Saudi market is our key growth engine in the region: Al-Rashoud [Saudi Gazette, The]
(Saudi Gazette, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Saudi Gazette report
Ahmed Al-Rashoud, Vice-President of Business Development and Energy Management Solutions at Schneider Electric Saudi Arabia, believes that his company's mission to make energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green is a driving force in the firm's operations.
Al-Rashoud said: "Schneider Electric has been in the energy management and automation control market in Saudi Arabia for the past 34 years and we continue to build on our marketing network, expand our manufacturing facilities, strengthen our local partnerships to serve the Saudi economy better and involve in social responsibility initiatives."
While elaborating on the business opportunities in the Saudi market, he said, that Saudi Arabia has abundant opportunities in the areas of electrical distribution, solar energy, water, sanitation and energy efficiency in industrial facilities. The country's potential to redefine solar power utilization systems is huge. A 2012 Bloomberg survey reported that Saudi Arabia could produce enough solar power to meet more than four times the global demand for electricity by 2020.
The region's water sanitation problems allow us the opportunity to apply the Schneider Electric Smart Grid and Smart Water networks that are energy saving, cost reducing and environmentally friendly as well as create new solutions to ensure healthy water supply. Schneider Electric has extensive expertise in these sectors and the competitive Saudi market is an exciting area for us to work in.
We remain committed to our investment in Saudi Arabia with a new focus on strategically shifting to efficient solutions in building and infrastructure, smart energy and solar energy, he added.
"With important investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, we consider the Saudi market as our key growth engine in the Middle East and Africa region. According to our 2013 results, Saudi Arabia accounted for approximately 60 per cent of GCC sales and 30 per cent of Middle East sales," he said.
Speaking on Schneider Electric's achievement of the prestigious ISO50001:2011 certification and becoming the first private company in Saudi Arabia to achieve the industry accreditation, Al-Rashoud stressed: "The ISO certification is a definite milestone for us and for the broader industry in Saudi Arabia. It supports our corporate strategy to foster local talent in a state-of-the-art working environment through the deployment of innovative and sustainable solutions.
"As a global company, we are actively working to promote energy efficiency and sustainability, and we believe that the most effective way of doing this is to lead by example. This certification highlights the power of sustainability models in securing emphatic returns on investment in terms of enhancing safety, employee morale, reduced wear and tear of equipment, as well as lowering energy consumption and pollution."
Elaborating further, Al-Rashoud said: "One of our latest major achievements was our work with the Information and Telecommunication Complex (ITCC) project in Riyadh. It will be the hub of the ICT industry in Saudi Arabia with all HQs of the main players moving there."
He said: "Schneider Electric addressed both infrastructure and power design for different types of buildings including residential, commercial, a five-star hotel and a Tier 4 data center in the complex. The company's holistic business and solutions-oriented approach helped us deliver top-of-the-line solutions in electrical distribution systems, critical power, power automation and control, data center solutions, building automation and efficient energy management."
"In addition, at the King Saud University Girls Campus project for electrical infrastructure, we executed one the biggest electrical distribution references in Schneider Electric globally right here in Saudi Arabia," Al-Rashoud added.
On the challenges facing Schneider Electric in Saudi Arabia, Al-Rashoud was of the view that although the region has invested well in public water service, the rapidly growing population burdens the healthy water supply. Unfortunately, desalination is a cost-intensive process and water used for agriculture cannot be replaced. Consequently, our focus shifts towards efficient water management.
"Schneider Electric provides effective solutions for integrated electrical and control systems for desalination plant projects, sewage treatment plants, water transmission systems for pipeline projects, as well as distribution networks and pumping stations in the water segment, " he said.
He also highlighted Schneider Electric's role in the energy sector in Saudi Arabia in trying to assist in meeting the rapidly growing power and energy demand. "In our capacity as a global specialist in energy and power management, we seek to cooperate with government and private sector partners to help ensure long-term energy self-sufficiency through alternative energies," he said.
"Our 'Smart Cities' portfolio has a variety of solutions that address energy and power inefficiencies in the region's infrastructure while ensuring optimal resource consumption and comfort," he said, adding, "We also actively reinvent our sustainability solutions to cater to the progressive demand for power and energy. Our EcoStruxure platform unites expertise in power, data centers, processes and machines, building control and physical security across a wide spectrum to deploy intelligent energy management solutions."
On Saudization, Al-Rashoud said: "Our workforce in Saudi Arabia has grown by 33 percent bringing the total headcount to around 1,000. Nearly 30 percent of the new recruits are Saudi nationals.
He also touched on the firm's latest projects in Saudi Arabia, stating, "We have contributed to the Saudi economy for the last 30 years through our cooperation with government and private sector projects to help ensure long-term sustainable results. We are committed to a number of projects such as the ambitious Information Technology and Communication Complex (ITCC) in Riyadh; King Khalid University (KKU) in Abha; Ma'aden Aluminum Refinery Project and the Old Airport Road Extension Project - Riyadh.
"We were awarded the National award by MEED Quality Awards in 'Sustainable Project of the Year' category for King Saud University (KSU) Girls' Campus. We also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Grid Saudi Arabia (SA) towards developing and advancing the country's electricity infrastructure.
"Other notable projects include our partnership with McAfee, with whom we worked to provide cybersecurity solutions for the utility and critical infrastructure market. We also signed the 'Frame Supply Agreement' with Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma'aden for the provision of low voltage switchgear."
(c) 2014 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
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