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Sun 22 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

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A minute of your time...

MEP Middle East talks to Enviromena CEO Sami Khoreibi about the company's progress in the Middle East, and the importance of renewable technologies in this region.

MEP Middle East talks to Enviromena CEO Sami Khoreibi about the company's progress in the Middle East, and the importance of renewable technologies in this region.What products and services does Enviromena offer?

Enviromena is an Abu Dhabi-based solar integrator specialising in providing turnkey solar power solutions in the MENA region. Our inhouse technical design department has over 30 years' experience in solar-system design, and our UAE-based team of engineers and project managers oversee complete project implementation from initial consultation through to construction, commissioning and other services such as maintenance.

Our products and services include the following:

• Turnkey solar power solutions;

• Solar hot water solutions;

• Solar lighting solutions;

• LEED and energy-efficiency consulting;

• Contracting and installation; and

• Long-term operations and maintenance.

In which countries does the firm currently operate?

Enviromena is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, but operates throughout the whole MENA region.

How do you think the current global financial situation will affect the use of renewable technologies?

Virtually all sectors of the economy have been hit by the recent financial crisis, and investment in clean technology is no exception to the rule.

However, due to positive government initiatives, investors continue to recognise the growth potential globally and in the MENA region, and we expect to see steady continued investment in this sector.

On which projects in the Middle East is Enviromena currently working on?

We have secured a series of high-profile solar installation projects through 2009 and 2010, and look forward to continued growth as solar technologies are implemented further across the region. As our installations are typically associated with high-profile development projects, we are bound by confidentiality agreements at this point.

How important is solar power in the Middle East, and how high a priority do you think it should be for developers?

Progressive Middle East developers have realised the need to go green, and are increasingly implementing sustainable technologies into their upcoming projects. The solar technology particularly favoured for these applications is rooftop and building-integrated photovoltaic (electricity-producing) systems, which form an aesthetic part of the building (such as canopies or shade structures) and contribute to the overall architecture of the building.

What are the technical challenges in deploying solar technology in the Middle East?

Although solar technologies are proven and mature, they have not yet been implemented widely across the Middle East. Thus the largest challenge in deploying these systems is educating end users who are not yet familiar with the capabilities of the technology. Fortunately, government programs such as Abu Dhabi's Masdar Initiative and private companies like Enviromena are working hard to create awareness of the various technologies available.

How are these challenges overcome?

The key to developing awareness of solar-power solutions is their continued implementation across the region, as this exposes potential users to the viability of the technology. Solar power systems function best as complementary rather than sole sources of power. That is, offsetting a portion of a building or region's energy consumption with smart, clean energy.

Does Enviromena have any plans for expansion in this region?

Yes. Enviromena is currently the largest solar company in the UAE, and we intend to continue expansion of our operations across the MENA region.

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