Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Evolving Role of Temporary Power Plants

Temporary power plants are among the most popular solutions to provide electricity to communities, events, businesses and industries around the world. Temporary power plants can be quickly delivered, installed and powered on, and they do not require a huge capital expenditure on the part of the customer. They are efficiently managed and maintained by the engineers and technicians of the temporary power provider, and can be completely demobilized at the end of the contract.

It is easy to think of temporary power plants in short-term projects of a few megawatts, like in sporting events or concerts. But while temporary power providers cater to such requirements, their scope is more extensive than just “temporarily” providing electricity.


In recent years, the role of rental power plants has transcended being merely “temporary”. The industry is now witnessing projects with contracts of longer duration and of capacities that, at times, can make up a sizable fraction of the grid’s demand. Rental power plants are increasingly being utilized in baseload operation, and modern rental power plants are now able to perfectly integrate with the existing permanent power infrastructure. In certain applications, rental power generation technologies are supplying electricity to entire cities or provinces, or even countries, and are powering thousands of businesses and millions of people.

Rental power suppliers, like leading global rental power company Altaaqa Global Caterpillar Rental Power, are primed to serve projects with longer contract durations and of multi-megawatt capacities. They are able to cater to multi-year, larger-scale requirements from a wide range of industries, including utilities, oil & gas, mining, and manufacturing, to name a few. They are able to supplement a country’s grid capacity; provide on-site power for oil & gas and mining facilities; and supply electricity to process industries, for example.


Let us take a close look at utilities. Utility providers around the world partner with rental power providers for a variety of reasons. They seek the assistance of rental power suppliers when they need a speedy supply of supplemental electricity. Utility providers also collaborate with rental power companies in times of significant power supply constraint, like in hydropower-dependent countries or cities in times of drought or low-rain seasons. Utilities also avail of rental power services while waiting for permanent power plants to be completed, or when they are still in the process of raising capital for the construction of facilities or the expansion of existing grid supply. There are also utilities that hire power plants in times of seasonal shifts in electricity demand, for instance during summer.

On the other hand, mining and oil & gas facilities, being remote from the national grid, hire power plants to provide electricity at every stage of their operations throughout their lifetime. Rental power plants support the electricity needs of mining and oil & gas facilities from the nascent stages up to the most power-intensive processes. Thanks to the scalability of rental power plants, their capacities can be increased (or decreased) according to the needs of the sites.


Process industries, like consumer and industrial manufacturing, turn to rental power not only to provide electricity to their facilities during peak production season but also to ensure the reliable supply of electricity, especially in areas where load shedding is implemented and power outages are frequent. With rental power plants consistently power their operations, manufacturing companies can fulfill their production commitments and delivery obligations to their customers.

As the world’s economies grow, electricity demand will continue to increase and electrification efforts will only intensify. In recognition of this trend, rental power providers, like Altaaqa Global, are continuously working to further improve the technologies of their systems in order to cater a wider range of power requirements of varying contract duration and capacities.

If you have a multi-megawatt rental power requirement, talk to us to find out how our rental power plants can work for you. E-mail us at info@altaaqaglobal.com or at sales@altaaqaglobal.com. Alternatively, you can call us at +971 4 880 8006.



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Tel: +971 56 1749505
jsanchez@altaaqaglobal.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Top 5 Economic Benefits of Hiring Multi-Megawatt Power Plants

An increasing number of industrial companies and businesses around the world are looking for various means to streamline their operations, minimize operating costs and improve their bottom line, and at the same time maintain their competitiveness.

One area in their operation that industrial companies and businesses can optimize is their energy supply and usage. It is essential that industrial companies not only manage their power utilization and energy efficiency but also assess the cost of their principal electricity source, be it from the national grid or from their own power generation facility. This is particularly critical for industrial companies operating in locations remote from the national grid, like manufacturing plants, mines, and oil & gas facilities. These companies should keenly evaluate the cost benefits of various available power supply solutions, among which are purchasing their own power generation facilities or partnering with a multi-megawatt temporary power provider.


There are several factors that come into play when choosing an appropriate power supply solution. Aside from cost, there are other considerations like timing, duration of requirement, availability of manpower and know-how, and associated servicing and maintenance. At first, investing in a proprietary power generation facility may seem optimal, but industrial companies and businesses need to closely evaluate the merits of all options available.

Here is a run-down of five of the most notable benefits of renting multi-megawatt power plants:

1. No need for large capital expenditure

When industrial companies and businesses choose to hire multi-megawatt rental power plants, they will avoid making large capital expenditure and will not be constrained to commit a significant amount of their company’s working capital to a fixed asset (in this case, a power plant). This proposition will improve their cash flow and facilitate their financial forecasting because they can pay for the rented electricity from their operating expenditure over a guaranteed payment schedule.

In addition, renting multi-megawatt temporary power plants offers the flexibility to increase or decrease the power capacity, or extend the rental period, if required.

2. Avoid associated costs

Industrial companies and businesses should be aware of the associated costs involved in purchasing a power plant. Among these are insurance, spare parts, and ancillary items, among others. These are unavoidable additional purchases they need to make to ensure that the power plant is efficiently working and delivering the desired amount of power.

In the case of rental power plants, all spares and ancillaries are taken care of by the temporary power provider, making budgeting and financial forecasting easier for industrial companies and businesses. Simply put, when hiring multi-megawatt power plants, everything related to operating and maintaining the plants is the responsibility of the power service provider so the customers can concentrate on running their businesses.

3. No need to hire new engineers or technicians

Power plants should be operated by skilled and trained engineers and technical professionals. In most cases, industrial companies and businesses purchasing their own power plant will also need to hire new staff members to run the power plant. Not only will this represent an associated cost, but hiring engineers and technicians to work in remote locations will have its own share of challenges.

This can be avoided by partnering with a reputable temporary power provider. Rental power companies, like Altaaqa Global Caterpillar Rental Power, have expert, Caterpillar-certified engineers and technicians who will take care of operating and maintaining the power plants throughout the duration of the contract.

