justified during the offpeak periods.” Though tariff increases can be used to penalise higher consumption, the sensitivity of the issue, especially in the region, leaves the utilities with very few options apart from introducing time of day tariffs to flatten the load peaks incentivising consumers to consume at off-peaks or working towards informing or influencing consumer behaviour. Sawhney explained: “Where you have informed and aware consumers who reduce their electricity consumption and when you also consider the energy subsidies, the savings garnered from reduction in consumption would surely boost the utility’s revenues. In such situations, every unit saved is equivalent to a savings in an additional unit generated.” For example, the Energy Demand Research Project, a large scale, UK-wide trial seeking to better understand how consumers react to improved information about their energy consumption found that smart meter linked display unit was one of the most popular interventions at the point of recruitment with a markedly higher recruitment rate compared to other interventions. (By Anoop K Menon)


Total investment in renewable power and fuels year to a record $257 billion in 2011; Solar surged past wind power to become the renewable energy technology of choice.


olar attracted nearly twice as much investment as wind, driving the renewable energy sector to yet another record-breaking year, albeit one beset with challenges for the industry, according to two new reports on renewable energy trends issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) last month. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 is the fifth edition of the UNEP report, based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and has become the standard reference for global clean energy investment figures. This year it shows that despite an increasingly tough competitive landscape for manufacturers, total investment in renewable power and fuels last year increased by 17% to a record $257 billion, a six-fold increase on the 2004 figure and 94% higher than the total in 2007, the year before the world financial crisis. Although last year’s 17% increase was significantly smaller than the 37% growth recorded in 2010, it was achieved at a time of rapidly falling prices for renewable energy equipment and severe

The REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report, which has become the most frequently referenced report on renewable energy market, industry and policy developments, notes that during 2011, renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors - power, heating and cooling and transport. Renewable sources have grown to supply 16.7% of global energy consumption. Of that, the share provided by traditional biomass has declined slightly while the share sourced from modern renewable technologies has risen. In 2011, renewable energy technologies continued to expand into new markets: around 50 countries installed wind power capacity, and solar PV capacity moved rapidly into new regions and countries. Solar hot water collectors are used by more than 200 million households as well as in many public and commercial buildings worldwide. Highlights 2011 ●● Total investment in solar power jumped 52% to $147 billion and featured booming rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations in Italy and Germany, the rapid spread of small-scale PV to other countries from China to the UK and big investments in large-scale concentrating solar thermal (CSP) power projects in Spain and the US. ●● The United States surged back to within an inch of the top of the renewables investment rankings, with a 57% leap to $51 billion, as developers rushed to cash in on three significant incentive programmes before they expired during 2011 and 2012. After leading the world for two years, China saw its lead over the US shrink to just $1 billion in 2011, as it recorded renewable energy investment of $52 billion, up 17%. ●● India’s National Solar Mission helped to spur an impressive 62% increase to $12 billion, the fastest

investment expansion of any large renewables market in the world. In Brazil, there was an 8% increase to $7 billion. ●● Competitive challenges intensified sharply, leading to sharp drops in prices, especially in the solar market - a boon to buyers but not to manufacturers, a number of whom went out of business or were forced to restructure. ●● Renewable power, excluding large hydro-electric, accounted for 44% of all new generating capacity added worldwide in 2011 (up from 34% in 2010). This accounted for 31% of actual new power generated, due to lower capacity factors for solar and wind capacity. ●● Gross investment in fossil-fuel capacity in 2011 was $302 billion, compared to $237 billion for that in renewable energy capacity excluding large hydro. ●● The top seven countries for renewable electricity capacity excluding large hydro - China, the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy, India and Japan - accounted for about 70% of total non-hydro renewable capacity worldwide. The ranking among these countries was quite different for non-hydro capacity on a per person basis: Germany, Spain, Italy, the US, Japan, China and India. By region, the EU was home to nearly 37% of global non-hydro renewable capacity at the end of 2011, China, India and Brazil accounted for roughly one quarter. ●● Renewable technologies are expanding into new markets. In 2011, around 50 countries installed wind capacity; solar PV capacity is rapidly moving into new regions and coun tries; interest in geothermal power has taken hold in East Africa’s Rift Valley and elsewhere; interest in solar heating and cooling is on the rise in countries around the world; and the use of modern biomass for energy purposes is expanding in all regions of the globe. ●● In the power sector, renewables July2012

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Here to stay...

pressure on fiscal budgets in the developed world.


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Gemasolar plant, owned by Torresol Energy © Torresol Energy. In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during the year.

accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 gigawatts (GW) of electric capacity added globally during the year. Wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) accounted for almost 40% and 30% of new renewable capacity, respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25%). By the end of 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1,360 GW, up 8% over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25% of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5,360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3% of global electricity. ●● At least 118 countries, more than half of which are developing countries, had renewable energy targets in place by early 2012, up from 96 one year before, although some slackening of policy support was seen in developed countries. This weakening reflected austerity pressures, particularly in Europe, and legislative deadlock in the US Congress. ●● Despite all the additional investments, share prices in the renewable energy sector had a dismal 2011 in the face of overcapacity in the solar and wind manufacturing chains and investor unease about the direction of support policies in both Europe and North America. “There may be multiple reasons driving investments in renewables, from climate, energy security and the



urgency to electrify rural and urban areas in the developing world as one pathway towards eradicating povertywhatever the drivers the strong and sustained growth of the renewable energy sector is a major factor that is assisting many economies towards a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. Mohamed El-Ashry, Chairman of REN21 said: “Policy development and implementation were stimulated by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan, along with improvements in renewable energy costs and technologies. As a result, renewable energy is spreading to more countries and regions of the globe. Globally, there are more than five million jobs in renewable energy industries, and the potential for job creation continues to be a main driver for renewable energy policies. Bumps in the road Faced with plunging green energy technology prices and economic austerity measures, many governments slashed their renewable subsidies and allowed other support schemes to expire. The result was a succession of company failures and factory closures in 2011-2012, including five significant solar manufacturers in the US and Germany. “Today’s over-capacity situation in some renewables sectors, particularly solar, provides the opportunity to upscale deployment in new markets at costs few thought possible only a few years ago. This is particularly attractive to the many developing countries where much of the population has little or no access to modern energy services,” noted Steiner. Professor Dr. Udo Steffens, President and CEO of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, host of the Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance pointed out that renewable energy sector is witnessing many classic symptoms of rapid sectoral growth - big successes,

painful bankruptcies, international trade disputes and more. Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance elaborated: “We are entering a fascinating period, with clean energy’s costs starting to be competitive with fossil fuels. The challenge for policy-makers is to reduce support mechanisms at just the right pace too fast and the long-term future of the industry will be harmed. Too slow and you do the world’s taxpayers and energy consumers a great disservice. Right now we are seeing a lot of pain on the supply-side as prices are being compressed, but it is important to remember than installers, generators and consumers are benefiting. It is all part of the maturing of the sector.” “In 1903, the United States had over 500 car companies, most of which quickly fell by the wayside even as the automobile sector grew into an industrial juggernaut. A century ago, writing off the auto industry based on the failures of weaker firms would have been foolish. Today, the renewable energy sector is experiencing similar growing pains as the sector consolidates.” Liebreich admits that the industry’s image in the investor community has been harmed by a number of high-profile supply-chain company failures. At the same time, Germany’s solar installations hit a new record peak output of 22GW at the end of May 2012 - equivalent to around one quarter of the country’s total power demand. Important contributor to world energy supply In more and more countries, renewable energy represents a significant and rapidly growing share of total energy supply. In the United States, renewable energy (including large hydro) provided 12.7% of total domestic electricity in 2011, up from 10.2% in 2010, and 9.3% in 2009. An estimated 39% of electric capacity added in 2011 was from renewable sources, mostly wind power. Renewable energy sources accounted

"the cost of producing power from rooftop PV panels for domestic use is already competitive with the retail daytime electricity price in several countries"

In 2011, China led the world in the installation of wind turbines.

increased by more than 48.2% during the year. In the European Union, renewable energy accounted for more than 71% of total electricity generating capacity additions in 2011, with solar PV alone representing nearly half (46.7%) of new capacity coming on stream. Germany remained the third biggest market for renewable energy investment. Renewable sources met 12.2% of total final energy consumption and accounted for 20% of electricity consumption (up from 17.2% in 2010 and 16.4% in 2009). As the world marks the UN ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All,’ the REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report included a special focus on rural renewable energy, based on input from local experts working from around the world. Renewable energy is seen increasingly as a means for providing millions of people with a better quality of life through access to modern cooking, heating/cooling and electricity. The report also noted that annual investment in the rural energy sector needs to increase more than fivefold to provide universal access to modern energy by 2030.

Closing the gap with fossil fuels The price of all major renewable energy technologies continued to fall in 2011 - to the point where they are challenging fossil-fuel sources, even before climate, health and other benefits are factored in. The dominant reason for the price declines was that manufacturer margins were compressed as the industry continued the shift from a period of under-capacity a few years ago, to overcapacity now as growing demand failed to keep up with a surge in supply. The most spectacular price plunge was in PV cells, whose average price fell from $1.50 per Watt in September 2010, to $1.30 per Watt by January 2011 and $0.60 per Watt by the end of the year, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Solar Price Index. This fed into a fall in PV module prices of nearly 50% between the start of 2011 and the beginning of this year.

The most spectacular price plunge was in PV cells, whose average price fell from $1.50 per Watt in September 2010 to $0.60 per Watt by the end of 2011.

Onshore wind turbines showed a similar, although less dramatic, trend. In 2011, prices for turbines to be delivered in the second half of 2013 were 25% lower than for devices delivered in the first half of 2009, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Wind Turbine Price Index. While 2011 saw significant falls in the costs of generating a MWh of power from onshore wind (down nine per cent), and from PV technologies (down more than 30%), the cost of electricity generated by fossil-fuel

sources changed less in most parts of the world - despite the sharp falls in US natural gas prices due to the increased use of ‘fracking,’ a hotly contested form of resource extraction. Based on current trends, it is predicted that the average onshore wind project worldwide will be fully competitive with combined-cycle gas turbine generation by 2016 even in the US, as gas prices are expected to rebound to a point where they cover the cost of extraction. At present, this is true only of a minority of wind projects, those that use the most efficient turbines in locations with superior wind resources. In solar, analysis suggests that the cost of producing power from rooftop PV panels for domestic use is already competitive with the retail (but not the wholesale) daytime electricity price in several countries including Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain, as well as the state of Hawaii.

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for about 11.8% of US domestic primary energy production, for the first time surpassing the 11.3% from nuclear power). China again led the world in the installation of wind turbines and was the top hydropower producer and leading manufacturer of PV modules in 2011. Wind power generation

Policy environment drives development REN21’s analysis found that stable renewable energy policies continue to be a driving force behind the development of green power capacity. At least 118 countries - more than half of them in the developing world - have now established renewable energy targets. These include shares of total primary energy, total end-use energy, electricity generation (typically 10-30%), heat supply, biofuels as shares of road transport fuels, and total installed capacities for specific technologies. Support for renewable power generation remains the most popular policy option with at least 65 countries and 27 states now having feed-intariffs (FITs). Most policy activities in 2011 involved revisions to existing Feed in Tariffs (FIT), at times under controversy and involving legal disputes. FIT payments vary widely among technologies and countries but are generally trending downwards, mostly due to lower technology costs than expected. July2012


FEATURE interview

ontherecord A tough task President of Leading Edge Technologies (LET) and past president of International Desalination Association (IDA), Leon Awerbuch is currently a director of IDA, and co-chairs IDA’s technical programmes committee. In April this year, he was named chairman of IDA’s energy task force steering committee whose goal is to achieve a 20% reduction in energy consumption in all major seawater desalination processes by 2015. He spoke to Anoop K Menon on the challenges of pushing the efficiency envelope, how hybridisation can contribute to energy efficient desalination, and the future of existing stock of multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plants in the region How did the energy efficiency task force come into being?

The emphasis on energy efficiency is part of the global climate change debate, and particularly in desalination industry, one of our major challenges is to reduce energy consumption. International Desalination Association (IDA) had been discussing the nexus of water and energy and their inter-relationship for past two to three years, notable highlights being a two-day conference on energy efficiency in seawater desalination in Huntington Beach, California in 2010, and the Water-Energy Nexus Challenge sessions I chaired at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2011 Water Leaders Summit. This year we decided to really focus on this area by creating an energy task force. We made a big splash in Marseille during the World Water Forum by committing to develop the guidelines to reduce energy consumption in all major seawater desalination processes by 20% by 2015. The energy task force, which will comprise of experts from around the world, will be leading this effort. We will be looking at thermal, membrane and hybrid desalination as well as power interlinks to achieve that. With the energy consumption of most desalination processes being quite efficient, even in relative terms, squeezing 20% efficiency will not be an easy task.



