Six months on from the primary power failure at the Dubai Mall, PMV Middle East gets the opinions of three experienced industry hands in an industry roundtable to assess the potential impact of Dubai’s subject decree on business and regulation within the standby power segment.

Opening the subject is Daniel Crossan, project manager at Himoinsa Middle East, who states: “The decree was that every major hotel, mall and building had, by law, to have a secondary backup power supply — so what we have been looking at is where we fit in.

“In Dubai, the law previously stated that you had to have a standby generator, but there was no real control over what that actually meant; whereas now, they’re getting stricter about the classification of that generator and the engineering around the requirement of the building.”

Hussein Elkashef, sales manager for SDMO generators at GENAVCO, notes: “It was a rule before to have a backup or secondary source of power in case of power failure, but now it has become a strict rule. Even normal residential buildings, of nine storeys or even less, now require backup generators.”

Faisal Hamze, Middle East manager for JCB Power Products, comments: “The new regulations that they are going to set up will really control which brands meet the quality requirement. There are a lot of OEMs in the power industry, but not all of them care about quality specifications and safety.”

Looking at the opportunities that these changes will bring about in the UAE’s temporary and standby power segment, Crossan continues: “We’ve started seeing the first requests being made for major landmarks, such as the Address Downtown, and between now and the end of the year we expect to see a lot of tenders being floated for these kind of major landmarks and buildings.”

Read more: CAPEX-driven temporary power procurement is leading to inefficiency

Elkashef details: “We have started getting these kind of tenders for the Expo Village and the projects in Palm Deira and Creek Harbour, where there is a really big requirement for standby generators.

“And looking to the number of mega projects and infrastructure coming up now — there is really going to be a lot of requirement and demand coming in the near future.”

Hamze concurs: “There are a lot of requirements now coming to tender, especially big for standby applications, for hotels, malls, increasingly for data centres, and for construction.”

In terms of the impact of regional regulation, Crossan comments: “Regionally, Dubai tends to be the one that kicks things off, and the other parts of the region tend to follow, and a lot of the incidents in Dubai have driven decision makers to focus on backup systems and safety systems.

“So generators have become part of the main focus of the health and safety drive which we have seen starting to happen — all because of the decree that His Highness put out.”

The opportunity for premium manufacturers is particularly pronounced, as Elkashef adds: “Anybody can start a simple generator, but by going further and introducing more regulations, the Middle East will create opportunities for the big names. Greater compliance and stronger standards will help leading manufacturers to differentiate.”

The wider market is also sound, as Hamze adds: “In general, both worldwide and in the Middle East, the demand for power is increasing every year. The population is increasing, technology is developing and disasters are happening — and all of this will create more demand for standby power.”

For the full write-up, see: PMV Roundtable: Himoinsa, JCB & GENAVCO on temporary power