In addition, they are also able to provide training to the customers’ own engineers and technicians so the latter can enhance their knowledge of power generation and be able to play vital roles in operating the customers’ own plants, if need be.


4. Complete demobilization

One other distinct benefit of hiring multi-megawatt power plants is that the plants can be completely demobilized when the need for power has passed or when the contract is finished. This means that there will be no customer-owned permanent power facility or equipment left that will require constant maintenance or servicing. This ultimately indicates that when the requirement for prime or supplemental electricity is finished, the expenditure associated with it also stops.

5. Complete power solutions

Rental power companies, like Altaaqa Global Caterpillar Rental Power, offer more than generators: They provide integrated energy solutions. From meeting the customers in order to precisely understand their requirements; to designing the power plants; delivering the required equipment at site; installing the power plants; commissioning, operating, maintaining and servicing them; training the customers’ own engineers and technicians; through to demobilization, multi-megawatt temporary power providers work to provide their customers 100% peace of mind so they can concentrate on growing their business.



Talk to us to find out how multi-megawatt temporary power plants can help you optimize your processes and solve your power supply challenges. E-mail us at info@altaaqaglobal.com or sales@altaaqaglobal.com. Alternatively, you can call us at +971 4 880 8006.


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FOR INQUIRIES
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
jsanchez@altaaqaglobal.com

Sunday, May 7, 2017

How to Prevent Electricity Disruption during Peak Summer Months

In many countries around the world, power shortages, blackouts, load shedding and unscheduled electricity interruption are common during peak summer months. There are several reasons why they occur, but perhaps two of the most prominent are the spike in power consumption among residents and businesses, and not having enough power supply.


During the hottest days of the year, it is not uncommon that residents, businesses, and industrial operations use air conditioning more often. In homes and offices, multiple air conditioning units usually run all at the same time at full power to cool the temperature and keep a healthy living or working environment. In addition, in many countries schools are on break during these months so children are likely staying at home and consuming electricity as they watch TV, play with their game consoles or surf the Web on their computers. These are just a few of the reasons why power consumption notably increases during summer months.

On the other hand, in some countries, especially those that rely on hydropower, the summer months also see a reduced availability of electricity supply due to drought, prolonged absence of rain and the drying up of water reservoirs. When electricity consumption went up while the supply gradually decreased, one could imagine that what would follow are more frequent power interruption, longer blackouts, and unplanned load shedding. This would, in turn, result in massive inconvenience among residents, hampered business operations and lower levels of industrial production.

Good thing interim power supply solutions are available. Many power utilities prevent the occurrence of widespread blackouts and power disruption during the peak summer months by hiring multi-megawatt temporary power plants.


For instance, in the summer of 2013, the Sultanate of Oman hired a 24 megawatt (MW) rental power plant through the leading global temporary power provider Altaaqa Global Caterpillar Rental Power to boost its electricity supply. As the country needed an immediate solution to supplement its existing power supply, Altaaqa Global delivered the project in record-time, completing the installation, powering on and supplying electricity in just 96 hours. Altaaqa Global offered a complete turnkey power solution comprising power generators, transformers, fuel tanks, distribution panels, electrical accessories, and manpower – certified power engineers who will operate, manage and maintain the temporary power plant.

In 2014, Eneo, the integrated power utility provider of Cameroon, opted to partner with Altaaqa Global in installing a 50 MW natural gas power plant in Douala to increase its electricity supply and decrease the instances of power outages and load shedding in the city. Altaaqa Global’s gas power plants, comprising state-of-the-art power generation equipment, started supplying electricity after only 21 days from when the equipment arrived at the site. Till date, the gas power plants have been consistently producing reliable electricity to the residents, businesses, and industries of Douala.


Even as some countries may experience power supply limitation during the summer months, temporary power generation technologies are available to boost their electricity supply so they can prevent power outages and instances of load shedding. Temporary power plants are swiftly delivered, reliable and fuel-efficient, and does not require a huge capital investment. Power utilities can conveniently pay for the rented electricity from their operating expenses over a regular contracted period. Once the need for supplemental electricity passed, rental power plants could be easily demobilized, so no permanent power facility would be left unutilized or would require constant maintenance.

These are just some of the general benefits of choosing to rent power plants in times of short- to medium-term multi-megawatt power requirements. We invite you to talk to us to find out how temporary power plants can help solve your electricity challenges. Call us at +971 4 880 8006 or e-mail us at info@altaaqaglobal.com.


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Tel: +971 56 1749505

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tips to remain confident at work without appearing arrogant

To be a full-fledged engineer is a feat achieved only by a select few. Being a certified engineer entails continuous dedication, persistence and tenacity, on top of limitless creativity, imagination and ambition. As such, engineers take much pride in their profession.


Many engineers exude a “can-do” attitude, swag if you may, which they bring with them everywhere they go – including their place of work. Years of intensive education and myriad surmounted adversities have armed engineers with the confidence that they hold the solution to any perceivable problem. At times, however, this beaming confidence can come off as arrogance, especially on the part of their non-engineer peers or line managers.

Being confident is an essential trait of employees, because it is one of the factors that drive their performance at work. On the other hand, being arrogant is frowned upon, and is usually the quality that rubs other employees or a company’s management the wrong way. There is a sea of gap between confidence and arrogance, and in an office setting, where perception can spell the difference between career advancement and stagnation, engineers better walk on the right side of that gap.

Here are some tips to be confident at work without appearing as arrogant:

1. Never fake it

Some people swear by the adage ‘fake it till you make it’. Well, we say that it is a trap.
Engineers who are trying to fake confidence at work are the ones who often come across as arrogant, because what they show is not what real confidence looks like. For example, they will raise their voice in a meeting, because that’s what they think confident people do. Or they will want to push their opinions and choices despite contrary empirical data, because they think confident people ought to make a grand stand.


As engineers, you no longer need to fake confidence to impress people at work. You already have it. It will come out in the way you think, express your thoughts, or present your designs or engineering solutions. You do not have to fit the mold of whatever you imagine confident people to be, because as an engineer you have an air of confidence that is uniquely, naturally yours.