Taking up your comment on the relatively high energy efficiency of existing desalination technologies, where do you think additional gains can be tapped?

The biggest impact will come from technology solutions, whether it is pushing the energy recovery envelope in membrane processes or improving membranes to use smaller differential pressure or reducing losses from intake to outfall. In the case of thermal desalination, MultipleEffect Distillation (MED) has achieved significant improvement in electrical power consumption. If we exclude pumping, we can build MED to deliver at 1kWh/ m3, but that needs steam. So we would look at reducing the pressure of steam in order to extract more power from the turbine. MED is unique because today, the technology operates at 65°C Top Brine Temperature (TBT) and we are still using a steam of 2.7 bars. Here the challenge would be how to use a much lower pressure of steam so that we can extract more power and run MED fully. MSF too has achieved improvements with the ‘double pass’ method. In the case of hybrids, I have always believed in taking advantage of the best properties of membrane and distillation processes to achieve reduction in costs and energy. In the case of Reverse Osmosis (RO), while isobaric energy recovery

What would be the key steps towards achieving this goal?

The starting point would be to establish a benchmark for each technology as each is different from the other. Given the different waters, salinities and temperatures, we have to find a technique to bring them to bases and decide the benchmark. We will also looking for ideas from manufacturers or suppliers of desalination equipment and utilities. If the manufacturers are open to sharing their ideas, we will try to demonstrate those ideas in the utilities Our job is to get everybody to think and work together on the same topic. The energy task force is not going to invent the process but try to focus people to think and find solutions that we can put up as basic guidelines. We will ask chemical manufacturers to allow higher temperatures TBT in the thermal process, the membrane manufacturers to improve performance so that there can be more water recovery. There are also aspects like Zero Discharge, for example, and whether that is helping the process or not?

By the same token, how do you see different desalination technologies coming together to achieve energy efficiency?

In Kuwait, for example, they used the outlet of MSF and power plants as a source of feed to the RO plant. You save on intake and outfall, and when you have warm water, you can increase efficiency or flux of the membrane. For Fujairah expansion too, they have proposed the same idea. This is an example of process improvement from a

hybridisation side resulting in significant energy and capital cost savings.

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devices have done a very good job, demonstrating up to 95% energy recovery, the next step will be to increase the recovery of water, which will reduce the consumption of energy. Even with energy recovery devices, you have to look at bigger dimensions for the huge capacities found in this part of the world, and higher reliability too. To achieve the 20% reduction in energy consumption, we are going to look at closer integration between machinery, processes and systems.

Are there â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;low hanging fruitsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; when it comes to improving energy efficiency? Historically, the top performance ratio for MED was eight i.e. eight tonnes of water per tonne of steam. Today, we are doing it at 10, 11, and there is also the example of a project in China where they achieved 15. Why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we try and implement that in this region? The way I see it, we have to gather all the knowledge and make them available to the utilities so that they can specify. Even the existing MSF stock in this region can be refurbished and upgraded with the latest technology. There are new chemicals with properties that improve efficiency and output. You cannot scrap the old MSF plants entirely. Some time ago, I did a study for DEWA for a 32 year plant. We realised that we could improve the efficiency and output of the plant by 30%. Corrado (Corrado Sommariva, President, IDA - editor) implemented an energy efficiency solution for DUBAL which saved the company 3MW of specific power consumption in desalination process by the simple expedient of changing the impellers of the pump. The bottom line is to save the energy. In private projects, energy is a significant component of the costs. Apart from cutting capital costs, if we can cut energy costs through technical solutions, we can achieve substantial reduction in water costs. Of course, if the material costs skyrocket as it happened with copper and nickel not long ago, some of the progress achieved could get negated.

Do you see a role for the new IDA Desalination Academy play in these efforts?

The new IDA Desalination Academy will definitely be looking at energy efficiency issues. In fact, the Academy has an important role linked to the energy taskforce to propagate the information we will collect. The academy will hold its first courses in conjunction with the 2012 Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). July2012


FEATURE coverstory


Striking a balance To tackle its growing water footprint, the oil and gas industry needs to improve water efficiency across the value chain.


ater is a vital natural resource and essential for human survival. But water is also an important input for many agricultural, commercial, or industrial activities. In regions like the Middle East where water supply is constrained or at risk, competition between these interests can give rise to conflict. In fact, rapid economic growth, population growth and longer term questions about the impacts of climate change have started to raise concerns about sustainability and usage of water resources in the region. Growth in energy demand is a natural corollary of population and economic growth. And energy and water are intrinsically linked. Many industrial activities depend on access to a substantial and reliable supply of clean water, and the oil and gas industry is no exception. Against the backdrop of ever-increasing and competing demands for water resources, oil and gas industry is moving around to adopting a strategic view of water management.

Water use in oil and gas industry

Water is needed in oil and gas industry for drilling wells and for injecting into oilfields to maximise the recovery of hydrocarbons or enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and for refinery operations as well. When a conventional well is first drilled, the oil may come to the surface under its own pressure or be pumped up mechanically. Later in its producing life, as the reservoir pressure drops, water is injected into the reservoir through injection wells to create enough pressure to displace the oil towards producing wells. This technique, which is known as water flooding,



comes under the umbrella of EOR, a term used to describe any method used to increase recovery of oil after the primary or secondary stages. As oil and gas become more challenging to extract, oil and gas companies have extensive need of water for EOR. In addition to using water, oil wells also produce water. In fact, produced water is largest volume waste stream associated with oil and gas production. Wells may start out producing little water but sooner or later all oil wells produce a much larger volume of water than oil. On average, for each barrel of oil produced in the world about nine barrels produced water will be pumped to the surface. Because of its source, produced water is contaminated with oil and metals. This water has to be handled, treated and re-used or disposed off. At the Global Water: Oil and Gas Summit in Dubai, held from May 22 and 23, the oil and gas industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost experts examined best-practices and new technologies related to water conservation and efficiency in areas like EOR and Produced Water Re-use.

Treating produced water with reed beds

Dr Roman Breuer, Deputy Head of Environment Division, BAUER Resources spoke on achieving sustainable produced water management in the Nimr oil field in Oman through the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest commercial reed-bed sewage treatment plant. The Nimr oil field, located in the southern part of Oman and owned by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), brings up 270,000 m3/day of contaminated

The reed bed treatment plant, which covers 235 hectares, comprises of an oil/water separator to recover crude oil from the produced water, a surface flow constructed wetland to degrade dissolved hydrocarbons and an evaporation area to evaporate the treated water.

Also, when it comes to deep wells, together with the water, the oil is also disposed off; however, the reed bed system at Nimr recovers the oil in the water. “Figures from 475 days of operation show that we have treated 23 million m³ of produced water, recovered almost 60,000 bbl of crude oil, (at a rate of 120 bbl/day), which translates into $6.5 million at an average oil price of $110/bbl. Power consumed so far is approximately 2,270 MWh while Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), which represents treatment performance, was less than 0.5 ppm or 99.99%,” claimed Breuer. BAUER is now working on evaporation ponds to produce salt. “Since we are located 700 kilometres from Muscat and 300 kilometres from Salalah, there was no immediate scope to use the treated water in these places. Therefore, we decided to evaporate the water to reduce outflow water volumes and crystallise sodium chloride, which can be used by the oil and gas industry for drilling purposes or as industrial salt.”

Lessons from outer space

Breuer continued: “At approximately 500 ppm, the concentration of oil coming into our system was higher than expected. The oil water separator recovers 95% of the oil, while the wetland reduces the remaining hydrocarbons almost down to zero. We have a total six treatment trains but the minimum number needed to be operated at any time is four, which enables maintenance to be carried out.”

Michael Flynn, Principal Investigator, NASA Ames Research Centre elaborated on how NASA’s experiences in developing one of the most advanced water recycling systems in the world for the International Space Station (ISS) is serving the oil and gas industry’s water recycling needs. According to estimates put up on the website of Michigan Technological University (which participated in developing this system), it costs approximately $33,000 to transport a litre of water to the ISS. Without this system which recycles wastewaters from fuel cells, urine, oral hygiene, bathing, hand washing, and humidity in the air in the space station, NASA would have to continue forking out huge amounts of money to ferry water to the space station.

From the time produced water enters the treatment system to its end point, there is zero pumping, and therefore, zero energy consumption. Breuer explained: “Deep well disposal of 45,000 m3/day of produced water, which was our initial contracted capacity, would have consumed 1.3 billion MWh. Our studies showed that deep well disposal consumes up to 4.4 kWh/m³ of electricity, while the reed bed plant’s electricity consumption is a mere 0.1 kWh/ m³, attributable mainly to the air conditioning and water requirements of the people managing this plant.”

The ISS Water Recycling System, which Flynn describes as a total chemical-mechanical system with zero biological elements, achieves 85% water recovery. Wastewater is purified using distillation, adsorption, and catalytic oxidation technologies. Flynn pointed that NASA’s experiences with the distillation system could be useful to tackle produced water treatment challenges in the oil and gas industry, whether it is scaling, water recovery or even brine treatment/disposal. He explained: “Failures in our vapour compression distillation system were tracked to

“The produced water is distributed in the buffer pond and thereon, it is cascaded down four terraces of reed beds by gravity flow,” said Dr Breuer. The produced water contains high dissolved solid content as well as high sodium and chloride concentrations and very specific elements like Boron and Strontium. The treated water, which runs downhill, is led into a collection channel.

coverstory FEATURE

water to the surface together with the oil. After the Omani government phased out the disposal of produced water into shallow aquifers due to environmental concerns in 2005, PDO was saddled with the highly expensive and energy-hungry deep well disposal option. After studies, PDO decided to replace deep disposal wells with an environment and energy-conserving alternative - a reed bed treatment plant using locally grown reed plants. BAUER Resources was awarded a 20-year Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO) contract for a commercial scale reed bed plant to treat the entire volume of produced water. The initial contracted capacity was 45,000 m³/day, which was subsequently increased to 95,000 m³/day.



FEATURE coverstory

coverstory calcium carbonate and calcium sulphate scale formation on heat transfer surfaces and locations where brine is concentrated. The scaling limited the system’s water recovery rate. The problem required returning the system back to earth, chipping away the scales and sending it back to the ISS.” The calcium came from microgravity induced bone loss in the space station’s crew and therapeutic counter measures. After encountering this problem in 2009, NASA poured a lot of money into research to understand control calcium scales, get water recovery rates back up again and take brine all the way to dryness because “we cannot afford to bring brine back to earth from orbit to dispose it.” NASA is working on several scale mitigation approaches including the development of advanced anti-scale chemicals, ion exchange resins and nucleation materials (“we will have these up in ISS in the next two to three months), Electrodialysis (“to be launched soon”), Predictive modelling and operations (“which will take existing models to the next level”) and Failure recovery. The space agency is also developing sensors to sense formation of calcium scales and predict when the problem is going to occur. Another area of NASA work that should interest the oil and gas industry is small, decentralised and autonomous water treatment systems. Flynn elaborated: “With a small system, the biggest cost is labour. So a system which can run autonomously, produce the required water quality without any human intervention and require no maintenance would serve well at well heads. They can be used to treat onsite the water coming out of the wells after which the treated water can be used for agriculture or directly discharged.” He claimed that the Wiped-film Rotating-disk (WFRD) Evaporator developed by NASA is the most high efficiency distillation system commercially available today. “WFRD has got very high thermal efficiency and you can put really nasty stuff – solids, waste - in the water, but don’t have to filter anything that goes in there, and still get 85-90% water recovery. If you want to go for Zero Discharge and want high water recovery rates, you are going to have to deal with solids.” Successful demonstration projects have been carried out with WFRD involving Coal Bed Methane (CBM) water and produced water. The research on Electrodialysis Scale Control by NASA takes into consideration very high solids and fouling wastewater streams because “we don’t like to filter the feed.” The same approach underpins the organisation’s focus on Forward Osmosis (FO) technology as well. Flynn said: “You don’t need to pre-treat the wastewater when it is going into the FO system, but we also want very high water recovery rates. We have no intention of replacing dirty, foul


filters in the ISS. A key aspect of FO is that it handles high solids very well. With FO as the pre-treatment system, you are not going to have the type of failures you normally see in an RO or distillation systems because you are able to control the feed.” NASA is also working on advanced membrane technologies like Lipid Bilayer Membranes that repair themselves, Aquaporin Embedded Protein Membranes that mimic nature’s way of shuffling water in and out of human cells, Nano-tube Membranes, and Osmotic Solids.


