The Business Year

Wail Bamhair

CEO, Taqnia Energy

Turki Al Shehri


The future of Saudi energy is greener and more efficient.

What is your main focus?

Wail Bamhair Taqnia Energy is a subsidiary of Taqnia, a Saudi technology development and investment company established in 2014. Its mandate is to drive the strategic and sustainable diversification of the energy sector by developing and investing in bankable technology. We are also taking responsibility for minimizing the impact on the environment, as well as generating energy from natural resources. At present, we are currently working on renewable energies, energy efficiency, and smart infrastructure solutions. In renewable energy, TE built the first solar IPP project in Al Aflaj in the country. Furthermore, we have a great partnerships with local and intranational bodies to provide a stat of art technologies that help to reduce the green house emission and provide better quality of life.

Turki Al Shehri ENGIE is a company that is transitioning toward carbon neutrality. We operate in 70 countries across the globe with a strategic focus on 20 countries, one of which is Saudi Arabia. We have been present in the Kingdom for over 20 years, during which we have invested in projects and assets of USD8 billion in value becoming a 10% provider of electricity and an 11% provider of potable water in Saudi Arabia. We currently have 2,000 employees within our workforce. Over the next three to five years, our plan is to invest in assets worth an additional USD6 billion and increase our workforce to 5,000 employees. A key area of ENGIE’s development in Saudi Arabia lies in supporting local talent acquisition and career development through dedicated and continuous training programs to lead the way for value-added services of a foreign company. In this effort, ENGIE has formed partnerships with local entities to support with practical and vocational training programs both in and outside of the Kingdom, ensuring that Saudi’s workforce can meet the long-term demand of the labor market. The expectation is that renewables and energy efficient solutions will grow at an extremely fast rate as Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a leader in the renewable industry, which is where ENGIE and the PPP model come in. In Saudi, if you are working with large government, or semi-government clients, you are pretty much secure. However, when you start moving toward the private sector, many of the companies are not credit rated, though they generate millions of dollars in revenue. This is a frontier that ENGIE excels in and have put our skills to practice, with the signing of the first corporate PPA’s with the National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC) where we financed a 25-year project by doing our own credit rating analysis.

What is your outlook?

WB Through our partnerships with companies such as SABIC, we aim to join forces to maximize our efforts toward our goal. With our expertise in renewable energy, storage, and smart solutions and SABIC’s raw material, we have formed a roadmap to localize all the latest technologies. The first phase will require between USD25-30 million in investment. Such partnerships will have a big impact on the market because it is not just about bringing technology and applying it, but also looking at the whole value chain. The establishment of the Ministry of Industry and Energy is one of the main changes happening at the moment. Other than that, changes in the energy price reform have made the market more competitive. The energy reform helped the entire renewable energy market. The private sector’s participation in power generation is a key factor of change as previously it was mostly done by public entities. Both the private sector and the government are working together to optimize the energy program. With this participation, we reduced energy consumption by 8%.

TAS I see it more privatized, more clean energy oriented, and I see it growing at an exponential rate. In 2021 alone, we are looking at over 8 billion worth of PPP projects tendered from the Kingdom. We often tell companies that they need to start getting their resources together and start getting involved because this is not a one-time cycle but the beginning of a much longer growth trend. This is going to continue beyond 2021 and opportunities will only get bigger. Companies will need to resource, re-strategize, and reorganize to be able to meet the Kingdoms expectations otherwise they are going to lose out on being able to participate in a growing market.



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