Event convenes global industry experts to unlock the potential of Belt & Road Initiatives, particularly in MENA & Pakistan
Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) GE cohosted the “China for the World” 2018 Energy Infrastructure Cooperation Forum in Beijing, convening nearly 700 experts from across the energy infrastructure ecosystem including government officials, Chinese engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company representatives, project end-users, and financiers. Now in its fifth year, the forum is China’s first private-sector event where global experts gather to share insights and opportunities and explore how to best bring lasting benefits to communities in Belt and Road countries.
In a special breakout session, participants were invited to discuss views on the current and potential impact of Belt and Road initiatives in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Pakistan. A highlight of the session was a panel discussion on ‘Powering Iraq’, where participants explored market developments, project models, and financing mechanisms to unlock the potential benefits that Belt and Road initiatives can bring to the country. Iraq has a strategic location along a key artery of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is further underpinned by the growth in oil trade with China. As Iraq looks to ramp up its electricity infrastructure, China and global technology providers can support its reconstruction efforts with win-win collaborations for all parties.
“Delivering power and real economic benefits to communities in our region requires collaborations that bring together industry-leading technology, engineering, and financing capabilities through multiple players,” said Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “We also need to innovate new business models and new ways of working across geographies, that allow us to develop the appropriate energy infrastructure for each country. GE is honored and excited to work with our customers, partners and other stakeholders to drive further cooperation in building the energy infrastructure ecosystem of the future.”
Since the Belt and Road Initiative was launched, nearly 100 countries and international institutes have pledged support and gotten involved in growing the markets along the Belt and Road, with many landmark projects successfully completed or underway. Since GE started working with Chinese EPCs more than 20 years ago, it has delivered over 35 gigawatts (GW) of power to developing markets through these partnerships, with an additional 20 GW worth of power underway or pledged based on orders through the first half of 2018. A demo area at the forum presented over a dozen standout projects including the Hassyan Clean Coal Project in Dubai, UAE, and Bhikki combined cycle power plant in Pakistan. The flagship Hassyan project is the Middle East’s first clean coal plant with ultra-supercritical coal technology and GE’s advanced environmental control systems, as well as financing from the Silk Road Fund. Bhikki is noteworthy for being the first project in Asia to use GE’s 9HA gas turbine units, adding up to 1,180 megawatts (MW) to the national grid, the equivalent electricity needed to supply up to 2.4 million Pakistani homes.
Past iterations of the “China for the World” Forum discussed building an ecosystem of shared knowledge between partners working together on projects in Belt and Road regions. This includes the spread of knowledge through trainings, as well as new models of working.
Meanwhile, new ways of working proposed through the forum included joint market development, joint financing, and joint operation. These efforts ensure that projects generate long-term benefits for local markets; that enterprises are able to tap into capital markets in China and share global financing resources; and that EPCs can partake in the operations of new facilities – taking an increased stake following construction, which increases the chances of financing.
Bringing together technical know-how with a wide range of perspectives and experiences on working in global markets, participants in the “China for the World” 2018 Energy Infrastructure Cooperation Forum look forward to delivering power solutions to the markets that need it most to grow.