Membrane technology for EOR

Lisa Henthorne, CTO & Senior Vice President, Water Standard spoke on the scope for membrane technology as a treatment method to optimise water-based Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes. On average, primary and secondary recovery processes can extract only 30-35% of the oil in a reservoir. However, EOR can maximise the proportion of oil produced from a field, recovering 60% or more of the reservoir’s original oil in place (OOIP). Key market drivers for EOR adoption are the higher costs of finding new reserves, maturing reservoirs, high decommissioning costs and tougher regulation of feed water for injection and produced water disposal/re-injection. Henthorne chose to focus on two water-based EOR methods - low salinity injection and Chemical EOR. Low salinity injection enhances oil recovery by driving the reservoir into a state of water wetness, increasing the microscopic sweep efficiency and thus, increasing potential recovery, which can be up to 15% of OOIP. As reservoir geochemistry and wettability varies between the fields, the optimum chemistry for low salinity injection also varies. Henthorne pointed out that limestone reservoirs respond to low salinity floods differently compared to sandstone reservoirs. So the applicability of low salinity injection and the water chemistry of the injection water should consider the geological variances in different parts of the world. The salinity and ionic composition of the injection water

“The really critical issue is specific ion rejection or getting separation of different types of ions”

Commenting on Chemical EOR, she pointed out that the method was regarded as too expensive because it required huge amounts of chemicals. “Water chemistry can make a huge difference in the amount of chemicals used because lower the salinity, lower the amount of chemicals required,” said Henthorne. The three primary types of chemicals used as additives in the injection water are alkalis, surfactants and polymers. Initially introduced in slugs, a total of less than one pore volume (PV) of reservoir volume was usually injected. From a sweep efficiency improvement standpoint, alkali is used to produce natural surfactants and reduce surfactant absorption; surfactants are used to reduce interfacial tension between oil and water, mobilise oil; polymers increase viscosity of injected water to improve sweep efficiency. “Depending on the type of combination of alkalis, surfactants and polymers used, it is possible obtain variations in the type of water chemistry required to optimise chemical EOR,” said Henthorne. To achieve the range of desired water quality throughout the life of a Chemical EOR flood, water treatment technology should be able to selectively reject different cations and anions. However, the current crop of membranes is limited to selective removal of some ions, such as sulphate. The two main challenges for membrane technologies in meeting EOR water quality standards include: water chemistry of injecting fluid being much different from drinking water (generally saltier with varying levels of hardness and low sulphate levels) and customised water (some of the specified water qualities have never been achieved using currently available membrane technologies). One option would be to blend a saline source like seawater with the injecting fluid to increase the salinity. Here the risk is that hardness and sulphate levels may be out of spec for what is required for injection. While some projects have looked at the addition of potassium chloride to bring the salinity up to the desired level, the cost for large-scale, higher salinity injection makes it impractical. Henthorne continued: “Ideally, what we would like to do is produce the exact customised water by adapting RO and Nano-Filtration (NF) technologies and creatively combining them. However, most of the NF products and non-SWRO technologies are unproven at high salinities and therefore, require piloting.” The primary characteristics

impacting membrane applicability for EOR are membrane permeability, specific ion rejection properties, feed-water temperature and feed water composition. “The really critical issue is specific ion rejection or getting separation of different types of ions,” said Henthorne. “If you look at the existing Sulphate Removal Process (SRP) membranes in the market today, you will see a vast difference in rejection properties - high sulphate rejection but vastly varying rejection of the other salts.” Another major issue is the traditional approach to designing these facilities on the basis of performance projected by the manufacturer’s software. “Because these membranes are not ‘fit-for-purpose’ for the applications we are using them for, the projections are not very accurate,” explained Henthorne. Further, RO or NF membranes used in seawater applications will not be structurally sound to operate at higher operating pressures. Therefore, testing them is very important before putting them into waterbased EOR applications.

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should be adjusted to suit specific reservoir formation by taking into consideration, for example, the potential for clay swelling or clay flocculation. Some clay minerals, like Montmorillonite, are very sensitive to clay swelling. “You cannot go below certain salinity; else you will flocculate the clay, close the pore throats in the reservoir and cause problems in the production,” explained Henthorne.

To assess adaptable membranes, Henthorne’s company evaluated RO and NF products, traditionally used in brackish or softening applications, from eight manufacturers. The desired EOR water qualities were grouped into four general families: • Low salinity low hardness, low sulphate • Low salinity, medium hardness, low sulphate • Medium to high salinity, low hardness, low sulphate • High salinity, ultra-low hardness, low sulphate Approximately 10 RO and NF products (standard 8-inch diameter elements) were found to be good candidates for EOR applications. These were subjected to single element testing followed by testing in actual sea water in a full 6M pressure vessel. The results were put back into the projection software and compared to the results obtained from single element testing. In one test involving brackish RO element, there was a big difference in sodium rejection resulting in the permeate being a lot less salty than expected. This difference was significant enough to impact the project performance due to stringent TDS requirements in typical EOR projects and limited deviation. A similar pattern was seen from pilot testing of alternate membrane manufacturers’ products as well. Among the key recommendations emerging from this exercise were pilot testing and calibration of the projection software to accurately reflect performance before adapting RO and NF products from other applications to seawater EOR, and the need for specific operating and control strategies to achieve the consistency warranted for EOR floods. “You have a very narrow band of operations - if you have a temperature variance in sea water, you will get a significant variation in your permeate quality. So you must be able to plan for that in advance,” concluded Henthorne. TEXT: Anoop K Menon PHOTOS: CWC GROUP July2012


FEATURE productfocus



from Induction Carsten Heidrich on mitigating the impact of induction currents on concrete foundations supporting high-voltage applications


ower electronic components such as compensating reactor coils, power converters and bus bars are elementary components of modern infrastructure for the generation, transmission and final use of electricity. They all operate at high voltages and generate strong magnetic fields around them. These in turn induce stray currents in the steel reinforcement of the concrete foundations of the system components which can result in a substantial heating of the reenforcement. As a result, the bond between the steel and concrete is seriously damaged and the load bearing capacity of the foundation permanently impaired. So far, steel bars have been individually insulated with rubber hoses to solve this problem. This procedure is time consuming and costly. An installation-friendly alternative is the use of glass fibre reinforcement. With the similar mechanical properties as steel rebar, glass fibre bars are neither electrically conductive nor magnetisable. Therefore, they are suitable for the



installation in electromagnetically critical environments. Stray currents are caused by induction. A current flowing in an electrical conductor causes a concentric magnetic field around the conductor. Direct current creates a direct magnetic field, alternating current an alternating magnetic field. Two aspects increase this effect: the magnitude of the current within the conductor and the shape of the conductor. If it is wound into a coil the magnetic fields of the individual loops add up to a much larger magnetic field. This is the case in the aforementioned electrical components. These magnetic fields become a problem if other conductive materials are located within the field. The electrons in those materials will be stimulated to move, which means that a current flows in the material.

Impact of induction currents In high-voltage power electronics facilities primarily the steel reinforcement in the concrete foundations is affected by induction.

The power electronics components are placed directly on the foundation; hence, the foundation is in the immediate area of influence of their magnetic fields. Two effects occur there, which result in a current flowing within the steel reinforcement. The metallic properties of the steel reinforcement make it a good electrical conductor, while the usual arrangement of the reinforcing bars in grids results in closed loops with the longitudinal and transverse bars having direct contact with each other, forming short circuits within the grid. The currents induced by the magnetic field can circulate in these loops with low resistance and heat up the reinforcing steel in the process. With extremely high voltages and amperages, such as those that are used in relay stations or metal smelting furnaces, the temperature of the steel bars can reach up to 400째C. As the steel heats up it expands. This expansion weakens the bond between the steel and the surrounding concrete, causes cracking and ultimately the spalling of the concrete cover. The cracks in the

Electrical Insulation of foundation reinforcement with garden hoses

Rectifier foundation with ComBAR glass fibre reinforcement, Ras al Khair Aluminium factory in Jubail, Saudi Arabia

concrete can allow water to penetrate into the foundation, resulting in the corrosion of the reinforcing steel. This significantly impairs the required load bearing capacity of the foundation.

Avoiding induction currents in steel reinforcement To guarantee trouble-free operation, manufacturers of inductive heavy current components have released different guidelines for the spatial placement of the components. These specifications include, among other things, that there must not be any conductive materials within a radius of the size of the diameter of a single coil. In addition, there must not be any loops made of conductive materials within a radius of twice the diameter of a coil. However, in many cases spatial limitations make it impossible to implement these specifications. Structural measures taken so far to resolve the induction problems are aimed at interrupting the conductor loops by insulating the contact points between the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement using garden hoses made of rubber. To do this, commercial garden hoses are cut in half, placed between the bars to be insulated and secured with cable ties. This measure must be performed manually and is therefore, time consuming and - depending

Foundations made of ComBAR glass fibre reinforcement, Qatalum Aluminium Factory, Qatar

on the labour costs of the particular country - expensive. Furthermore, fault-free workmanship of the insulation must be ensured in order to prevent the hoses from slipping when the concrete is casted and vibrated, which results in additional time and cost effort for optical and electrical checking measures,

Proven in practice A time-saving solution is the replacement of conventional steel reinforcement with glass fibre reinforcement. The German building component manufacturer Schoeck and its Dubai subsidiary Schoeck ME have already realised numerous projects in the high-voltage sector with Schoeck ComBAR glass fibre rebars. The material was used both in comparably small foundations for compensating reactor coils and rectifier systems in German steel mills, as well as in large foundations of 1,000 m2 and more in aluminium smelters in UAE at the DUBAL factory, the Ras al Khair Aluminium factory in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and at the Qatalum Aluminium factory in Qatar as well. By installing ComBAR it was possible to permanently eliminate the problem of induction currents in the foundation reinforcement of these projects. The bond properties and load bearing capacity of the glass

fibre bars as well as their handling are very similar to those of steel reinforcement. As ComBAR does not have any ferromagnetic components, the bars are neither electrically conductive nor magnetisable. Hence, the induction of stray currents from strong magnetic fields is not possible. In addition, the material is not sensitive to corrosion and the effects of chemicals. The lower modulus of elasticity and the linear elasticity of the material have to be taken into account in the dimensioning of glass fibre reinforced concrete elements. Engineers from SchĂśck are available to assist planners and engineers with the design. Alternatively, Schoeck will design the reinforcement itself. On request, Schoeck engineers will instruct the personnel at the site in the proper handling of the glass fibre reinforcement. Schoeck ComBAR is available in common diameters as straight bars, stirrups/bent bars, as well as single and double headed bolts. ComBAR bars are tested by Dubai Municipality, King Fahd University and Arab Testing Centre and also comply with international standards such as CSA S 807. The technical information and ComBAR design programme (in compliance with DIN 1045-1 and EC 2) can be viewed at July2012

productfocus FEATURE

â&#x20AC;&#x153;By installing ComBAR it was possible to permanently eliminate the problem of induction currents.â&#x20AC;?


FEATURE cabletalk



Double Power 3M is seeking to change the overhead power transmission landscape in the Middle East through its high temperature, low sag conductor solution.


he logical response to tackling growing demand is to increase production, and this logic holds true for the electricity sector too. Rapid population and industrialisation over the past few years have seen the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) members commit to huge investments to increase water and power production. However, the other part of the equation is getting the power and water to the end-users, an area which is now beginning to get its fair share of attention. According to Frost & Sullivan, the GCC T&D sector is expected to attract nearly $60 billion in investments over in the next five years to add 18,000 circuit Kilometres of network. The long-distance high voltage transmission networks in Gulf countries comprise largely of overhead lines. While ‘undergrounding’ trend is seen in the urbanised areas, overhead lines are expected to remain dominant when it comes to transporting power over long distances owing to their substantial high performance / low cost advantages. But as utilities are discovering, de-bottlenecking overhead transmission networks to transport more electricity to satisfy end-user demand is easier said than done. At the heart of the matter is the conductor. Worldwide (and the Gulf is no exception), overhead transmission lines are largely made of Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR) conductors constructed of a solid or stranded steel core surrounded by aluminium strands. Mohammad A Ghabin, Business Development Manager, EMD & ACCR Solutions, Electro & Communications Business, Middle East & Africa (MEA), 3M explained: “One of the major goals of overhead line design is to maintain adequate clearance between conductors and the ground so as to prevent dangerous contact with the line. ACSR being a soft metal, aluminium tends to heats up and sag when current passes through it. The addition of steel increased the tensile strength of the conductor so that longer spans can be covered with less support. Also, at the same time, it increases the weight which directly affects the sagginess” July2012

Mohammad A Ghabin, Business Development Manager, EMD & ACCR Solutions, Electro & Communications Business, Middle East & Africa (MEA), 3M

