Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

MAF Dalkia a pioneer in energy efficiency after Dubai accreditation

Company blazes a trail in Middle East.
The first private energy efficiency company to win a government stamp of approval in the Middle East expects other countries to launch their own power savings schemes by next year.

Last week Dubai's power regulator Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau accredited MAF Dalkia, a joint venture between Majid Al Futtaim and a French energy efficiency provider owned by Veolia and Electricite de France, which makes it easier for building owners to sign up for multimillion-dollar contracts to cut back on energy waste.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) launched the certification framework for private companies in January, and Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia are expected to follow as pressure builds to slow power demand growing by about 10 per cent a year. Dubai's target is to raise energy efficiency by 30 per cent by 2030 with the private sector accreditation system and Etihad Esco, a government-owned energy services company launched in November.

“There is an awareness in the market,” said Alex Mussallam, the chief executive of MAF Dalkia. “I believe in the next year you'll see an expansion.”

The region's move towards energy efficiency marks a shift away from building immense gas and diesel-fuelled power plants, with contracts often going to the lowest foreign bidder, towards smaller-scale power projects.

Dewa has delayed a tender for a billion-dollar-plus coal-fired power plant called Hassyan multiple times since 2008 even as it built a 13-megawatt solar park and made plans to retrofit 30,000 homes with water and power-saving systems. Retrofitting a large building such as the Pullman hotel, part of MAF Dalkia's portfolio, can cost anywhere between US$500,000 to several million.

Keeping fuel use in check is a priority for Dubai, which must buy cargoes at a high cost, as well as for major oil producers. Saudi Arabia could become a net oil importer by 2030, according to a Citigroup analysis.

ayee@thenational.ae

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Updated: April 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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