2. Recognize that you are not the best in everything

Engineers, with their natural talents and educational formation, have the ability to invent or derive solutions to many challenges. They have the facility to come up with innovative methods of doing things faster and better.


To say that engineers are important members of any company’s workforce is the understatement of the century. They oftentimes hold the most crucial positions in any company! For example, in a manufacturing firm, product development engineers play the biggest role in turning concepts into products that people actually buy and use. Electrical engineers, on the other hand, make sure that facilities have enough electricity to continue manufacturing and achieving production and delivery targets.

But sometimes, no matter how good engineers are, they have to take a step back and let their colleagues shine in certain situations. Some engineers have to learn to recognize their limitations and acknowledge the capability of others.

Engineers have to understand that conceding the stage to other employees does not, in any way, diminish his experience, value or talents. Confident engineers see their colleagues as collaborators and, as such, are always ready to see the best in them. Confident engineers do not regard their co-employees as competitors in a race but as teammates in a relay towards achieving their company’s goals.

3. Embrace vulnerability

Confident engineers do not resist vulnerability. Engineers who are truly confident in themselves admit to their mistakes, acknowledge their accountability and welcome responsibility.


Being confident is not tantamount to being perfect. In fact, confidence is the foundation that makes it okay for engineers to drop the ball a few times and still know that they will be fine. Confident engineers do not put the blame on others or on the system to save themselves from a predicament. Confident engineers trust themselves that no matter how challenging a situation is, they can resolve it and emerge as better, stronger people.

Our engineers, as our other employees, take pride in their contribution to bringing reliable electricity to key parts of the world. They are guided by our shared principles of integrity, respect and tolerance, trust, professionalism, competence and commitment to excellence. For more information on our company, services and values: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com/about-us/about-altaaqa-global


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Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Mentorship Can Be Valuable to One’s Engineering Career

Mentorship is a two-way street, where the mentor engineers reap as much benefit as their protégés

Engineers spend years learning the fundamentals and complexities of their craft. They strive to amass knowledge to become experts in their fields and productive in their jobs. Unfortunately, not all engineers are able to apply the majority of what they have learned in their present functions. Most engineers find themselves in jobs that only require a fraction of what they actually know. Owing to this, a significant part of their knowledge becomes unutilized or forgotten, and learning opportunities start to slow down and eventually cease.


Many companies that employ engineers, like manufacturing firms Concepcion Industries or the National Steel Corporation in the Philippines, recognize that one of the foremost motivators of engineers is the prospect of continuous learning. Be it through continuing professional development (CPD) courses or industry-specific seminars and conferences, engineers welcome opportunities to acquire additional knowledge or share their expertise. In line with this, many companies are nowadays discovering the benefits of mentorship, not only to the protégés but also to the mentor engineers.

Mentorship allows experienced engineers to take apprentices under their tutelage, imparting the same knowledge and skills that allowed them to scale the heights of their careers. Through mentorship, protégé engineers can learn about best practices in engineering design, project management and equipment operation & maintenance. They can also learn about professionalism and company culture, which can come handy once they embark on their own engineering careers.


A good illustration of this is Altaaqa Global’s Customer Development Program in Cameroon, where the company mentored the local engineers and technicians. The locals were intensively taught theories on modern engineering best practices and were allowed to assume key roles at the company’s power plant sites. They were also given complete access to on-line learning platforms so they can study or review at their convenience.

As of today, the local engineers and technicians are already operating their city’s power plants and are helping deliver electricity to more than 2,500,000 residents and businesses in their country.

As stated above, mentorship is a two-way street, and the mentor engineers reap as much benefit from it as the mentees. For example, through mentoring budding engineers, more experienced engineers can activate the knowledge and skills that they don’t usually apply at work. They are able to brush up on their skills in essential subjects like Physics, Calculus and Trigonometry and refresh their memory of vital engineering formulas. At times, they also learn from their mentees’ innovative thinking, fresh approaches to old problems and knowledge of updated technologies.


Mentorship also allows both parties to expand their professional networks. Mentors and protégés can introduce each other to their respective networks of engineers or groups of engineering professionals. This can prove beneficial in gaining access to more learning opportunities in the form of industry events and educational seminars, or even to progressive career opportunities.

Mentoring also develops leadership, communication and supervisory skills on the part of the experienced engineers. As technically inclined professionals, most engineers find transitioning to management roles challenging because of the deficiency in key communication and people skills. Mentorship partially bridges this gap by exposing seasoned engineers to select functions relating to people management.

Have you ever tried taking an apprentice under your wings? Tell us your experience.


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Tel: +971 56 1749505
jsanchez@altaaqaglobal.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Towards a New Reality: A Perspective on the Future of the Oil & Gas Industry

With the green shoots emerging, the oil & gas industry may have reasons to hope for, and perhaps foresee, better times ahead.

Optimism is gradually creeping in the oil & gas industry.

Background image courtesy www.gineersnow.com
Towards the end of 2016, the industry witnessed developments that herald a promising future for oil & gas. For instance, OPEC members and a number of non-OPEC producers have agreed to cut production, rig counts were steadily rising and the US natural gas sector continued to claw as it spurs the US’ rise as a global LNG exporter. M&A and divestiture activities have also started picking up.
With the green shoots finally emerging, the industry may have reasons to hope for, and to some extent foresee, better times ahead.

The general confidence, however, does come with caution. The industry and allied stakeholders admit that the recent downturn will leave long-term effects on a number of aspects of the oil & gas sector. Therefore, the collective opinion is that moving forward, the industry will be defined by the way it adapts to the changes and responds to the salient issues confronting the sector.

Below, we take a look at a few talking points (on partnerships, shortening project cycles, and manpower) and shed light on certain business and operational strategies that oil & gas companies may espouse.

