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KUWAIT - Green Economy

Yassine Lafhail

Country General Manager, ENGIE Solutions

Bio

Yassine Lafhail is Country General Manager of ENGIE Solutions Kuwait. He holds a MEng from the Higher Education in Engineering Applied to Thermal, Energy and the Environment in Paris. He has been working with ENGIE Group for more than 10 years, where he first joined as energy and FM project manager in France. He held several positions before moving to Kuwait in 2018 to develop the energy services business of the new local entity.

"ENGIE has two main business units in Kuwait, ENGIE Thermal & Supply, which partially owns, operates and maintains Az-Zour North Plant, and ENGIE Solutions, which provides energy services and solutions."
Since 2017, ENGIE in Kuwait has demonstrated its expertise and added value in the local market whilst providing a safe, ethical, and compliant one-stop shop for services.
What have been the company’s major highlights in the last few years?

ENGIE has two main business units in Kuwait, ENGIE Thermal & Supply, which partially owns, operates and maintains Az-Zour North Plant, and ENGIE Solutions, which provides energy services and solutions. We have successfully operated Az-Zour North plant for the last six years. The gas-fired power and water plant opened in 2015 and marked ENGIE’s entry into the Kuwaiti market. Az-Zour North power plant was our first in the country and Kuwait’s first Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP). We began operations in 2016 and continue to operate, producing 1.5GW power and 486,000cbm of desalinated water a day. Our solutions business unit is more active in the country. We have made great progress since commencing ENGIE Solutions’ operations in Kuwait in 2017 and are the first energy solutions specialist in the country to launch an energy management team that paid for the savings they generated. In Kuwait, long-term industrial projects normally involve multiple contractors on one project, however, ENGIE Solutions offers an all-encompassing facilities management service. We were awarded a contract for a major hospital in Kuwait in 2020. We consulted for two consortiums that have been awarded two 25-year PPP projects for facility management and energy. As the nation moves toward reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating Kuwait’s high per-capita power consumption is crucial. ENGIE Solutions already provides energy efficiency solutions for various facilities in Kuwait. Recently, we have been auditing projects for a total electrical consumption of 200GWh per year, which is just a start, so we can only imagine the country’s true potential. So far, we have identified potential savings of 25% and are talking about 50GWh. The scheme amounts to around 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions prevented per year, which would have required 140sqkm of forest to absorb.

How is ENGIE Solutions contributing to environmentally-friendly national initiatives?

We wholeheartedly support Kuwait’s initiatives to transition to renewable sources of energy and achieve carbon neutrality. ENGIE Group has a strong commitment to its purpose, to accelerate the energy transition, which we do in three ways: by replacing conventional energy with renewables, deploying cooling and heating networks, and saving energy through our energy services. As legislation regarding renewable energy and diversification comes onto Kuwait’s statute books, we are capable of rapidly deploying our proven solutions in Kuwait. To raise awareness of the issues and our solutions, we conduct regular workshops and webinars with Ministries and expert organizations like Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). We also provide financing projects to our clients. A long-term partnership approach can enable carbon reduction, cost savings, and rapidly turn renewable energy investments from capital expenses into operating expenses. We can retrofit buildings, for example, making them more digitally “smarter” and connected, and then earn revenues from client savings.

What technological solutions does ENGIE provide?

As an accredited energy services company (ESCO), ENGIE Solutions provides customized, guaranteed energy efficiency solutions aimed at drastically reducing consumption for our clients. From our audits conducted in Kuwait, we estimate minimum potential savings of 80-90% through digitalization and automation. We currently provide a raft of technology-driven solutions to the market. Apart from providing desalinated water from Az-Zour, we focus attention on ESCO models, energy performance contracts, and integrated facilities management systems. We deliver energy-as-a-service, cooling-as-a-service and smart building technology (the future of facilities management, utilizing IoT). We see facilities management as a significant business growth area, as 85% of the energy consumed by buildings in Kuwait in the summer goes to ventilation, air-conditioning, and lighting. Our solutions division is actively developing solutions based on AI, blockchain, and IoT to unlock substantial savings, for example, by helping predict when and where building maintenance is required in advance. We also finance the implementation of smart building systems and energy retrofits, including renewable solutions through guaranteed or shared saving plans with an agreed payback period.

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