In the region, as elsewhere, the growing demand for electricity was met by building more generation capacity and the extra electricity generated was loaded onto the existing overhead transmission lines. But as utilities soon discovered this can work only up to a point. “Each conductor has a limitation on how much current it can carry, which limits the extent to which you can offload extra power into the grid,” said Ghabin. “Even though steel provides the conductor with strength, as larger amounts of current flow through the line, it will expand and sag. In other words, if you exceed the ampacity limit, the line will sag, which limits the amount of electricity it can carry without violating clearance standards.” Utilities sought to overcome the ampacity limit by using bigger ACSR conductors on the same towers. Soon enough, they had the weight of the conductor as the spoilsport. “Even towers can handle only a certain weight. If you exceed that limit, they will collapse,” said Ghabin. The remaining option of building newer or bigger transmission lines has Right of Way (ROW) issues to contend with. He continued: “In many countries, obtaining the requisite land, permits and environmental clearances for building new corridors or newer or larger towers is not easy. Apart from environmental disruption, there are also social and logistical problems one has to contend with in populated or sensitive areas. Also, the planning activity itself takes 3- 5 years before they can even start building the line.” The solution to the conundrum - replace traditional ACSR conductors with the new breed of high temperature, low sag conductors, an area where 3M is leading the way with its Aluminium Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) conductor. As Ghabin explained, ACCR is stranded from wires composed of tens of thousands of ultra-high-strength aluminium oxide fibres embedded in high purity aluminium. This material has a strength similar to steel, but with less than half the weight and half the thermal expansion. The outer, current carrying wires are a hardened aluminium

of conductivity, or in other words, increasing the area of the aluminium-zirconium outer strands. Ghabin said: “Designers have two options – they can opt for more conductivity by decreasing the diameter of the core and increasing share of outer aluminium; they can also go the other way if they want more strength, like for example, where a water crossing necessitates a long span.” The 3M executive believes that the ACCR is well suited for the Middle East region thanks to its ability to operate at high temperatures. “Our continuous or day-to-day operating temperatures go up to 210°C, while emergency operating temperature can go up to 240°C for up to 1,000 hours cumulative over the life of the conductor. The maximum operating temperature for ACSR is 100°C.” During the 12 years of its existence, ACCR has established itself in the US and the fast growing international markets of China, Brazil and India. Now, 3M has started promoting the product in the Middle East too. Ghabin said: “We are in talks to implement a few pilot projects in other countries within the Middle East. We have already implementing a project in Congo, are in final stages of negotiation in Kenya, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.” Does the fact that ACCR is a very expensive alternative to ACSR make it a tough sell? Ghabin points out that 3M has always positioned ACCR as a “solution than a product.” Utilities, he continued, have a huge demand to satisfy and they have to deliver. “It is a problem they are trying hard to solve, and we deliver them out of that mess. Sometimes they may have money to generate more power, but not have the Right of Way to build new towers. At that time, cost is the last thing either of us could be looking at.” Also, 3M offers complete technical support for ACCR projects, which also includes flying in technical experts from the US to train and certify the installers. July2012

cabletalk FEATURE

zirconium alloy. So the resulting conductor has the same strength as similar size steel core conductors, but is much lighter and sags less. The key attributes of ACCR - half the thermal expansion for less sag at high energy levels and twice the strength-to-weight ratio – results in greater ampacity, while maintaining or improving clearances, tensions and mechanical loads on structures in existing corridors. In fact, the all-aluminium (ACCR) was designed as a drop-in replacement for ACSR. “When you have a conductor at half the weight with double or triple the current carrying capacity of ACSR, you can provide more transmission capacity without exceeding existing towers’ mechanical or clearance limits,” said Ghabin. “You are spared the costs of building new towers because you can transmit two to three times more power by simply upgrading your existing line. By eliminating the need for new towers, land acquisition and other factors, ACCR upgrades can offer substantial savings. Utilities benefit because they can double their sales without adding new infrastructure.” Re-conductoring an existing line with ACCR Conductor instead of building a new, parallel line with ACSR also helps reduce installation time. For example, a ACCR water crossing in Brazil was installed in just six days, compared to the time that would have been required to replace towers and set new foundations in the river. As ACCR does not increase transmission line footprints or change structure height or line appearance, it also helps minimise the impact on property and the environment. Ghabin assured that doubling the capacity doesn’t mean proportional doubling of line losses as “the line losses from our conductor will be a mere two to three per more than what you get from ACSR. In fact, losses in the conductor just doesn’t depend on increasing the current, it also depends on the environment.” Line losses can be decreased by increasing the area


FEATURE events


Frost & Sullivan organises first environment excellence awards

Held for the first time in the region, the awards recognised the achievements of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water and wastewater, solid waste management and air pollution control sectors.


o create a platform for knowledge sharing for the environment industry and recognise the exemplary achievements made by companies, Frost & Sullivan organised its 2012 Middle East Environment Industry Meet along with the Frost & Sullivan Environment Excellence Awards on June 4, 2012 at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. Held for the first time in the Middle East, event witnessed an attendance of approximately 120 senior executives from water and wastewater, solid waste management and air pollution control sectors. A Frost & Sullivan white paper dedicated to the Environment Technologies Market in the Middle East was also launched at the event. A major highlight was an interactive Panel discussion on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Identifying



Future Growth Opportunities and Critical Challenges in the Middle East Environment Industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which preceded the awards ceremony. Frost & Sullivan followed a rigorous measurement-based methodology to shortlist and select leading companies in the Middle East for each Award category, based on detailed research on market performance. The key parameters based on which companies were evaluated include growth strategy and implementation, revenue growth, market share in specific categories and its growth, leadership in new product introduction and innovation, breadth of products and solutions, business/market strategy, increase in customer loyalty and competitor recognition and value of brand.

Excellence in Mergers and Acquisitions Strategy in the Middle East Waste Management Market

Award Recipients Averda Servus

Best Waste Management Company of the Year


Best Construction Waste Management Company of the Year

Al-Dhow for Environmental Projects

Vertical Market Penetration Leadership in Solid WasteRecycling Market

Tadweer Waste Treatments

Customer Value Enhancement for the Middle East Waste Management Market Growth Strategy Excellence in the Middle East Air Pollution Control Equipment Market

Dulsco Waste Management Services

Alstom Middle East

Award Titles

Award Recipients

Product Leadership in the Middle East and North Africa Modern Water Desalination Plant Market Market Leadership in the Middle East and North Africa Aqualia Water and Wastewater Market Enabling Technology in the Middle East and North Africa ACWA Emirates Water and Wastewater Market Vertical Market Penetration Leadership for the Middle East and North Africa Water and Wastewater Market

Passavant-Roediger (Drake & Scull Water and Power)

Green Project Excellence in Wastewater Reuse in the Middle East and North Africa Samsung Engineering Water and Wastewater Market

Doosan Heavy Industries Market Leadership in the Middle East and North Africa & Construction Desalination Plant Market

Emerging Company of the Year in the Middle East and North Africa Water and Wastewater Market

Growth Excellence in the Middle East and North Africa Aquatech International Desalination Plant Market

Technology Innovation in the Bauer Emirates Middle East Produced Water Environment Technologies & Services Treatment Market

Sasidhar Chidanamarri, Industry Manager, Environment and Building Technologies Practice, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, Frost & Sullivan, said: “Environment technologies markets like Water and Wastewater treatment equipment and Solid Waste Management have tremendous growth potential in the Middle East. Underpinning this growth are industrialisation and urbanisation, which indicate greater focus will be on

events FEATURE

Award Titles

Global Engineering Systems

alleviating pollution concerns and environmental degradation. Opportunities could unfold in markets such as recycling of solid waste and liquid effluent, energy from waste, smart water networks and energy management. Value recovery, zerowater and zero-carbon footprint, and mandatory sustainability reporting by companies define the growth of the markets in the next 10 years.” July2012


FEATURE energyworld


PV cost cuts: More to come? Following the free fall of module prices, solar energy systems cannot get that much cheaper for the time being – or so we thought. But the cost reduction potential of PV is far from exhausted.


ermany’s solar industry is angry with the Federal government, which wants to cut solar power funding by up to 30%. “We can’t cut costs by as much as that at all anymore,” said Solarworld boss Frank Asbeck. However, the actual market situation may be a lot less dramatic: “In Germany, people are still busy installing solar energy systems. This year a new extension record of 8 GW is feasible,” claimed analyst Stefan de Haan from IHS iSuppli. One thing is certain: the price of solar energy systems is currently falling at the same rate as that of solar energy tariffs. Whereas a small turnkey rooftop system including installation still costs on average two Euros per kilowatt (kW) at the turn of the year, surveys by IHS iSuppli found that it is currently 25% cheaper at 1.50 Euro. The reason for the rapid price slump is tough competition within the PV industry. “Chinese manufacturers in particular have invested heavily in new technology and have quickly developed major production facilities,” said de Haan. The consequence: massive surplus capacities, which is forcing producers to sell their modules in some cases below their production costs. “Since mid-2010, the average price of modules has almost halved,” said de Haan.

Tough price battle For the solar energy industry, the price slump is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, an increasing number of manufacturers worldwide find themselves in the



red, because they have had to contend with high losses in the price battle with their Asian competitors. In April 2012, Q-Cells became the fourth German solar energy company to announce bankruptcy. On the other hand, the PV sector is taking giant strides towards competitiveness. According to the standard electricity price formula, with system prices of 1.50 Euro per watt, a kilowatt hour (kWh) can be produced for 12 Eurocents today. As a result, solar power in Germany is still around four Eurocents more expensive than the kWh produced by conventional gas power stations and coal power stations which currently costs about eight Eurocents. In countries such as Italy, Spain and the USA, thanks to lower electricity production costs, PV is already very close to being competitive. In many countries, solar energy will therefore no longer be dependent on funding. But taking the last step towards competitiveness will be tough for the sector. “Following the free-fall of module prices, cost savings in the area of cell and module production will now become increasingly difficult”, said Eric Maiser, Executive Director, Federal Association of Photovoltaic Production Instruments (Fachverband Photovoltaik-Produktionsmittel) within the German Engineering Federation VDMA. In this connection, according to a study conducted by IMS Research in early 2011, the price of wafers (which is the preliminary stage of cells) fell by 70% to 30 US Cents by the first quarter of 2012. So, there is not much scope in this key sector of the solar value chain.

“With the entry of the Asian producers, the small appliances sector is on the way to mass production.”

System peripherals the focal point Weber estimates that the system costs could fall by 20% in the next two years. Things have already really started to happen on the inverter market, as Eckhard Wolf, Director Business Line Management at inverter manufacturer AEG Power Solutions, explained: “With the entry of the Asian producers, the small appliances sector is on the way to mass production.” This trend is also reflected in the frames sector. Major aluminium producers and profile manufacturers such as Sapa, Hilti or Cooper B-Line are positioning themselves in order to supply the world market. Their entry indicates that we can expect major supplier cost advantages. On the raw materials side, the price curve is also clearly moving downwards. Raw materials expert Simon Jäger from the Frankfurt Dekabank estimates that the silicone price will reach a new record low of $20 per kilogramme in the coming months due to increasing production capacities. By comparison: when the PV boom started five years ago, due to the dramatic increase in demand, one kg of silicon on the spot market cost up to $400, in other words 20 times the current amount. Glass prices can also still clearly fall. The cost share accounted for by covering and supporting glass formats in a module is currently on average around 10%. With a current module price of 80 Eurocent, this is eight Eurocents. “These costs can be cut by two thirds using new manufacturing processes and small, de-centralised production units,” explained glass specialist Heiko Hessenkämper from the TU Freiberg (University of Applied Sciences). In this connection, his Institute for Ceramics, Glass and Construction Materials (Institut für Keramik, Glas und Baustofftechnik) has developed a special surface finishing process which can replace the previously conventional thermal-hardening process for flat glass.

Thanks to this process, cost of around five Eurocents per watt can be saved, and in addition, a higher consistency achieved says Hessenkämper. “We are reducing the spontaneous breakage problem.” Another approach aimed at reducing costs is offered by so-called alumino-silicate glass. Hessenkämper added that it can be obtained cost effectively from residual materials such as industrial slay, and compared to the previously used raw glass, offers the advantage of coating at high temperatures. “With thin-film modules this enables higher deposition rates and up to 25% higher efficiency,” explained Hessenkämper. In this connection for example, the efficiency of panels on a copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIS) basis can be increased from the current level of 13 to 16%. This corresponds to the current efficiency level of crystalline silicon modules.

energyworld FEATURE

Nevertheless, there is hope for the industry. The system level, including inverters, frames, cabling along with installation, still offers great savings potential. Whereas as much as one third of total costs of a solar project was accounted for by the so-called Balance-of-System (BOS) costs in 2010, their share is now approximately around half that figure. “We must now therefore focus greater attention on the BOS costs,” said Eicke Weber, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Institut für Solare Energiesysteme - ISE), in Freiburg.