Strategic partnerships with specialists

The industry is increasingly seeing new forms of business alliances. The industry once dominated by generalist companies (or those that discover, develop and operate an oil or gas field and provide all other allied services) is evolving into one that features partnerships among specialists in specific aspects of the operating environment. Such a collaboration offers the opportunity to leverage the specialties of the various entities involved. It furthermore ensures that each relevant process within the operation is looked after by companies most able to manage them.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
This is exemplified in the partnership of international oil companies and specialists, like British Petroleum (BP) and exploration company Kosmos to seek assets in Mauritania and Senegal. Then, there are oil-field services providers, like Schlumberger, Halliburton and Petrofac, which aligned with various oil & gas producers to offer their integrated field management services.

Oil & gas entities are also partnering with power services provider to ensure the continuous supply of electricity to their operations wherever they may be. The importance of electric power in oil & gas facilities cannot be understated, and by collaborating with reputable power providers, oil & gas companies can increase their production, avoid downtime and enhance operational efficiencies while minimizing operational expenditure.

A shift to shorter-cycle projects

At the height of the downturn, the industry saw a staggering USD 620 billion worth of projects through 2020 deferred or canceled. This fact epitomized the real risks of operating within the industry amidst the prevailing market situation. This, therefore, prompted oil & gas companies to train their sights on more viable shorter-cycle projects.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
For oil & gas companies, dealing with shorter-cycle projects entailed a new mindset, a heightened attention to capital allocation and more innovative ways of doing business. For example, in shorter-term projects, it may no longer make sense to devote a large chunk of capital to permanent facilities, like power generation systems, which will only serve for a limited time. In this case, instead of building their own power plants, oil & gas companies can choose to rent temporary power plants for the duration of the project.

By renting power plants, oil & gas companies, like ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources, and Anadarko, will no longer need to invest a huge amount towards the construction and operation of a permanent facility, and will no longer have to grapple with substantial upfront costs. Oil & gas companies can conveniently pay for the rented electricity from their operational profits, and can easily plan for their financial allocation throughout the project because payment schedules are fixed and regular over a contracted term.

Once the project is over, the rented power plants can be rapidly demobilized by the power provider, thus leaving no permanent power facility not utilized or that will require further maintenance and service.

An encouraging manpower landscape

At the height of the downturn, oil & gas companies had to streamline operations to survive the recession. This resulted in massive job cuts, estimated to have affected more than 100,000 through November 2016.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
On a positive note, the layoffs have ebbed in recent months, and encouraging numbers of oil-related postings for oil-producing states have started to manifest. But, despite the gradual increase in manpower requirements within the energy industry, most oil & gas companies remain lean and conservative in recruiting new employees.

This is another area where renting power can prove to be advantageous. A full temporary power service includes expert manpower to install, operate, maintain and service the power plants throughout the project. This means oil and gas companies will not need to hire, re-train or transfer employees to manage the power plants.

For more information on rental power solutions for the oil & gas industry, visit: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com/industries/oil-gas

Marching on to the future

The oil & gas industry has proven time and again that it has the ability to reinvent itself in the face of challenging times. The tough last couple of years has prompted the oil & gas sector to tighten its belt in order to thrive in an environment of low oil prices. Looking to the future, the emerging oil & gas industry will largely depend on how it reacts to its new reality. With the appropriate business strategies and responses to prevailing industry issues, a more resilient sector can emerge from the rubbles of the downturn.




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PRESS INQUIRIES
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505
rbagatsing@altaaqaglobal.com


Sources consulted:

http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/trend/2017-oil-and-gas-trends

http://www.epmag.com/2017-outlook-optimism-abounds-oil-gas-sector-1454786#p=full

http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/2017/01/04/the-slow-road-back-oil-gas-industry-outlook-for-2017/

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/energy-resources/us-er-2017-oil-and-gas-industry-outlook.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2016/08/08/the-top-10-u-s-oil-producers/#31a8e4e76d20

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Keep Engineers in Manufacturing Companies Engaged at Work

When engineers find their work environment motivating, they will continue to perform at their peak, and even surpass expectations

The role of engineers in manufacturing companies can never be understated. A manufacturing operation may involve engineers specializing in various fields, including product development, design & operation and electrical to name a few.


Product development engineers make ideas come to life. In companies like Apple, Samsung, or Microsoft, they are involved in turning concepts into actual products that consumers patronize and use.

Design and operation engineers design, develop and manage integrated systems for the production of high-quality products. These systems may include computer networks, robots, machine tools, and materials-handling equipment.

Electrical engineers make sure that the power supply in a manufacturing site is enough for the company to meet its production targets. This is of particular importance for industrial manufacturing businesses like ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Boeing or Airbus. They maintain the power infrastructure and facilities within the manufacturing plant, or liaise with temporary electric power suppliers in times when the factory needs additional power, say during peak production seasons, or when load shedding or peak shaving are implemented in the area.

Whatever the area of specialization is, engineers play highly essential roles in manufacturing facilities, and as such, it is important to keep them motivated at work and retain their services. While there is not a world of difference between what keeps engineers engaged at work and what it takes to do that for any other member of the organization, paying keen attention to the unique motivational needs of engineers can spell a huge difference.

Here are some things to take into consideration in keeping engineers motivated in manufacturing companies:

1. Allow them to be free, creative

Engineers value a strong sense of autonomy and the freedom to choose how to approach various issues at work. They appreciate if they are given the opportunity to creatively resolve engineering-related challenges at work. Based on our experience with our electrical engineers, they thrive on a results-driven environment, and appreciate having a degree of independence to perform at their best with minimal supervision and instruction. They are also stimulated by a work environment that promotes and rewards innovative thought.  

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com

2. They are not enticed by promotion

Okay, hold your horses. When I said that engineers are not enticed by promotion, I meant the type that follows a conventional progression across the company organization.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
Many engineers in manufacturing companies, like in India’s Tata Motors or Tejas Networks, may not be interested in traditional leadership positions, because they may not want to manage other employees or sit in the office for hours on end – they just want to keep building and developing products, and maintain the challenge and dynamism of a thriving engineering career. It is possible that promoting them to a traditional manager will suppress their creative engineering process, and this may dampen their motivation at work. For example, if a manufacturing company promotes an electrical engineer (who is actively engaged in installing, running and maintaining onsite power generation facilities) to a conventional manager (who will spend eight hours of his day preparing documents and responding to e-mails), then it is the running the risk of demotivating the previously-engaged engineer.

