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As a service provider to industries such as construction and oil and gas, you might expect recent economic times to have been difficult for those supplying generators. If the money available for projects falls, demand for projects’ power generators surely should also decline correspondingly. However there is one resounding conclusion that springs immediately from talking to our experts at RSS and Aggreko - these are good times for those involved in supplying temporary power.
Robert Bagatsing, RSS group marketing manager, explains. “The demand in rental power is still on the rise even in the economic downturn. Construction, contracting, heavy industries – sectors that were purchasing generators for their projects – have now opted for rental power solutions. Hiring a temporary generator will allow these companies to safeguard their cash flow.”
At the same time, resilient growth in the region has spurred on infrastructure projects which often require temporary power in remote locations. Naturally this draws firms in the direction of generators. Aggreko managing director Phil Burns suggests that these companies are seeking increased flexibility, and need to keep costs down.
“With a greater emphasis on keeping capital available, the option of renting as opposed to purchasing equipment is likely to remain an attractive one for the Middle East utility sector for the foreseeable future. Rental power provides benefits such as lowered capital expenditure, flexibility, risk management and ‘fast track’ solutions for planned projects and emergency power.”
Another facet of this increased demand is that private power companies will continue to struggle to fund their permanent power projects in the current economic climate. RSS is forecasting a 30% increase in rental power demand until 2015 as a result of electricity demand outstripping the available supply. The resultant shortfall needs to be made up through temporary power and will drive generator demand higher and higher.
So if the demand is still there, where is it coming from? Aggreko has been providing generators to the Middle East market for 20 years, and provides everything from single standalone power supply packages through to 100 MW power stations to supplement grid supply. Burns identifies a range of applications – supplementing power generation, temporary power, load banks and cooling towers – that are proving most popular in the Middle East Utilities sector.
“Aggreko’s specialist equipment and skilled teams enable the company to deliver support for planned and un-planned outages, and services include the development of contingency plans, installation of synchronized generators, provision of standby power and rapid response to network emergencies,” he says.
Over at RSS, Bagatsing identifies three basic scenarios where his company would provide rental generator units to the utilities sector. At the top end, this can be through the provision of temporary independent power projects consisting of multiple diesel power generators, transformers, fuel tanks and switchgears, with a typical capacity of between 10 MW and 300 MW.