New approaches in the glass sector In a few years, small rolling glass factories integrated in module production could come onto the market, avoiding long transportation routes and glass breakage thus saving logistics costs. Rolled glass specialist Fickert + Winterling from Marktredwitz in Upper Franconia is planning to open a glass factory by 2015, which, with daily production of 30 to 50 tonnes, is much smaller than conventional glass factories. The company is currently developing this factory in cooperation with other glass specialists within the framework of the Solarvis network. “We believe that an in-house solution for module manufacturers can be an interesting one”, says Werner Haag, Head of Development at Fickert + Winterling. This view is also shared by glass expert Hessenkämper: previously the module manufacturers obtained their ultra-white supporting and covering glass from production lines or finishing facilities, which are often many hundreds of kilometres away from their production locations. Hessenkämper estimates that three quarters of solar glass costs are accounted for by transport and finishing. At 10 Euros per square metre, the going price for the material, that is nevertheless 7.50 Euro. At the International Trade Fair for Solar Production Equipment, solarpeq, and the parallel event glasstec, the leading world fair for the glass industry, from 23 to 26 October 2012 in Düsseldorf, manufacturers can obtain an impression of the innovations and visions presented by the glass producers. In addition, July2012


FEATURE energyworld

PVsolar on 22 and 23 October at the Exhibition Centre, the “solar meets glass” conference will be held, concentrating on the interface themes of the glass and solar energy industry and concerning itself among others with the issue of costs. Until solutions such as the “Mini-glass factory” become standard features, the industry is banking on clear-cut innovations. The East German solar glass manufacturer F-Glass, a joint venture between Interpane and the Dutch company Scheuten, is for example now offering float glass, which with a thickness of two mm, is more than one mm thinner than conventional solar glass. “In taking this approach, we are reducing the price per unit and enabling module manufacturers to develop new products,” said F-Glass sales and marketing manager Thomas Keyser. In this connection, thanks to the thinner panes, glass-glass modules could be

Future product: Module productions are becoming increasingly efficient. As a result, photovoltaics are rapidly approaching competitiveness. (Photo: Centrosolar)

Fast enough? Even solar technology engineers can reduce costs – by providing more efficiency for rooftop installation in the shortest time. (Photo: Bosch)



produced, which are more robust and have a longer lifecycle than conventional glass film modules. “This will enable manufacturers to become the technology leaders,” said Keyser. In addition to other material savings, F-Glass will also be working on higher throughputs in glass production as well as on consistent logistical improvements. “We can facilitate the ordering logistics for customers by handling their material planning.” As a result, F-Glass can avoid high warehouse stock levels and reduce costs, promises Keyser. In autumn, in Düsseldorf, solarpeq and glasstec will clearly show that it would be almost negligent to solely rely on the increased efficiency of cells and modules when it comes to further cost reductions. Solar energy can still become much more affordable also through innovations in the solar glass sector.

In the solar energy laboratory: the efficiency potential of photo voltaic cells is far from exhausted. Researchers are working intensively on new concepts. (Photo: Dupond)

Quality control: high-quality white glass is indispensable when it comes to high-performance solar modules. (Photo: Bosch)


Celebrating the oustanding achievements of the MENA Water Sector

21st November 2012

The third edition of the H2O Water Awards will be presented to outstanding nominations in the following categories:

Project Category

Product Category

• Best Water Project • Best Wastewater Project • Innovative Use/Application of Technology • Water Efficiency Leader • Water Communications & Marketing

• Best Water Product • Best Wastewater product • Water-Efficient Product of the Year • Most Innovative Product/Technology of the Year (Industrial & Commercial)

To submit your nominations, please visit

For sponsorship enquiries, contact: Vedran Dedic (Group Sales Director) Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Mobile: +971 55 8644831 Email:

For other enquiries, contact:

Anoop K Menon (Editor) Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Mobile: +971 50 2816075 Email: July2012


insight FEATURE thehub

Masdar Institute offers Solar Cell internships

Dr Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor - Solar Energy Materials & Devices Laboratory, Masdar Institute.


asdar Institute of Science and Technology will offer two projects related to solar cell applications as part of its six-week summer internship programme. The projects titled ‘Design of Filters for Applications in Solar Cells Under Light Concentration’ and ‘Solar Cell Technologies and Applications: Investigation of Luminescent Solar Concentrators for UAE Conditions’ are being offered to students majoring in Science and/or Engineering. The former project will focus on the design of specific optical filters for applications of concentrated PV, while the latter will assess whether Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) would be suitable for use in the UAE, given the unique atmospheric conditions. The LSC is an emerging technology in solar cell devices that offers great promise but is not yet explored in the UAE. Solar cell technologies differ from one another based on the material used to make the solar cell and on the processing technology used to fabricate the solar cells. The solar cells (or photovoltaic devices) directly convert light into electricity, and generally use similar physics and technology as that used by the microelectronics industry to make computer chips.



Central receiver towers form the core of solar thermal plants.

An intern is expected to design, prepare modelling simulations, conduct assessments and feasibility study under the two programmes scheduled to begin on 1st July. Dr Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor - Solar Energy Materials & Devices Laboratory, Masdar Institute, will be in charge of these two internships. A Chartered Scientist (CSci), Dr Emziane has spent 17 years working in the area of semiconductor materials and devices with an emphasis on thin-film PV, TPV, CPV and tandem solar cells. Prior to joining Masdar Institute as a founding faculty, he had appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Durham, Liverpool and Sheffield in the UK. Dr Emziane is also the co-owner of three pending IP rights, one of which has been licensed to industry.

A central innovation


company based in the Science Park of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Sun to Market, together with UC3M researchers, has developed a new, improved design for the central receiver of a solar thermal energy plant. The first solar thermal energy plant in the world with a central receiver and thermal storage in commercial operation was recently installed in Spain (Gemasolar, designed by Sener and property of Torresol Energy). As it can function during day as well as night or approximately 7,000 hours a year, the plant represents a significant development in the solar energy sector. “There is certain agreement worldwide at both the scientific and industrial level that this technology will come to be the most dominant one in the sector because of its manageability and cost, with a yearly production of 7,000 hours and capable of obtaining a kilowatt hour for less than 10 US cents,” said Enrique Serrano, Director of Operations at Sun to Market (S2M). The company, together with the ISE (Energy Systems Engineering) Research Group lead by UC3M professor Domingo Santana, has created a new design for a central receiver in the tower, the core of solar thermal installations. All of the solar energy, which comes

from the thousands of heliostats that are oriented toward this point, is concentrated in this part. “Our new concept enables us to use other types of more economical and feasible materials for this part, as well as to work at a lower temperatures range in order to obtain the same energy result,” explained Serrano. For this purpose, they have investigated the functioning of this type of plant, its operational limits and future real prototype tests and an innovative roadmap for a solar energy plant with a central receiver with storage. They have also developed another innovation in the system of energy recovery in the pumping of thermal fluid (salts) to the receiver, which S2M and ISE have both patented. “This system permits an energy recovery above 70%, for which the energy consumption of the power plant decreases, thereby notably improving overall performance,” observed Serrano. In addition, the company has developed simulation software for the heliostat solar area and a system for short-term prediction of the specialised solar resource, which takes into account solar rays, clouds, vertical winds in the tower, partial shade. Sun to Market Solutions started in 2009 within the UC3M Business Incubator Science Park, in Leganes Technology Park. The company has already acquired two patents, racked up sales, and opened local offices in the United States, India and China.

Optimal planning of solar power plants


he task of planning large-scale PV power plants spanning several square kilometres is a complex one. With customer specifications, regulations and government subsidy programmes to consider, designers must also account for numerous other factors including weather, climate, topography and location. These factors,

in turn, influence the selection and placement of the individual components which include the PV arrays with their solar modules, inverters and wiring, not to mention access roads. Until now, engineers have designed solar power plants using CAD programmes, with every layout and every variation painstakingly generated separately. This is a very time-consuming approach. To improve a planned power plant in terms of certain criteria or to compare different concepts with one another, often the entire planning process has to be repeated. Now Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, in collaboration with Siemens Energy Photovoltaics, has developed new planning software that tackles these woes. “Our algorithms, programmed exclusively for the Siemens PVplanet (PV Plant Engineering Toolbox) software, provide engineers with several hundred different plant designs in a single operation. It takes less than a minute of computation time,” said ITWM researcher Dr Ingmar Schüle. The only user-inputs are parameters such as the topography of the construction site and the module and inverter types that will be used. The user can also change a number of parameters – such as the orientation, spacing and inclination of the solar arrays – to study the impact on the quality of the planning result

Cost estimates and income calculations included

To evaluate the designed PV power plants, an income calculation is performed that includes a simulation of the weather in the region, the course of the sun throughout the year and the physical module performance including shading effects. With the results of this computation and an estimate of the investment and operating costs, the planning tool can come up with a figure for the LCOE (Levelised Cost of Energy). By comparing the plant with a

New ‘microbial fuel cell’ cleans municipal sewage and generates electricity at the same time. Credit: Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D.

large number of similar configurations, the planners can investigate the sensitivity of the various parameters to find the right solution from a large array of options. Dr Martin Bischoff, project manager at Siemens Energy Sector, added: “More than anything else, the planning tool provides an overview of the scope for optimisation. This provides the best possible support for planning the most cost-efficient systems. There has been no other planning software with this scope or level of detail until now.”

Cleaning sewage while making electricity


cientists have described a new and more efficient version of an innovative device the size of a home washing machine that uses bacteria growing in municipal sewage to make electricity and clean up the sewage at the same time. The report was presented at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego. Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D., who presented the report at the ACS meeting and her team at the J Craig Venter Institute, is developing one version of a so-called microbial fuel cell (MFC). Traditional fuel cells, like those used on the Space Shuttles and envisioned for cars in the future ‘hydrogen economy,’ convert fuel directly into electricity without igniting the fuel. They react or combine hydrogen and oxygen, for instance, and produce electricity and drinkable water. MFCs are biological fuel cells. They use organic matter, such as the material in sewage, as fuel, and microbes break down the organic matter. In the process of doing so, the bacteria produce electrons, which have a negative charge and are the basic units of electricity. Electricity consists of a flow of electrons or other charges through

a circuit. The new MFC uses ordinary sewage obtained from a conventional sewage treatment plant. Microbes that exist naturally in the sewage produce electrons as they metabolise, or digest, organic material in the sludge. Bretschger found that microbes exist in the MFC community that might even break down potentially harmful pollutants like benzene and toluene that may be in the sludge. An MFC consists of a sealed chamber in which the microbes grow in a film on an electrode, which receives their electrons. Meanwhile, positively-charged units termed protons pass through a membrane to a second, unsealed container. In that container, microbes growing on another electrode combine oxygen with those protons and the electrons flowing as electricity from the electrode in the sealed chamber, producing water or other products like hydrogen peroxide. Bretschger said the MFC also is quite effective in treating sewage to remove organic material, and data suggest a decrease in diseasecausing microbes. “We remove about 97% of the organic matter,” she said. “That sounds clean, but it is not quite clean enough to drink. In order to get to potable, you need 99.99% removal and more complete disinfection of the water.” Still, she suggested their MFC might one day replace some of the existing steps in municipal wastewater treatment. The group presented their first MFC last year. Since then, they increased the amount of waste their device could handle each week from 20 gallons to 100 gallons, trucked in from a local treatment plant near San Diego. They also replaced the titanium components with a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) frame and graphite electrodes. Because of that, the new fuel cell costs about $150 per gallon, half as expensive as their previous prototype. The group hopes eventually to bring the cost under $20 per gallon or less to be cost competitive with existing water treatment technologies. July2012

thehub FEATURE

In the future, large PV plants such as the Siemens solar farm that went into operation in 2011 in Le Mées, France, can be planned quickly and efficiently using the PV planet software solution. © Siemens AG.