Having said this, if an engineer really deserves a promotion, then let it be to a position that is equally energetic and stimulating, that will still require his engineering creativity and ingenuity.

3. For engineers, learning is an ending journey (Kaizen)

Manufacturing companies hire engineers because of the latter’s mastery of what they do. While they may already be specialists in their own fields, engineers are always hungry to learn more and do more.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
Engineers flourish in environments where learning is a part of their daily life. As such, manufacturing companies should continuously offer them opportunities to improve on their skills and to apply new learnings through healthy challenges. Based on experience, our electrical engineers welcome specialized training courses on modern technologies and innovative methods, and situations that will require them to use the new knowledge that they have acquired. They also appreciate opportunities to mentor technicians or other engineers, because doing so helps them reinforce their engineering knowledge and, to a large extent, gives a deeper sense of purpose to their vocation as engineers.

4. Give them missions, not just projects

Engineers are driven by their desire to change the world. Most great engineers are motivated by working on big projects and by seeing the encompassing results of their hard work. Therefore, it is important that engineers in a manufacturing company realize the magnitude of the task given to them.

For example, it is essential that an electrical engineer in an industrial manufacturing facility, like Emirates Global Aluminium or Tata Steel, understands that without him performing his task, the plant will not have the power to produce goods, and as such the company will fail at providing its customers that products that they need. This will help him see the real-world impact of his responsibility within the production plant. The consciousness that his task has a meaningful effect to a great number of people and businesses will lead him to embrace his accountability and to value more his position within the company.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com

5. Let them have fun

Engineering tasks within a manufacturing company can be daunting and can put a huge amount of pressure on engineers. It will not hurt to inject a bit of fun.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
It is, thus, important for manufacturing companies to encourage enjoyment and interaction at work. For example, they can organize a quarterly family day, when employees and their families can gather and enjoy a day at the park. They can also arrange a company lunch or dinner after a successful campaign or production season as a sign of appreciation of the employees’ work. They can also host an awards ceremony to recognize exemplary performance. A sports day is also a good idea to allow employees to unwind and engage each other in healthy competition.

Engineers represent an invaluable part of the overall success of a manufacturing business. Engineers possess an intellectual capacity and ability to generate innovation, and this is essential for manufacturing companies especially amidst escalating competition within an increasingly challenging market. The more that the management understands what drives the motivation of engineers, the better experience the engineering team will have in the manufacturing company. And the more encouraging their work environment, the bigger the chance that engineers will remain engaged at work, perform at their peak and surpass expectations.

For more information on the values that guide our operations and business & human resource practices, please visit: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com/about-us/about-altaaqa-global



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This article has previously been published on https://www.gineersnow.com/leadership/keep-engineers-manufacturing-companies-engaged-work


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Divide and Conquer: How Decentralized Power Generation Can Alleviate Sub-Saharan Africa’s Electricity Challenges

Decentralized power facilities, sources that generate electricity much closer to the consumers, are touted to be vital in improving Sub-Saharan Africa’s power supply situation. We take a close look at their benefits.

It has been highlighted, time and again, that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to close to a billion people without access to reliable electricity. The region’s electricity challenges may be attributed to several factors, most notably to insufficient connectivity particularly in rural areas, and intermittent power supply.


A recent study by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network, illustrates that only 45% of rural areas enjoys access to the electric grid across 36 African countries considered. In fact, countries like Burundi, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Niger, Guinea, Liberia and Mali have extended the electricity grid to only a third or less of their territories. The inadequate grid extension and connectivity is stark in the West and East African countries, and in a number of Southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.

But, even as various areas in Sub-Saharan Africa are connected to national power network, they are still not guaranteed to receive a constant reliable supply of electricity. For instance, 14% of grid-connected consumers in South Africa, 44% in Zimbabwe, 33% in Zambia, 23% in Botswana, 19% in Namibia and 15% in Kenya, say they still suffer from regular power outages and load shedding. This can be largely attributed to inadequate power generation, high transmission losses, and limitations in power distribution.

A case for Decentralized Power

Decentralized power generation systems can help countries in Sub-Saharan Africa alleviate their present power generation and transmission challenges. Several technologies can be implemented as a decentralized power generation system, including solar, wind, hydro, and temporary power plants running on diesel or gas.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
Decentralized power generation systems will prove beneficial on several levels to Sub-Saharan African countries. Below are some of the highlight advantages of decentralized power generation technologies:

Flexibility

Decentralized power generation systems, like rental power plants, can be easily mobilized, installed and operated anywhere in the world, even in the remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. They can even be installed in areas without sub-stations, and can be directly connected to the grid regardless of its quality or age.


They can be completed and powered on in a matter of days, and can be rapidly demobilized once the area of service is already connected to the permanent centralized power plant. They do not require a huge upfront investment, and as such, do not have long payback periods. Instead, governments or power utility providers can pay for the rented electricity in regular intervals over a contracted term.

An example is Altaaqa Global’s natural gas temporary power plants in Douala, Cameroon, which were installed and powered on in as little as 21 days from the time the equipment arrived at the intended sites. The power plants, because they comprised modular and containerized power equipment, were easily delivered from the point of origin in the Middle East, to the port in Douala, to the power plant sites, and were successfully installed despite space limitation.


The power plants have been consistently producing a combined 50 MW since they were turned on, easing the pressure on the main grid and reducing electricity demand at peak times. They have been instrumental in lessening the power supply deficiency and reducing the instances of load shedding in Douala.

Scalability

Temporary power plants, as a decentralized power generation system, are highly scalable in that their output can be increased or decreased depending on the prevailing requirement. The power provider can simply add or subtract generators to or from the power plants to customize their output. The result is that the rental power plants generate the exact amount of electricity as demanded, so the power plants do not inefficiently run on part-load, and that the governments or the power utility providers do not pay for unutilized capacity.


