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Dubai, UAE – 2019: Saudi Arabia’s newly announced King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) mega project is attracting huge international interest in the region’s power sector with this year’s edition of Middle East Electricity - the world’s largest power event - abuzz with its huge potential.
With SPARK having already attracted over 120 investors, the mega project is fast positioning Saudi Arabia as a new age global energy hub as it drives international attention to energy manufacturing and services potential in Saudi Arabia and the wider region, according to Middle East Electricity organisers and exhibitors.
“Although the main SPARK thrust will be on energy resources, the focus will also be on alternative power solutions and enabling innovation and creation. We anticipate SPARK being a hot topic in discussions throughout Middle East Electricity’s extensive knowledge programme,” said Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director – Informa Industrial Group, the show organiser.
“SPARK’s long-term economic aim of localising more than 350 new industrial and service facilities and establishing an industrial base that facilitates innovation, development, and global competition holds out huge opportunities for suppliers and investors.”
By its 2035 completion date, the Aramco-initiated SPARK is expected to support and increase the security of energy supplies offered at competitive prices, lower the costs of sector-related operational products and services, and enable rapid response from domestic product and service providers to Saudi Aramco’s urgent operational and developmental requirements.
Riyadh-based alfanar, a Middle East Electricity exhibitor, believes SPARK’S outreach will touch well beyond the Kingdom. “The localisation of the manufacturing will not only influence the Saudi supply chain but will extend to the GCC and surrounding regions, as this will reduce much of the logistics costs of associated products and can encourage other initiatives in neighboring countries,” explained Khaled Khedr, Marketing Officer, alfanar.
“As an attractive environment for investors, SPARK will be a driver for energy manufacturing and services, not only for Saudi Arabia but for the entire GCC region. It will be a crucible for innovation and creation, and for broadening the capacity of our capable, qualified, and highly educated manpower.”
The arrival of SPARK into a regional landscape where smart cities and sustainable energy solutions are high on development agendas has led to Middle East Electricity 2019 focusing on breakthroughs in the generation, distribution, storage and power usage segments to meet domestic needs and international requirements.
The GCC region already has the highest public and private power infrastructure investment levels of any group bloc, according to the newly-released MENA Power Industry Outlook. The report, prepared by Ventures Onsite for Middle East Electricity, attributes industrialisation alongside population growth, urbanisation and rising income levels, as key regional power demand drivers.
The GCC is expected to require power infrastructure investment totalling US$109 Bn over the next five years, with US$ 55 Bn for an additional 43 GW of generating capacity and US$ 34 Bn for transmission and development.
Investment is forecast to focus on electricity diversification and conservation, with a renewed emphasis on solar and renewables and smart grids, which are gaining regionwide momentum.
Middle East Electricity’s Konieczna believes the investment thrust is energising the annual event, which features five focused sectors: power generation; transmission and distribution; lighting; solar and energy storage and management.
“The GCC’s potential is backed by massively upscaled demand, supply diversification and conservation throughout the wider MENA region,” added Konieczna. “The analysts behind the Outlook report expect power investment in the region to reach US$ 260 Bn between now and 2022. This puts the exhibition’s catchment zone in the top league of power investment and explains why international interest in the show keeps rising annually.”
Middle East Electricity takes place 5 – 7 March 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre and is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy.