JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, 11 December 2019: Gulf Electrical Power Laboratories (CESI | GEPL), a state-of-the-art electromechanical testing facility, has commenced its operations as a separate entity that provides localised and technical services from Saudi Arabia to the wider GCC region, the entity said through a Press release. This will be followed by the construction of the much-awaited electrical testing laboratory, poised to be the first in the region and the largest in the area, CESI |GEPL said. The announcement was made today at an official ceremony, held during the 9th Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference, in the presence of Dr Khalid bin Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Sultan, Chairman of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. The conference is running from December 10 to 12 in Jeddah.
CESI | GEPL, a joint venture between global technical consulting and engineering company, CESI and GCC Electrical Testing Laboratory (GCC Lab), was conceived as a call to stricter specifications of power components, compliant to the highest international standards, CESI |GEPL said. The testing platform will provide engineering and consultancy services to the MENA region from its soon-to-be-built lab in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Services offered include: asset management, upgrading assets and maintenance procedures, training and certifications for engineers and technicians, Research and Development and Quality Assurance/Control, CESI |GEPL said.
According to the release, through strategic partnerships made with local and regional stakeholders, CESI |GEPL will be a catalyst in enhancing performance of the power systems already in place and sustain the electrical industry in the region.
“The projects successfully carried out in the Gulf region have made it possible for CESI to gain a profound experience encompassing the entire area,” said Dr Matteo Codazzi, CEO, CESI. “As world leader in power testing and certification for the electricity industry, we are fully committed to providing our experience and strategic approach to establish and localize in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the most important electrical testing facility, fully compliant with the best quality international standards.”
Added Saleh Al-Amri, GCC Lab CEO: “We aim to end the prevalence of sub-quality materials. Our venture will provide the tools to enable our stakeholders to stop flooding the industry and ensure that all power components that they use are compliant with the highest international standards. The lab will be a key asset to support the policies that will sustain the electrical industry in the region. Localising electro-mechanical testing is a great milestone for Saudi, setting for Vision 2030.”
With a vision to change towards renewables and diversification of power mix, Saudi Arabia remains one of the biggest energy market in the region, CESI | GEPL said. Commenting on the privatisation of state-owned utilities and restructure of the power generation and electricity industry, Dr Floris Hendrikus Schulze, CESI Managing Director in the Middle East and CESI | GEPL COO, said: “We see growth opportunities and bigger need of high quality, tested power components. Change in the whole sector means increased competition and cost savings, and as the world leader in the sector, we have an important role to play to ensure the quality of these components remain.”
Mohammed Muaili, CESI | GEPL General Manager, added: “Part of our commitment to CESI | GEPL and Saudi is upscaling jobs in the country while fostering knowledge. We will be filling more than 150 technical positions for the lab, and appointees from the Gulf will be trained at the CESI facility in Milan and Germany. We envision that all services rendered by CESI |GEPL will have the same standard, as if they were performed at CESI facilities.
“As part of the energy transition, a global plan for the entire area is being drafted, one that extends beyond specific, country-by-country targets to promote an integrated strategy that can encompass a multiplicity of interventions. In this respect, Vision 2030 is an important program that has been designed to concretely affect the Saudi Kingdom. If its related intervention programs take off, in 2030 we will be looking at a decidedly different Saudi Arabia: a country that generates a greater share of its energy from solar and wind sources also investing in efficiency technologies and encouraging international collaboration. By cooperating in CESI | GEPL, we will support the policy for the creation of a really more and more effective power sector market in the Country.”
According to the release, the agreement between CESI and GCC Lab to set up CESI | GEPL was made in 2017 with a term sheet signing ceremony. Mohmmed Al Muaili, CESI | GEPL Acting CEO, said: “Today marks the commencement of our technical operations here in Saudi and the GCC. We have set up a taskforce to drive the activities in all our collaborations. We look forward to carrying out advanced research and development for the electricity sector, resulting in international benchmarking studies and breakthrough technologies that can be utilized by anyone in the world.”