Big 5 opens: Mega projects and market recovery entices industry

Updated 25 November 2013
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Big 5 opens: Mega projects and market recovery entices industry

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, officially inaugurated The Big 5, Middle East Concrete and PMV Live 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
With a history of more than 33 years in the region, the event has grown 10 percent this year, and brings together more than 2,500 exhibitors from 65 countries with an anticipated 60,000 construction industry professionals on site over the course of four days.
Professionals from the construction industry gather together to showcase and source new, innovative and sustainable products, see the latest trends, get an update on regulations impacting design and build, and identify new markets and business opportunities.
Opening alongside The Big 5 will be Middle East Concrete, the largest event for the concrete industry showcasing innovative concrete products, technical seminars and live product demonstrations, as well as PMV Live, an interactive event for the plant, machinery and vehicle industry highlighting the latest heavy vehicles and related equipment throughout the four day event.
Andy White, group event director for The Big 5 2013, said the event continues to grow with each edition and is still considered the region’s most important event for the building and construction industry.
“This year The Big 5 is once again giving architects, interior designers, contractors, developers and all other construction professionals, access to the full spectrum of products. Our educational program has also expanded this year giving our visitors access to hundreds of free seminars, workshops and regulatory updates,” he was quoted as saying in a press release received here.
As part of The Big 5, international and regional experts will be addressing industry issues such as sustainability and low energy emitting materials, project management in construction, building interior trends, façade design, fire safety and managing aging structural asset portfolios at over 100 free to attend seminars running throughout the event. Best in class studies will be presented during the Sustainable Design & Construction Conference including the LEED Platinum rated DEWA building and the futuristic White Sky iHouse.
Dubai Municipality will also be presenting on the update to its Green Building Codes, due to go live from January 1, at a free to attend seminar on the 25 November.
This year’s event also includes a new arena specifically dedicated to building interiors, bringing together a wide range of products and services catering to this sector of the industry.
The new arena provides a selective platform for this increasingly influential market segment, currently worth around $10 million within the GCC.
In addition to the new arena, the exhibition will be further broken down into product specific sectors, including HVAC, Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Windows & Doors, Steel, Marble, Slate & Ceramics, Water Technology and General Construction. The show ends on Thursday.


UK’s Quercus pulls plug on $570 mln Iran solar plant as sanctions bite

Updated 14 August 2018
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UK’s Quercus pulls plug on $570 mln Iran solar plant as sanctions bite

  • Quercus said it will halt the construction of a 500 million euro ($570 million) solar power plant in Iran
  • Iran has been trying to increase the share of renewable-produced electricity in its energy mix

OSLO: A British renewable energy investor Quercus said it will halt the construction of a 500 million euro ($570 million) solar power plant in Iran due to recently imposed US sanctions on Tehran.
The solar plant in Iran would have been the first renewable energy investment outside Europe by Quercus and the world’s sixth largest, with a 600 megawatt (MW) capacity.
Iran has been trying to increase the share of renewable-produced electricity in its energy mix, partly due to air pollution and to meet international commitments, hoping to have about 5 gigawatt in renewables installed by 2022.
In June, before the US-imposed sanctions, more than 250 companies had signed agreements to add and sell power from about 4 gigawatt of new renewables in the country, which has only 602 MW installed, Iranian energy ministry data showed.
Washington reimposed sanctions last week after pulling out of a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
US president Donald Trump has also threatened to penalize companies that continue to operate in Iran, which led banks and many companies around the world to scale back their dealings with Tehran.
“Following the US sanctions on Iran, we have decided to cease all activities in the country, including our 600 MW project. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Quercus chief executive Diego Biasi said in an email on Tuesday.
The firm will continue to monitor the situation closely, said Biasi, who declined to comment further.
Last year Quercus said it would set up a project company and sell shares via a private placement after attracting interest from private and institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds.
Construction was expected to take three years, with each 100 MW standalone lot becoming operational and connecting to the grid every six months.

SANCTIONS BITE
Independently-owned Quercus has a portfolio of around 28 renewable energy plants and 235 MW of installed capacity.
The firm, founded by Biasi and Simone Borla in 2010, controls five investment funds and has a network of “highly regarded external partners,” it says on its website.
The 600 MW plant it aimed to construct in Iran would be the firm’s largest investment. Quercus declined to comment on the details of its decision to cease the plan and on any financial losses that could result from it.
Fearing the consequences of the US embargo, a string of European companies have recently announced they would scale back their business in Iran.
On Tuesday, German engineering group Bilfinger, said it did not plan to sign any new business in the country, while automotive supplier Duerr on Aug. 11 said it had halted activities in Iran.
Another project, planned by Norway’s Saga Energy, which said last October it aimed to build 2 GW of new solar energy capacity in Iran and to start construction by the end of 2018, has also stalled.
Saga Energy’s chief of operations Rune Haaland told Reuters it was still working on getting the funding, which is more complicated since recent developments, and although it aimed to push on with its plans, construction could be delayed. ($1 = 0.8773 euros)