Diversity

As above, there are several technologies that can be implemented as decentralized power generations systems. The good news is these technologies may complement each other to ensure their efficiency and reliability. For example, temporary diesel or gas power plants can support solar or wind energy sources at times when sunshine or wind is insufficient to produce the desired amount of electricity. Rental power plants can also take up the electricity load during low-rain or dry seasons, when the hydropower systems have limitations in producing electricity.


Efficiency and Reliability

The US Energy Information Administration reports that up to 7% of the electricity generated by central power plants is lost in transmission and distribution. Turning to decentralized power generation technologies, like temporary power plants, can reduce the transmission and distribution losses because they are installed nearer to the consumers.

Moreover, rental power plants are regularly serviced and maintained by trained and qualified service engineers and technicians, and monitored and evaluated by competent certification bodies so their optimal energy performance and reliability is guaranteed.



For instance, Altaaqa Global’s 50 MW natural gas power plants in Cameroon have recently been awarded an ISO 50001:2011 certification for energy performance, making Altaaqa Global the first and only rental power company to have received the recognition. The plaudit was a testament to the power plants’ energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness and environmental stewardship.

In addition to the above, decentralized power generation technologies can support various environmental initiatives in vigor in several Sub-Saharan African countries due to their environmental conscious operations. As a case-in point, temporary power plants running on natural gas comply with worldwide emission standards, while solar or wind power sources are completely renewable and contribute in conserving natural energy resources.

For example, Altaaqa Global’s natural gas temporary power plants in Cameroon was handpicked by Eneo to support its existing power facilities, owing to their reliability, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, which perfectly fits Cameroon’s sustainable energy initiatives.


Electricity and Africa’s Development Agenda

As an emerging region, Sub-Saharan Africa needs electricity to support its economic priorities and other development areas. At present, even as the economic focus of governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are in areas directly related to basic issues of livelihood (employment, healthcare, water supply and agriculture), they are gradually working on various initiatives to ensure the region’s energy future. While their long-terms plans are coming to fruition, decentralized electricity technologies, like rental power plants, can supplement existing centralized power facilities to provide the electricity when and where needed.



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Monday, March 20, 2017

A Defiant Stance: MENA’s Continued Investment in Oil & Gas

Amidst concerns of superfluity and suppressed prices, approximately USD 294 billion of oil, gas and petrochemical projects are said to be underway across the MENA region

The persistently low oil prices, not helped by the observed conflict in certain parts of the region, has weighed heavily on the economic prospect of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The International Monetary Fund forecasts the overall growth of the region for this year and the next to be in the area of a mere 3.2%.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
But, amidst the depressing economic projection, concerns of superfluity and stubbornly suppressed prices, approximately USD 294 billion of oil, gas and petrochemical projects are said to still be underway across the MENA region.

Spotlight: Select Regional Developments in the Oil & Gas Sector

Investment in oil & gas operations remains to be a crucial focus of oil producers in the MENA region to meet exponentially rising energy demands and to replace consumed or depleted natural resources.
As a case in point, let us take a close look at major oil & gas developments brewing in the region.

Driven by its objective to expand is gas capacity, the UAE is now looking to develop new sour gas reservoirs. This is said to include major projects in the Bab and Hail fields, as well as the expansion of the Shah gas field.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
Saudi Arabia is home to two of the region’s largest oil & gas projects underway: Sabic’s oil-to-chemicals project and Aramco’s integrated refinery and petrochemicals development, both in Yanbu. Additionally, Aramco is said to be planning to pour in USD 334 billion into its oil & gas activities by 2025. The world’s largest oil & gas company is reportedly keen at looking at expanding its gas capacity, which includes the development of non-associated gas fields in the Gulf and expanding shale gas production in the north.  

Saudi Arabia is also reportedly planning to list Saudi Aramco in the stock market, with an IPO that values the company at a staggering USD 2 trillion.

For its part, Kuwait is expected to invest USD 115 billion on energy projects over the next several years to help enhance crude production capacity, keeping in mind its target of four million barrels a day by 2020.

A Time of Conviction with Caution

It is clear that oil producers and allied stakeholders in the MENA region remain undaunted by the bleak market outlook and the headwinds blowing against the global oil & gas sector. Looking at the slew of oil & gas projects in the pipeline, it is not difficult to see the region’s conviction to satisfy domestic and international energy demands, achieve energy production objectives, and maintain its role as the world’s premier energy resource provider.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
But in these economically trying times, it is essential for oil & gas companies in the MENA region to practice caution by controlling costs while capitalizing on expansion prospects and profitable opportunities. Oil & gas companies in the region, the likes of the UAE’s Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), should ensure the efficient utilization of their working capital while the industry is still on its way to recovery.

One area of operation where oil & gas companies can make significant adjustments to their capital expenditure is power generation.

While electricity remains one of the most important components of an oil & gas operation, regional oil producers do not have to confine themselves with devoting a significant portion of their scarce capital to a major expenditure, like a permanent power plant. Instead of building their own power generation facility, oil & gas companies can choose to hire temporary power plants.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
By turning to rental power, oil & gas companies can have a consistent, dependable and sufficient supply of electricity throughout the lifecycle of their operations without the need to strap a large portion of their funds to a permanent facility. Temporary power plants can adequately provide for the power needs of various processes of an oil and gas operation, from exploration and extraction, through to development and processing.

Aside from savings in capital expenditure, renting power will also have an impact on the allocation of funds for an oil & gas project. Regional oil majors, such as the National Iranian Oil Company, Iraq’s North Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, will welcome the fact that payment schedules for the rented power are fixed and regular over a contracted term. This will help them in formulating accurate financial forecasts.

Moreover, a complete rental power service includes all ancillary and spare parts, as well as expert on-site engineers and technicians. This means that oil & gas companies will be shielded from additional costs that come with building a permanent power plant, and that they no longer have to hire, train or re-allocate staff members to manage the power plant.

