EN­ERGY ef­fi­ciency

ENGIE uses tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion to op­ti­mize its so­lu­tions and show­case them to a broader range of clients.

The Business Year Special Report - - Interview -

We dis­cussed Kuwait’s trans­for­ma­tion to­ward a zero-car­bon fu­ture, but I wanted to put that dis­cus­sion in the con­text of the pan­demic. How is this un­prece­dented event im­pact­ing progress to­ward de­car­boniza­tion ef­forts?

For one, this has given ENGIE an op­por­tu­nity to al­low its en­gi­neers ac­cess to op­er­a­tional sites that run 24/7. For ex­am­ple, un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, it is quite hard for our en­gi­neers to get ac­cess to as­sets such as chillers in ho­tels and hos­pi­tals. Now, we have the chance to ac­cess those vi­tal com­po­nents and make some changes. The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion also demon­strates to the client ex­actly how much en­ergy they use at full ca­pac­ity. This has helped us to un­cover new in­sights and trends.

Have you seen in­creased in­ter­est from the pub­lic sec­tor in your value-added ser­vices?

Cur­rently, we have most of our busi­nesses in the pri­vate sec­tor. ENGIE is a ma­jor global group that is fi­nan­cially sta­ble and has the re­silience to come through this stronger than some of its lo­cal com­peti­tors. This puts us in a good po­si­tion to pick up ex­tra work within the pub­lic sec­tor. One seg­ment in which we have not seen any real down­turn or ma­jor im­pact is data cen­ters. Even the pri­vate hos­pi­tals that we cur­rently look af­ter in Kuwait have had to di­ver­sify. A broad spec­trum of our key clients, from hos­pi­tals to hos­pi­tal­ity and shop­ping malls, have been af­fected in dif­fer­ent ways. The least af­fected has been the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor. We have also seen quite an in­crease in de­mand for san­i­ta­tion ser­vices, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons.

Con­sid­er­ing the ICT sec­tor has been the least im­pacted thus far, do you fore­see rein­vig­o­rated progress to­ward dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency so­lu­tions?

In­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy can be a lit­tle bit of a slow burner here in Kuwait. But this de­pends on what you de­fine as in­no­va­tion. How the West looks at in­no­va­tion can be dif­fer­ent than how it is looked at in the Mid­dle East. What I would say is that COVID-19 cer­tainly em­pha­sizes how tech­nol­ogy and some of the pro­cesses that ENGIE of­fers can be ben­e­fi­cial. Within ENGIE, we use tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion, par­tic­u­larly through data and KPIS, to re­ally op­ti­mize our so­lu­tions. This sit­u­a­tion has cre­ated a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for us. For our cur­rent and po­ten­tial clients, it re­ally high­lights our KPI busi­ness model, where we uti­lize tech­nol­ogy and demon­strate ef­fi­cien­cies around en­ergy. COVID-19 has pro­vided an ul­tra-mag­ni­fy­ing glass and al­lowed us to show­case how much our clients are able to save dur­ing this down­turn in en­ergy use. We are get­ting them to think out­side of the box and use our en­ergy en­gi­neers or of­fice man­age­ment struc­ture. These are the po­ten­tial real sav­ings that are gen­uinely there. From that per­spec­tive, the pan­demic is cre­at­ing fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties for us.

How is this in­creased aware­ness trans­lat­ing into higher de­mand for your ser­vices?

The vast ma­jor­ity of our clients in Kuwait, be­cause of a re­duc­tion in prof­its, have re­quested an equal amount in cost re­duc­tion so­lu­tions from us. We are work­ing hand-in-hand to help them with that. COVID-19 has opened the door in that re­gard and fa­cil­i­tated our abil­ity to demon­strate that the sav­ings are gen­uinely there.

How do you see things de­vel­op­ing in the re­gion and po­ten­tially Kuwait’s abil­ity to lead the re­cov­ery?

The GCC has a unique economy. I hope that the ef­fects of the pan­demic on the health­care sec­tor and the economy will not go on for much longer. Within the GCC, we are heav­ily re­liant on ex­pats and the free move­ment of ex­pats. So, the longer coun­tries and air­ports are locked down, the big­ger the neg­a­tive eco­nomic im­pacts, cer­tainly in Kuwait. As we look to come out of lock­down, it is worth not­ing that Kuwait did act swiftly, in a way that puts it ahead of the curve. Kuwait’s economy is quite re­silient and I hope it will bounce back quickly.

“As we look to come out of lock­down, it is worth not­ing that

in a way that puts it ahead of the curve.”

Tom Green­wood

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.