TEST measurement


Testing power transformers Safety tips and references for performing transformer tests in the field By Dr Diego Robalino


veryone who works with electricity is aware of the importance of power transformers within the electrical infrastructure. Power is usually generated in remote locations and from there, it has to be transmitted and distributed to consumers, satisfying well-defined standards for quality and efficiency. And, of course, the operation of the system must be safe and reliable. A major problem that electrical utilities often encounter is managing system losses arising from energy conversion processes, such as the use of power transformers, and from transmission and distribution. In order to ensure safe and reliable operation, testing and maintenance of electrical equipment in substations is carried out by professionals who are responsible and accountable for providing accurate assessment of the condition of these assets. Power transformers are critical and cannot always be made available for condition assessment. Availability of power transformers is decreasing due to load growth, and some users are able to put transformers on test only after extremely careful planning. This article wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get too specific about every test mentioned but it does contain relevant



safety tips and literature references that will be useful when performing transformer tests in the field. Creating hazard awareness while performing a specific test and faithfully following safety program guidelines and relevant standards are key elements of power transformer testing practice

Testing intentions

Why is this transformer being tested? A power transformer is tested upon completion of all assembly activities in factory, as part of the commissioning process during installation, within the scope of a periodical and scheduled maintenance program, after system failure and any time its condition needs to be assessed. An important factor that needs to be considered is the applicable standards. For factory tests, reference can be made to the IEEE Standard General Requirements for Liquid-Immersed Distribution, Power, and Regulating Transformers (C57. 12.00) and to the IEEE Standard Test Code for LiquidImmersed Distribution, Power, and Regulating Transformers and Guide for Short-Circuit Testing (C57.12.90). For field electrical tests, reference can be made to IEEE 62-1995

"It’s good practice to discharge and demagnetise the unit before testing"

Responsibility for safety

Who will be in charge of testing the transformer? It is important to emphasise the hazards involved in highvoltage and high-current testing, and the potential consequences of not being properly trained in operating electrical test equipment. Recommendations that should be followed are contained in NFPA 70E (section 205.1, which outlines a ‘qualified person’ suitable for working on electrical equipment). NFPA 70E, ‘Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace’ is published by the US trade association, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). With a similar approach, section 3.2.1 of the NETA Standard for Acceptance Testing Specifications (NETA ATS-2009) requires electrical tests and inspections to be carried out by trained and experienced technicians who will be capable of conducting the tests in a safe manner and with complete knowledge of the hazards involved. The NETA standards are published by the standards organisation NETA (International Electrical Testing Association)

Certification and calibration

Is calibrated and certified equipment available to run the tests? Even though this question sounds like common sense, asset owners don’t always request a calibration certificate for the equipment that will be used to carry out the tests. Test equipment calibration guidelines are given in NETA ATS 2009, section 5.3. Summarising these guidelines, the test company must calibrate the field instrumentation annually. Accuracy of the calibration shall be directly traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Personal protective equipment

What about personal protective equipment (PPE)? Personal protective equipment must be worn. Imagine one of your colleagues falling from a height because of not having

a harness, or injuring their hands or - even worse - no longer being able to work as the result of an electric shock. Perform inspection and testing of protective equipment and protective tools on a regular basis. The relevant standard is NFPA 70E, article 250.

Visual inspections

Why is a visual inspection needed on site? The tests will be performed on a unit that is offline, but it is usually only this unit that is offline; all other electrical apparatus in the substation is energized and is a source of electric and magnetic fields. While the offline unit is being tested, lockout/tag out procedures must be followed. The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tag out), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147, addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a US federal agency that regulates workplace health and safety that publishes a variety of standards, including ones specific to the electrical industry. The aforementioned OSHA standard outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies - electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources. When the environment has been made safe for testing the transformer, it’s time to look at the recommendations provided by the NETA ATS 2009 standard for visual and mechanical inspection of liquid-filled transformers. Remember that ATS is for acceptance testing and some steps might be skipped during routine testing. Things that must always be done are: check the nameplate information, carry out a grounding inspection, verify the presence of PCB content labelling, verify that all connection points to testing equipment are clean, verify liquid level in tanks and bushings, verify operation of tap changers, as well as the operation and accuracy of temperature gauges.

measurement TEST

(R2005): IEEE Guide for Diagnostic Field Testing of Electric Power Apparatus- Part 1 - Oil Filled Power Transformers, Regulators, and Reactors; and, IEEE C57.93-2007: Guide for Installation and Maintenance of Liquid-Immersed Power Transformers. These guides and standards are published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Also, routine investigation of insulation properties is also important; reference for this practice can be found in Section 10 of the ASTM standards, which is published by the standards organisation, ASTM International. Testing practices are also well described in the International Standard IEC 60076-Part 1 (General, specific clause 10); and Part 3 for testing of the dielectric system. This international standard is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Starting the job

Where to start? This is a very common question. Is there a sequence recommended in any standard, which can simply be followed? The answer is no. The technician in charge of the electrical tests should avoid any possible remaining magnetisation of the core and residual charges in the insulation. It’s good practice to discharge and demagnetise the unit before testing. A through fault, line transients or any other switching operation will leave residual magnetism in the transformer core that may affect the results of the tests (as described in the IEEE 62 standard) especially when performing excitation current tests (low voltage or high voltage) and sweep frequency response analysis (SFRA) in open circuit configuration. IEEE 62, in section, July2012


TEST measurement


describes the recommended methods for demagnetisation, and considers a more convenient method to neutralise the magnetic alignment of the core by applying a direct voltage of alternate polarities to the transformer for decreasing intervals. If the transformer has been in operation, leave the unit for at least couple of hours to cool down. Work with a winding or top-oil temperature close to ambient temperature, as the thermal dynamics are much slower and correction factors are more reliable.

Let’s start testing

First of all, ensure that you feel comfortable with the operation and hook-up of the testing instrumentation and that you have a user guide to hand. Perform alternating current (ac) testing that will not affect the core’s magnetization. You can follow the recommended tests presented in IEEE 62 and test each component of the transformer: windings, core, insulation, bushings and tap changers. For all tests, ensure that you have a good grounding connection and that you have the transformer and the testing equipment in the same grounding loop. If you are performing high-voltage testing, familiarise yourself with IEEE 4. Standard for High-Voltage Testing published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Electrical tests

Turn ratio test - Remember that you are applying a lowvoltage signal. You are recommended to apply this signal to the high-voltage winding and use the measuring equipment to collect data from the low-voltage winding. If you must test the transformer from the low-voltage side, use the lowest available voltage. Remember the voltage will be multiplied by a factor equivalent to: V1/V2=N1/N2

Winding resistance test

The test is normally performed on each winding separately. Start from the high-voltage side and then continue with the lowvoltage side. Disconnection of the leads during current injection while performing the test may result in a high-energy discharge.



Ensure that you discharge and de-magnetise the transformer after running a direct-current (dc) winding resistance test. For large YΔ configured transformers, perform the test with the simultaneous winding magnetization technique. In this case, inject the test current through high-voltage and low-voltage windings simultaneously, to shorten the measurement time.

Dissipation factor (tan ∂) test

This kind of testing involves dealing with high-voltage equipment. Be sure your testing equipment is properly grounded and safely connected to the transformer. Because your transformer is not ideal and neither are the substation conditions, you will encounter electromagnetic interference (EMI) at different levels and of different types (ac or dc) from various sources, creating electrical noise that needs to be suppressed by the testing equipment, which is one of the reasons why tan ∂ testing is performed at high voltages. You must consider the temperature of the insulation system, as a correction factor should be applied to normalise the results to a 20ºC base, using either a table of correction factors or an individual temperature correction factor determined by using sweep frequency technology. Moreover, ensure that you verify the condition of the bushings; they should be clean and dry. This will avoid the flow of leakage currents on the surface of the porcelain. Also, ensure that your highvoltage lead and your measurement leads are not touching a grounding point because this would trip the unit or give negative power factor values.

Excitation current test

Normally, this test is only performed on the high-voltage side of the transformer. Remember that you have a choice of two instruments for performing excitation current tests; you can use a transformer turn ratio (TTR) instrument or you can use a dissipation factor test set. The big difference is the test voltage applied to excite the transformer. Never compare absolute numbers for a test performed at 100 volts with a test at 10 kilovolts. The results are very different. This may be a high-voltage test, so be sure to follow the operating

“Data trending will help you to better determine the condition of the transformer, allowing easier decision-making leading to an easier process when making decisions about maintenance plans.."

Short circuit impedance test

Bear in mind that when you short circuit the secondary winding, a high current flow can be expected between the short-circuited terminals. Therefore, use jumper cables of at least #1 AWG (American wire gage) or 50 mm2 cross sectional area otherwise you may end up melting the jumper cables during the test.

Insulation resistance test

The life of a transformer is limited by the life of its insulation system. If you are confident about the condition of the insulation, then you can expect that the unit will provide many more years of service. You should discharge the transformer before and after the test so no residual charges will affect the personnel testing the unit or working on connection/disconnection. Be aware of possible leakage currents flowing on the surface of bushings and use the insulation resistance test set guard lead to minimise the effect of these currents on your results.

SFRA test

This new technique impresses many transformer manufacturers and transformer operators because of its ability to detect various faults in a single test. The test is straightforward, but following existing standards and procedures to ensure repeatability is essential. The test is sensitive to connections and set-up and you should be aware of the internal noise in your testing device. The transfer function of many transformers will reach a magnitude value close to -90 dB and sometimes down to -100 dB and, therefore, your instrumentation should have a wide dynamic range capable to record these transfer function magnitudes. Grounding practices are critical. The CIGRE 342 (2008): ‘Mechanical Condition Assessment of Transformer Windings Using Frequency Response Analysis’ document, published by members of the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE), describes in section on how to use adjustable extension leads. It must be emphasised that residual magnetization in the core will affect “open circuit” readings. Therefore, de-magnetise the transformer before performing SFRA tests. More detailed instructions are listed in CIGRE 342 section 2.4.8. The IEEE Transformer Committee is intensively working to make a Frequency Response Analysis Guide available.

So far, the work is being compiled in the document IEEE PC57.149/D8 ‘Draft Trial-Use Guide for the Application and Interpretation of Frequency Response Analysis for Oil Immersed Transformers’.

DFR Test

Dielectric Frequency Response (DFR) Test Insulation diagnostic testing using Dielectric Frequency Response (DFR) or, as it is also called, Frequency Domain Spectroscopy (FDS) is a useful tool for determining the percentage moisture concentration in solid insulation, the conductivity of liquid insulation and the temperature dependence of the dissipation factor. The procedure is similar to performing a dissipation factor test. The main difference is that you are performing capacitance and tan delta measurements at different frequencies and to complete the test is somewhat longer usually around 30 minutes. Another difference is that you are testing at lower voltages, typically 140 Vrms. Because the hook-up is the same as that used for tan ∂ testing, the same recommendations apply with regards to input signal location and measurement leads. When performing this test, take some time to review the literature of the CIGRE 254 document - Dielectric Response Methods for Diagnostics of Power Transformers; and, CIGRE 414 - Dielectric Response Diagnoses for transformer Windings, section 4.1.3. - Suggested checklist for execution of dielectric response measurements on power transformers.

measurement TEST

instructions provided by the manufacturer for safe operation and good quality results.


Performing electrical testing can be dangerous if personnel are not familiar with the test equipment and the object under test. An easy to follow procedure is described in NETA ATS 2009 section We hope that this brief set of recommendations will help you perform electrical testing in a safe manner, producing accurate results and valuable readings. Please remember to practice good management of the data obtained from field tests. Always keep a good record of the results. Data trending will help you to better determine the condition of the transformer, leading to an easier process when making decisions about maintenance plans or immediate actions to be considered before bringing the transformer back in service. Finally, always ensure that you follow carefully the national and international standards mentioned in this feature, those standards or practices (IEC, VDE, GOST, etc) regulating the safe work and operation of electrical testing equipment in your territory and, of course, the manufacturer’s recommendations. (The author is Lead Applications Engineer, Megger) July2012


FEATURE interview



In the centre of things Tim Armsby, who joined International law firm Eversheds as a partner across its Middle East offices early this year, has over 10 years of experience of advising on complex transactions in the MENA region. A specialist in energy and infrastructure projects, construction and upstream oil and gas, Tim holds the unique distinction of having advised on every social infrastructure Public Private Partnership (PPP) project launched in Egypt to date. In the concluding part of this two-part interview, Tim shares his opinion on regional countries that have got their PPP act right, the difficulties in applying the learning from the simpler utility and energy PPPs to the more complex social infrastructure projects and lastly, financing challenges in this period of economic and political uncertainty. The first part of the interview was published in MW-H20 edition dated May 2012.

sectors. The Abu Dhabi power and water PPP model has served as a template for the rest of the Gulf. But a similar success eluded them in the Mafraq road project where, after a long and expensive tendering process, the government felt that they might be paying too much. In power and water, governments are largely comfortable with existing structure and pricing models. With roads, the challenge is trying to evaluate the true value of the service, especially when the government can compare its cost per kilometre with the inevitably higher ones from the private party, which must also factor in prices for building and maintaining the road for a period of time. When the government has the cash to fund such projects on its own, they may lack the motivation to test the PPP route. What, I think, is missing in the GCC countries, with the exception of Kuwait, is a separate legal framework for PPPs. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an area where a lot of the social infrastructure projects have encountered difficulty because traditionally, government procurement is aimed at getting lowest price for buying goods or services, not entering into long term contracts for 20 years or more and evaluating the value of that contract. Prior to launching a project, the legal, commercial and technical advisors normally prepare a detailed risk matrix which lists the risks associated with doing the project traditionally versus the PPP route. Apart from capex, one has to evaluate other risks like cost overruns. It is not uncommon to see governments getting hurt with traditional procurement or EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) due to increasing costs that werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t budgeted for, resulting in delayed payments to contractors. In fact, delays are more common with EPCs than PPPs. When you equate delays with money, you are left with a number, and ideally, the number for PPP should be less than for EPC, but evaluating the cost of delay is not an exact science. Therefore, the motivation and the procurement regime to do such evaluation may be missing in jurisdictions where the government has the cash to pay for the project.