For more information on rental power for oil & gas operations, visit: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com/industries/oil-gas

Bucking the Trend

In defiance of growth forecasts and of the impacts of global oversupply that prompted a sharp fall in oil prices since 2014, oil producers in the MENA region have been continuously investing in the oil, gas and petrochemical sector. While global oil & gas spend is expected to continue to decline, oil producers in the MENA region are looking to buck the trend and to continue pouring funds into the industry to maintain capacity and fulfill ambitious production targets. But while the oil & gas sector is still regaining its old glory, regional industry stakeholders are expected to restrain their aggression with a bit of caution.




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Sources consulted:

http://timesofoman.com/article/103194/Business/Energy/Middle-East-to-invest-$294b-in-oil-and-gas-projects

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2016/10/19/middle-east-economic-prospects/#8be515c1d7bb

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/101515/biggest-oil-producers-middle-east.asp

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Middle-East-Oil-Gas-Investment-Surges-To-294-Billion.html

http://altaaqaglobal.blogspot.ae/2017/01/the-latest-mining-industry-trends.html


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Energy Security: The Price for South Asia’s Economic Success?

With the South Asia’s rapid economic expansion and a consistently increasing population comes a growing concern about the region’s energy security

South Asia is touted to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Driven by India’s strong economic expansion, favorable oil prices, robust domestic consumption and heightened local and foreign investment, the regional economic growth of South Asia is projected to steadily increase from 7% in 2015 to 7.6 % by 2017.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
With the region’s rapid economic expansion and a consistently increasing population, however, comes a growing concern about South Asia’s energy security. 

South Asia’s challenges in energy supply have been manifesting in the past several years. In India, for instance, energy shortfall during peak hours has been estimated at 10%. In Pakistan, which has seen several bouts with energy shortage since 2007, energy demand has been precariously escalating so the country’s energy requirements are estimated to rise to up to a staggering 50,000 MW in 2030. In Bangladesh, only 30% of rural households have access to the national electricity grid, and about half of the total population still lives in the dark. Nepal has been grappling with power outages of about 20 hours during the dry season. 

Despite the region’s observed challenges in energy supply, South Asia, in fact, possesses a huge diversity of energy resources, including oil, gas, coal, hydropower, wind, and solar energy. As a case-in-point, India has oil resources with a potential 5,576 million tons of oil equivalent. Pakistan boasts of 3,600 million tons, while Bangladesh has an estimated 0.96 million tons. When it comes to gas resources, Afghanistan has about 120 billion cubic meters, while Pakistan possesses 7,985 billion cubic meters. 

In recognition of the region’s pressing energy supply concerns, governments in South Asia are now working on long-term initiatives to capitalize on their untapped natural energy resources, diversify their energy sources and enhance intra-regional energy trade.

Select Energy-Related Developments in South Asia

India’s remarkable economic expansion in recent years is heavily anchored on its manufacturing industry, stimulated by its government’s campaign to create 100 million factory jobs and increasing manufacturing’s share in the national GDP from 18% to 25% by 2022. Hence, the spike in commercial and industrial manufacturing, combined with sustained infrastructure construction activities, caused India’s oil demand to exponentially rise. 

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
In fact, India consumed four million barrels of oil in 2015, and in 2016, it was expected to surpass Japan as the world’s third-largest oil consumer. India is predicted to be the world’s fastest-growing crude consumer through 2040, adding six million barrels a day of demand.

In order to satiate its energy and oil & gas requirements, India’s government and several public and private companies have pledged billions of US Dollars’ worth of investment in oil & gas assets in the country and elsewhere. For example, Indian firms have proposed dedicating approximately USD 5 billion to the development of various Siberian oil & gas fields. State-owned explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corporation has also allocated USD 5 billion to develop an oil & gas field off India’s east coast. The latter is expected to add about 10% to India’s oil production and 18% to its natural gas output.

Another notable energy-related development in South Asia is the construction of the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline or the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), which will connect the regions of Central Asia and South Asia, and thus facilitate the transfer of energy resources. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and, then, to India. Construction on the project started in Turkmenistan on December 2015, and the pipeline is expected to be operational by 2019. 

The Need for Power, Now More than Ever

A sufficient energy supply is indispensable to the continuous economic growth of South Asian countries. At present, regional governments and various private entities are making progress towards securing the region’s energy future by exploring and developing new energy and oil & gas sources, and forging project partnerships within the region and beyond. Key to the successful completion and implementation of South Asia’s energy-related projects is a reliable and continuous supply of electricity, which can be provided by temporary power plants in case the countries’ available power capacity is not enough for such energy-intensive industrial activities.


Temporary power plants represent a power generation technology highly suitable to South Asia’s energy and oil & gas projects. They can be rapidly delivered and installed anywhere in the world, even in remote areas, where governments and private firms in South Asia are now exploring and developing oil & gas resources. 

They are highly scalable so that they can provide the precise amount of power needed in the different processes of an oil & gas operation or pipeline construction. For example, an oil & gas company, like the government-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation or the private Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd, can opt to start with a small power plant during the less energy-intensive stages and then ramp up its capacity as operations expand and as processes require more power. 

Modern rental power plants are equipped with cutting-edge protection systems that ensure a safe operation within oil & gas facilities. Additionally, they will be expertly installed, operated and maintained by certified electrical engineers from the service provider, so oil & gas companies, like Cairn India or Essar Oil, can rest assured that the power plants will remain efficient and reliable throughout the service.

For more information on the benefits of temporary power for oil & gas operations, please visit: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com/industries/oil-gas


Averting the Energy Trade-Off

While a continuous economic growth is a welcome development to any country anywhere in the world, South Asia’s rapid urbanization and industrialization have put immense pressure on the region’s existing energy infrastructure and supply. Energy is an integral component of economic development, and as it is the need of the hour, regional governments and energy firms are dedicating significant investment to secure the South Asia’s energy future. As the region’s energy initiatives come to fruition in the coming years, South Asia is expected to further develop as a true global economic power.