In your opinion, which country in the Gulf region has the best Public Private Partnership (PPP) model?

Why is it difficult to apply the learning from power and water PPPs to social infrastructure projects like hospitals and roads?

Oman, which was the first country in the Gulf to set up an independent power project, has been quite successful with PPPs in the power and water sectors. The UAE is interesting because Abu Dhabi has a long track record of private sector involvement in power, water and education

One barrier is the traditional procurement mentality. Also, while governments have the internal capability to understand the simpler power and water projects, run the tenders and manage the contracts, social infrastructure PPPs are new to the region. Even in the UK, which is a


"Banks are also becoming pickier about the projects and particularly, the bidders they will lend to"

What is your perspective on the project financing challenges in the region today? When the financial crisis struck, there was a point when banks had literally stopped financing. In the power sector, for example, a lot of projects were postponed or went into the EPC mode. Conversely, the recession also stabilised demand which was growing at breakneck speed, giving the region’s utilities room to manoeuvre. While big financing has picked up, we are yet to see margins come down to the levels they were in the mid2000s, and I believe that is unlikely to happen in the short term. At the moment, the challenges for financing are very project specific. While banks are lending into the region, the number of banks willing to lend is much smaller, so liquidity and funds available are less. Banks are also becoming pickier about the projects and particularly, the bidders they will lend to. Only projects that are structured right contractually, where there is clear government support and where the banks have a relationship with the bid e. The alternative is to let the local banks fund the gaps. But that has a strong currency risk element attached to it which can make calculations go awry during a slowdown as Egypt quickly discovered. Whilst the Egyptian banks

were very liquid, the level of deposits weren’t sufficient to finance a massive PPP programme. At the same time, as we can see in Saudi Arabia, there is also a huge opportunity for local banks to take a leading role. While financing by export credit agencies and multilateral organisations could play a more important role, one must also remember that on the whole, they are more expensive than traditional lenders. So the issue comes down to costs. There are different ways of financing projects, but the reality is that in an environment where there is economic slowdown and political instability, project financing will always be more expensive. Therefore, when the government evaluates EPC versus PPP, particularly for risky or pilot projects in transport, education, healthcare sectors where there is a subsidy element, they will go for EPC. Perhaps, now is not the time to launch a big, complicated social infrastructure project. We may be better off doing simple projects with a recognised contractual structure that everyone is comfortable with.

interview FEATURE

leader in non-energy PPPs today, it took five to 10 years to develop the contracting and financing models to get these projects running. In the early days, the government either over-paid or the projects were disasters. For the Middle East, the beauty is they can take that experience and avoid the errors learned elsewhere in Europe and North America. But there has to be willingness at the highest levels of government. To do these projects properly, you need to build internal capacity; otherwise, you cannot evaluate the bids properly. Also, the contracts tend to be very complicated. Managing a contract for medical services is a totally different ball game than for electricity production. Even if you have an existing public procurement regime, it is generally not aimed at long term agreements. Often, there is a special regime for power or water projects. To be able to procure social infrastructure projects, and have the flexibility to award contracts to the best qualified bidder, not just on price, you need a different regime. To make sure that you have the right advisors, you need to have the ability to bring in the right experience as well, not the cheapest consultants. Over time, you will have internal experience and standardised documentation. But the government really needs to buy into it at the start.

Why are banks so risk averse when it comes to supporting new concepts or technologies like for example, smart grids? On the whole, banks are conservative institutions; so if you are proposing something brand new, it becomes difficult to finance. Even if they do, banks are going to require more security, which essentially comes down to more government support if the project goes wrong.For example, traditionally, when the government is doing its first PPP in any sector, they have to offer complete guarantees, whether it is offering to repay 100% of the debt if things go wrong,all the costs associated with that debt or even a hefty equity payout to the shareholders unless they cause the default. There may be other guarantees and supports in terms of tax benefits and incentives to make the project happen even though it may be a simple project and the country may be stable because banks will always attach more risks to the first PPP. History also tells you that that over time, the level of support the government offers will come down. Sometimes, if the off taker has a credit rating, there may no government guarantee behind the project and the commitment to repay the lenders in case of a default may be less than 100%. When you talk about new technology, there has got to be willingness within the government to do the project and if they have to offer guarantees and so forth, they should be willing to do that. But there are also examples like Shell’s Pearl GTL project, the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant, which was financed by Shell themselves. July2012


FEATURE productfocus


P GE launches energy-saving positive displacement pump system



OMICRON speeds up partial discharge localisation

E launched its new Integrated Pump and Energy Recovery (IPER) system for large seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facilities at the 2012 Singapore International Water Week. The company claims that IPER reduces the energy demands associated with pumping water by at least 10%. Water and Sewerage Corporation, a desalination facility in Tarpum Bay, Bahamas, has installed a pilot IPER system. “IPER is designed to offer customers reliable uptime for their packaged desalination water treatment plants while reducing their energy costs in a significant and quantifiable way,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “IPER represents a major economic and technical break-through that is poised to help desalination operators play an even greater role in addressing the world’s mounting water scarcity problems.” Lower-capacity desalination plants have often utilised PD pumps because of their high efficiency and availability. These small but efficient pumps are based on the use of a fixed geometry and either rotating axial pistons or crankdriven pistons to pressurize water in the chambers. As the size and pumping capacity of these chambers increase, these smaller PD pumps face mechanical challenges. As a result, previous larger PD pumps have either featured a larger crankshaft or high crankshaft speeds to overcome these mechanical challenges. But due to the larger size and operating speeds, these solutions have led to significant vibration and maintenance issues. According to GE, IPER solves these problems by eliminating the crankshaft and replacing it with a unique hydraulic drive system for both functions. This hydraulic drive powers three double acting pistons in the water displacement unit and does this at very slow cycle speeds as compared to traditional PD pumps. This allows larger SWRO systems that today use less efficient centrifugal pumps to incorporate IPER positive displacement pumps in the future. Since positive displacement pumps are typically used on systems with a capacity of less than 1,000 m3/day, this offers opportunities for any plant of 1,000 m3/day or larger to achieve substantial energy savings. July2012

artial discharges (PD) often occur due to impending insulation faults when electrical and acoustic pulses are sent out simultaneously. OMICRON’s PDL 650 localises the acoustic signals using multiple sensors spread out over the transformer. The PDL software then calculates the fault location based on the time difference between the incoming signals. OMICRON claims that the PDL 650 is an ideal system for localising and analysing partial discharges and tracing back results. According to the company, the PDL 650 can be combined with the MPD 600 for faster analysis. The MPD 600 measures and analyses electrical partial discharge pulses and is connected to the PDL 650 via a fibre optic cable. UHF measurements can serve as an additional signal input, which the company notes, allows partial discharges to be localised more quickly, even in environments with lots of interference factors. The PDL software calculates the position of the PD fault and represents this in a 3D model of the transformer. The user can then rotate the model in all directions. According to OMICRON, new transformer models can be created as they are developed, ensuring that the software is prepared for future innovation. The ‘Record’ function offers new functionalities, allowing complete measurements to be recorded and then played back at a later point in time. All data is saved without changes, therefore the measurement can still be used many years later for comparison or even analysed at a later date. In many cases, a test report may be desired or even stipulated. OMICRON claims that the PDL software compiles a printable report of the measurements at the touch of a button. For more information, e-mail peter. hosp(at)

Enterprise-wide software for process industry

ydro International has launched the Hydro Brake Optimum, a new flow control for surface water, foul and combined sewer systems. The product was launched at the IFAT Entsorga Exhibition in Munich. The new Hydro-Brake Optimum unit sizing, the company claims, enables fine-tuning according to the site priorities. For example, it may be important to maximise hydraulic performance or to choose a more compact design to account for site constraints such as pipe diameter or chamber retrofit. Hydro-Brake Optimum can be designed to balance flow rates and surface water storage requirements to the conditions of a development site. Hydro International claims that any site with HydroBrake Optimum will now need up to 15% less storage than if an alternative were used. By saving on surface water storage, Hydro-Brake Optimum claims to deliver savings in excavation costs and frees up more land for building to maximise the developers’ Return on Investment. Alex Stephenson, Director of Hydro’s UK Stormwater Division, said: “It’s no secret that other products on the market are based on Hydro technology. With HydroBrake Optimum, we have set the next generation performance standard. In future it will be particularly important for designers and contractors to realise that the new Hydro-Brake Optimum has no equivalent. It can be tempting for a contractor to try to change from the specified flow control, but in the case of Hydro-Brake Optimum this would result in a change of the engineered performance and could lead to flooding.” According to the company, the new adjustable inlet plates in Hydro-Brake Optimum provide up to 20% alteration in the forward flow rate as future-proofing against climate change or site-modifications and up to 20% larger clearances than other flow controls, which reduces the risk of blockage. The product is manufactured out of high grade Stainless Steel. Time saving installation options including, lugs, push-fit spigots, flat or curved mounting plates, penstock or slide mounts and removable units. The Hydro-Brake Optimum is also available pre-fitted to a purpose-built precast reinforced concrete chamber. For more information about the new Hydro-Brake Optimum, e-mail: enquiries (at)

ompanies in the process industries often use dozens of applications and hundreds of spreadsheets to manage complex production operations, monitor processes and make operating decisions. These systems are usually either completely isolated or are connected with complex, custom-designed interfaces that make it difficult to use the data effectively and maintain data integrity. Honeywell claims that its newly launched Intuition Executive, the flagship product of its new Intuition software portfolio, solves this critical challenge by anticipating problems and identifying opportunities. Intuition Executive’s collaboration tools highlight and capture expert knowledge, share information and help users to make more agile decisions and take action, all of which, Honeywell claimed, enable companies in the process industry to achieve increased efficiency and the ability to manage and respond to volatile energy costs, complex regulatory changes, and real-world safety challenges. “Data integration and visualisation is a must have for our customers today,” said Ian Brown, vice president & general manager, Advanced Solutions, Honeywell Process Solutions. “The ability to see, understand and act on the relationships within critical data is key to creating competitive advantage, and this can only be achieved when all applications and underlying data are amalgamated. Once you do this, you can identify and take advantage of opportunities earlier, mitigate potentially damaging plant events and make confident business decisions.” Intuition Executive is developed on and extends the functionality of Microsoft Corp. technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint 2010, SQL Server and StreamInsight. “Monitoring and analysing data in motion leads to earlier event detection and faster decision making. Combining business intelligence and analytics tools with existing workflows empowers organisations with the ability to take immediate action and stay ahead in today’s highly competitive industrial marketplace,” said Caglayan Arkan, general manager, Worldwide Manufacturing and Resources Sector, Microsoft. “Combined with Microsoft technologies, Intuition Executive is positioned to take advantage of computing power and complex event processing technology to analyse large data streams.”




productfocus FEATURE

Hydro-Brake’s new flow control


tenders&projects Project No. MPP1965-SA Project Name Shuqaiq Thermal Power


Territory Client


Status Remarks

Tender categories Tender products

Plant Project Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company - Western Region (Saudi Arabia) City: Jeddah 21430 Postal/Zip Code: 9299 Country: Saudi Arabia Tel: (+966-2) 650 0005 Fax: (+966-2) 653 4139 Contact Persons /Website: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a thermal power plant in Shuqaiq with capacity of 2,400 MW. New Tender Updated On: June 20, 2012 Client has invited bids for the EPC contract on this scheme. Contractors have until October 2012 to submit technical bids. Technical bids will be assessed before financial offers are invited. This project is in Saudi Arabia. Client is planning to invite expression of interest (EoI) by the end of May 2012. Bids will then be invited for EPC contract. Power Plants & Alternative Energy Power Generation Plants

Project No. MPP2655-E Project Name Suez Power Plant

Construction Project Territory Egypt Client Power Generation Engineering & Services Company - PGESCo (Egypt) Address: 41 El-Salam Avenue, Central District City: Cairo Country: Egypt Tel: (+20-2) 2617 6497 Fax: (+20-2) 2617 6519 E-mail: aamostaf@pgesco. com Contact Persons /Website: Description Construction of Suez power



Status Remarks

Tender categories Tender products

plant with capacity of 650 MW. New Tender This project is in Egypt. It will replace an ageing plant of a smaller size. Client, a joint venture between Electricity & Energy Ministry, US’ Bechtel and Egypt’s Commercial International Bank is procuring equipment for the scheme. it is in talks with France’s Alstom and Italy’s Ansaldo Energia for the main components of the project. Power Plants & Alternative Energy Power Generation Plants

Project No. RFX 2131200062 Project Name Lussaily Reservoir Territory Client


Closing Date Status Remarks

Construction Project Dubai Name: Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) Address: Head Office, Near Wafi Shopping Mall, Zabeel East City: Dubai Postal/Zip Code: 564 Country: United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971-4) 324 4444 Fax: (+971-4) 324 8111 E-mail: ae Contact Persons /Website: Construction of Lussaily Reservoir with capacity of 120 million imperial gallons (MIG) - Phases 1 & 2. July 23, 2012 New Tender Tender No. RFX 2131200062 This project is in Dubai. The tender cost is payable in cash or on-line through the website ae under the title e-services. Tenders must be valid for acceptance for 120 days from the closing date. The Master Tender Document must be accompanied by a Tender Bond for an amount



tenders&projects PROCUREMENT updates

not less than 5% of the total tender price and valid for 150 days from the tender closing date. Completed sealed tender documents should be addressed to: The Chairman, Board of Directors, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and deposited into the Tender Box at Authority's Head Office near Wafi Shopping Mall in Zabeel East, Dubai. Participants in the tender should submit the names of their Local Partners/Sponsors, having a valid Dubai Trade Licence along with a photocopy of their current licence. For any further queries, the office of Senior Manager - Contracts may be contacted through e-mail: Tender categories Water Works Tender products Water Storage

Project No. RFX 2131200063 Project Name Engineering Consultancy Territory Client

Description Closing Date Status Remarks



Services-174 Dubai Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) Address: Head Office, Near Wafi Shopping Mall, Zabeel East City: Dubai Postal/Zip Code: 564 Country: United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971-4) 324 4444 Fax: (+971-4) 324 8111 E-mail: ae Contact Persons /Website: Provision of engineering consultancy services for drinking water bottling facility. July 2, 2012 New Tender Tender No. RFX 2131200063 This tender service is in Dubai. The tender cost is payable in cash or on-line through the website http:// under the title e-services. Tenders must be valid for acceptance for 120 days from the closing date. The Master Tender Document must be accompanied by a Tender Bond for an amount not less than 5% of the total tender price and valid for 150 days from the tender closing date. Completed sealed tender documents should be addressed to: The Chairman, Board of Directors, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and deposited into the Tender Box at Authority's Head Office near Wafi Shopping Mall in Zabeel East, Dubai. Participants in the tender should submit the names of their Local Partners/ Sponsors, having a valid Dubai Trade Licence along with a photocopy of their current licence. For any further queries, the office of Senior Manager - Contracts may be contacted. Tender categories Water Works Tender products Consultancy Services

Project No. Project Name Territory Client

SPR2553-U Mirfa IWPP Project Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) Address: ADWEA Building, Al-Falah Street City: Abu Dhabi Postal/Zip Code: 6120 Country: United Arab Emirates Tel: (+971-2) 627 1300 / 694 3333 Fax: (+971-2) 626 7725 / 626 6089 Contact Persons /Website: Description Build-Own-Operate (BOO) contract for the design and execution of an independent water and power plant (IWPP)

at Mirfa. Plant is expected to have a power capacity of around 1,500-1,600 MW of power and 60 million gallons a day (g/d) of water. Client is expected to invite potential financial advisers by the end of 2012 and banks could be approached for funding next year. Tender categories Power Plants Tender products (IWPP)

Project No. 56/2012-O/3 Project Name Primary Substation Territory Client


Tender Cost Closing Date Status Remarks

Tender categories Tender products

Construction Project-8 Oman Oman Tourism Development Company S.A.O.C (Omran) City: Muttrah PC 114, Postal/Zip Code: 479 Country: Oman Tel: (+968) 2477 3700 Fax: (+968) 2479 3929 E-mail: Website: Construction of 3x20MVA, 33/11kV primary substation for Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre Project Package 5.2. 2,975 July 16, 2012 New Tender Tender No. 56/2012 This project is in Oman. This tender is open to companies Specialized in Electrical works and registered with the Tender Board & DCRP with relevant grade. Tender documents can be obtained from: Tender Board Al-Khuwair, Oman. Last date to purchase tender document is June 20, 2012. Tender opening date will be on July 16, 2012. Power Plants & Alternative Energy Substations / Spare Parts / O&M Substations Construction


in Mirfa. Closing Date 2015 Status New Tender Remarks Updated On: June 26, 2012 It is understood that the scheme has granted approval to build on a build-ownoperate (BOO) basis. It will comprise construction of combined cycle power plant generating 1,000 to 1,100 MW, in addition to installation of four gas turbines of 400 MW and installation of 30 MGD desalination unit and sale of three desalination units of 23 MGD capacity. Upon commencing operation, plant will produce 400 MW in 2014 and will add another 1000-1200MW in 2015. Updated On: June 6, 2012 Client has appointed UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HSBC to advice on the development of the project. Client is expected to seek bidders during summer, with a developer selected by early 2013. Updated On: May 13, 2012 It is understood that client is expected to invite bids for the main contract by September 2012. Advisors for the project will be appointed first and the process of pre-qualifying companies will start in about three to four moths. Updated On: April 29, 2012 Client plans to approach financial, technical and legal advisers for proposals in May 2012. It intends to push through the tender for the project, as new power and water capacity is needed to meet growing demand. It also intends to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) to developers to build the project before summer and invite bids by the end of 2012. Updated On: April 24, 2012 Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Council has approved plans to develop new IWPP plant

Project No. 2700/503-SA Project Name Power Transformers Testing Services



tenders&projects PROCUREMENT updates

Territory Saudi Arabia Client Saline Water Conversion


Tender Cost Closing Date Status Remarks

Tender categories Tender products

Project No. Project Name Territory Client




Corporation - SWCC (Saudi Arabia) City: Riyadh 11691 Postal/Zip Code: 85369 Country: Saudi Arabia Tel: (+966-1) 463 1111/ 463 4546/ 463 0503 Fax: (+966-1) 464 3235/465 0852 E-mail: Website: http://www.swcc. Carrying out internal testing and examination for (30 Nos.) power transformers for a water conversion corporation. 135 July 11, 2012 New Tender Tender No. 2700/503 This tender service is in Saudi Arabia. Tender documents can be obtained from: Procurement Department, Saline Water Conversion Corporation Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Tender result date will be on July 11, 2012. Power Plants & Alternative Energy Electrical Materials (All Types) / Works & Services Transformers & Spares (All Types) 503/2700-SA Transformers Inspection & Overhaul Services Saudi Arabia Saline Water Conversion Corporation - SWCC (Saudi Arabia) City: Riyadh 11691 Postal/Zip Code: 85369 Country: Saudi Arabia Tel: (+966-1) 463 1111/ 463 4546/ 463 0503 Fax: (+966-1) 464 3235/465 0852 E-mail: Website: http://www.swcc. Carrying out comprehensive

Tender Cost Closing Date Status Remarks

Tender categories Tender products

inspection and overhauling of (30) transformers for Haql Duba Ummlujj plants. 135 July 11, 2012 New Tender Tender No. 503/2700 This tender service is in Saudi Arabia. Tender documents can be obtained from: Saline Water Conversion Corporation Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Tender opening date is on July 11, 2012. Power Plants & Alternative Energy Inspection Services Overhaul/Maintenance Services

Project No. ZPR159-IQ Project Name Independent Power Plants Territory Client


Closing Date Status Remarks

Project Iraq Ministry of Electricity (Iraq) City: Baghdad Country: Iraq Tel: (+964-1) 719 0929 / 719 9007 E-mail: infocen@iraqelectric. org Contact Persons /Website: Build-own-operate (BOO) contract for the development of (4 Nos.) independent power plants in different locations with total capacity of 2,750 MW. 2013 New Tender Updated On: June 20, 2012 Turkeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gama and Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Metka are understood to be the frontrunner to build a 500 MW power plant at Samawa. Contracts to build Amawa and Dewaniya power plants are currently under tendering stage. Updated On: April 16, 2012 It is understood that five bids have been received to build a 500 MW power plant at Samawa, a year after

companies to build the 1,250 MW plant in Basra. They are Kurdish Mass Global Investment Company and Kar Group. An award is expected by the end of this month. Tender categories Power Plants & Alternative Energy Tender products Independent Power Plants (IPP)


dropping plans to develop the project as private sector scheme because lack of interest. Project will be now procured as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. Five firms have submitted bids for the scheme. They are: Turkey’s Gama; Greece’s Metka; South Korea’s Daewoo; China’s Harbin and Egypt’s The Arab Contractors. However, five companies were pre-qualified to bid for the project but declined, they are: Italy’s Ansaldo Energia and Tecnimont; Switzerland’s ABB; Japan’s JGC Corporation and South Korea’s Samsung. Client has started re-tendering the project as EPC scheme. Contracts to build power plants in Al Amarah & Al Diwaniyyah are currently in tendering stage. Updated On: June 8, 2011 The client has abandoned plans to develop these four IPPs and is now considering alternative funding options. It is understood that bid prices and level of experience of the bidders has led the government to reconsider the programme. Iraq's Oil & Energy Parliamentary Committee is considering different structures, including an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) hybrid that allows private investors to provide some of the capital expenditure (capex). Updated On: May 4, 2011 It is understood that bids are currently under evaluation for the BOO contract to build the IPPs at Diwaniyyah, Al Samawa and Al Amara. An award is expected in the third quarter of 2011. Updated On: April 13, 2011 It is understood that the client has short-listed two


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EVENTS calendar

calendar2012 10-12 SEPTEMBER

Abu Dhabi

UAE Hydrocarbons EPC Projects Organised by MEED, the event will cover opportunities in the hydrocarbons project developments due to the offshore early production facilities investment in Abu Dhabi, opportunities in TAKREER’s Flare recovery, carbon black and marine works programmes, onshore projects in Abu Dhabi’s North East Bab (NEB) oil fields and the next round opportunities, procurement models and cost strategies for brown-field projects, EPCM contracts, projection for raw materials and costs and new developments in hybrid forms of contracts and general mix of EPC contracts.

Contact: Jubida Kulangarath Tel: +971 4 390 0699 Fax: +971 4 390 0699 E-mail: URL:

24-26 SEPTEMBER Arabian Water & Power Forum


Energy Iraq 2012

The 2012 edition of the show will gather a larger number of exhibitors from around the world to showcase a comprehensive range of electricity, alternative energies, lighting, water technology and HVAC products and solutions in a more segmented format. The exhibition will be held concurrently with Project Iraq 2012, the 5th International Exhibition for Construction and Environmental Technology, Materials & Equipment which welcomed in 2011 close to 400 exhibitors from 20 countries. The event will take place at Erbil International Fair Ground in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.

Contact: IFP Iraq Tel: +961 5 959111 Fax: +961 5 959888 E-mail: URL:


Arabian Water Power Forum & Exhibition is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum. The event will comprise of two-day exhibition, two-day forum and a half-day Technical Seminar. Through innovative panel discussions, roundtables and case studies showcasing the leading development within strategic and technical innovation, AWPF will provide the forum required for shaping the expansion of a knowledgebased economy that will create a basis for the future of the water and power industry.

Contact: The CWC Group Tel: +44 20 7978 0000 E-mail: URL:


8-10 October

Abu Dhabi

Power + Water Middle East 2012

Power + Water Middle East 2012, held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), co-located with INTERMAT Middle East 2012 and with ADCCI as a strategic partner, is a premier event for showcasing power and water related products and services. It provides a platform for professionals from these industries to interact with a number of the world’s leading companies and organisations. Sectors represented in the exhibition include Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Automation & Controls, Research & Technology, Energy Efficiency, Water & Waste Water Treatment, Water Management & Distribution, Instrumentation & Process Control and Water Conservation. Highlights from 2011 include over 3,500 registered visitors, 52 visitor countries, 121 exhibiting companies and 26 exhibiting countries.

Contact: Latha Ravi Tel: 971 4 4072611 Fax: 971 4 335 3526 E-mail: URL:




HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum Producers

Official Partners

24-26 September 2012 | Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, UAE

Developing Knowledge, Fuelling Innovation, Generating Future Opportunities AWPF at a Glance: 2 Day Strategic Forum

1/2 Day Workshops

2 Day Exhibition

• Gala Dinner

• Iraq Spotlight Workshop

• VIP Opening Ceremony

• Nuclear Focus Forum

• Technical Seminars

• Young Professionals Awards Ceremony

For more information contact Kyle Wetselaar on +44 20 7978 0336 or email Gold Sponsors

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