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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-07/india-echoing-pre-boom-china-as-new-center-of-oil-demand-growth

https://southasianvoices.org/energy-crisis-in-south-asia-a-matter-of-regional-cooperation/

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/04/13/south-asia-cheap-oil-reform-energy-pricing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkmenistan%E2%80%93Afghanistan%E2%80%93Pakistan%E2%80%93India_Pipeline

http://www.ibef.org/industry/oil-gas-india/showcase


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Monday, March 13, 2017

A Case for Distributed Power Systems in Southeast Asia

The observed inadequacy in the region’s current electricity infrastructure have prompted Southeast Asian countries to find power solutions in various forms of distributed power generation

Rapid economic development, a continuous growth in population, and increased domestic and foreign investments across key industries have all contributed to the remarkable increase in Southeast Asia’s power consumption in recent years. The region’s power demand has risen by 2.5 times in the past 20 years, and by 2040, Southeast Asia’s electricity requirements is likely to triple, for which an additional power generation capacity of approximately 400 GW is said to be required.

Courtesy www.gineersnow.com
In the interest of maintaining a healthy economy and attracting further foreign investment and activities, countries in Southeast Asia have ramped up their spending in infrastructure, including in roads, railways, and residential and commercial facilities. This, among other factors, has caused the region’s power demand to exponentially expand. And while Southeast Asian governments and allied stakeholders are also funding the building of new or the refurbishment of existing power facilities to support long-term electricity requirements, the current shortage in power supply within the region, not helped by constrained transmission and distribution facilities, is making it challenging to satisfy the immediate electricity demand.

The observed inadequacy in the current power infrastructure, delays in the construction of permanent power generation facilities, and the heightened need to fulfill the region’s immediate power requirements have prompted Southeast Asian countries to find solutions in distributed power generation. 

Distributed Power Generation in Southeast Asia

According to global research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, the overall installed capacity of the distributed power generation market in Southeast Asia is in the area of 20,450 MW in 2015, which can scale up to 34,747 MW by 2020.

Among the countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are considered to be high-potential territories for distributed power based on market potential and available resources. For instance, in the Philippines and Indonesia, distributed power generation facilities can rapidly bring power to provinces that are currently not connected to the countries’ national grids due to isolation and remoteness. While in Myanmar, distributed power generation systems can provide electricity to smaller load centers, considering that the country’s overall electrification rate is only 26% and the transmission line losses stands at 25%.



Moreover, more than 60% of the land in Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam are greatly suitable for large-scale solar farms, with substantial irradiance levels between 1,200 kWh/m2/year and 2,000 kWh/m2/year. Overall, Southeast Asia is touted to have an annual global horizontal irradiance ranging from 1,200 kWh/m2 to 1,800 kWh/m2, making the region highly ideal for developing solar power plants.

Key Types of Distributed Power Systems Installed in Southeast Asia

The key types of distributed power facilities installed in the region include biomass and waste-to-power, solar photovoltaic, and diesel/HFO/gas temporary rental power plants. Hybrid power plants and micro-grid systems are reportedly also being developed.

Biomass and waste-to-power plants are ideal to supply the captive power needs of small- and medium-scale industries. This type of distributed power system enjoys wide government support across Southeast Asia, and benefits from abundant biomass resources, particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Solar PV facilities, on the other hand, are gaining ground across the region, thanks to policy support and incentives. Thailand is at the forefront of the solar PV market in Southeast Asia, with an estimated capacity additions of approximately one GW in 2015 alone.

Temporary power plants running on diesel or HFO still dominate the rental power segment in Southeast Asia, owing to significant cost-savings, rapid installation, wide availability of fuel, and inherent flexibility of use. Temporary power plants running on gas are also gaining popularity in the region, in recognition of their cost and environmental benefits.


By going for the rental power option, one avoids the need for a significant upfront investment, and the long lead times associated with the construction of permanent power generation facilities.
Industry studies conducted across Southeast Asia reveal that a permanent centralized power plant may take around five to ten years to become fully operational due to the obstacles created by environmental laws in the region and land acquisition requirements, compounded by overall construction delays. While waiting for the power plants to be constructed and activated, power companies in Southeast Asia, the likes of Meralco and the National Power Corporation in the Philippines, or the Perusahaan Listrik Negara in Indonesia and the Vietnam Electricity Company, will find numerous benefits in setting up temporary rental power plants to meet the immediate power demands of their countries.

Temporary power plants are also scalable, in that its output can be tailored to the existing electricity demand of a community, a city or a province. They can also be installed even in areas with limited power infrastructure, say where substations are absent, because they can be directly connected to the grid having been equipped with the latest protection systems and advanced transformation and switching equipment.

When the permanent power plants are completed, the rental power plants can be easily and completely demobilized, thus leaving no power facility not used or that will require further maintenance and servicing.


For more information on temporary power plants on diesel, gas or bi-fuel, please visit: http://www.altaaqaglobal.com

The Growth of Distributed Power in Southeast Asia

As Southeast Asian economies continue to grow in the coming years, the region’s demand for electricity will proportionally increase. While the region’s governments are implementing long-term programs to respond to future power needs, power utilities in Southeast Asia, including Tenaga Nasional in Malaysia or the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, can take advantage of the availability of distributed power generation systems, like temporary power plants. Distributed power facilities can help overcome topographical challenges in delivering power, circumvent power transmission and distribution limitations, and boost the electrification rates of various countries in Southeast Asia.



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Sources consulted:

https://ww2.frost.com/news/press-releases/vast-opportunity-distributed-power-generation-solutions-demand-power-southeast-asia-soars/

“Distributed Power Generation Enables Power Plants to Rapidly Address the Demand for Power in Southeast Asia”. Frost & Sullivan.

https://renewablesnow.com/news/se-asia-to-hit-34-7-gw-of-distributed-generation-by-2020-528745/

https://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/~/media/IE%20Singapore/Files/ASIR/PreConference_workshop_Sharad_Somani.pdf

http://powerstruggle.discoursemedia.org/deepdive/southeast-asia-access-to-energy-research-brief/


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