This year's Middle East Electricity (MEE) show held in March wrapped up with a little less electricity in the air than in previous years. While the show was busy, the mood around the generator set pavilions was not as positive as in past years. That does not come as a surprise for Power Systems Research (PSR), given the current low level of oil prices and the instability that is affecting the Middle East and North Africa. 

Despite all, many OEMs and engine manufacturers introduced new products during the fair.

Many major projects in the Gulf area and other oil producing countries were cancelled during 2015 and 2016 due to severe budget cuts. Governmental expenditure was also significantly reduced, freezing contractor payments or making it to the minimum possible. This affected the private sector business to the extent that it reduced the labour capacity. In some cases salaries were not paid.

But oil is not the only issue. Several wars are negatively impacting business: The current situations in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Tunisia is increasing demand for military budget, taking away important resources from other projects, and infrastructure building and thus reducing gen set business. Demand in the Middle East for large gen sets is expected to be 50% down compared to 2015, particularly in the 700 kVA range and above.  According to several experts and OEMs, this situation might last until the first half of 2017, although OPEC is trying to arrange a meeting in the coming weeks in order to agree on an oil production freezer. If that will be the case, oil prices will slowly start to increase again. This will have positive impacts on the budgets of all the oil producers’ countries. Besides, Iran has not yet confirm to join the OPEC meeting at this stage. Without Iran commitment to freeze oil production levels oil prices won’t be likely to rise significantly in the next months.

Nevertheless, the show was rich in new product launching: Precision Industries (PI) presented the new PI 1500MT gen sets developed for the oil and Gas industry. The unit is powered by a MTU 12V4000G23 engine coupled with an AvK DSG 86L1/4L alternator and is rated 1500 kVA prime power or 1650 kVA stand-by power. Peculiar of the sets are the different standards related to fire fighting, and protection from hazardous environment, such as JANUS JFS-C1 (USA), NFPA 72 and NFPA 12, IP44 and IP55. The set come in an impressive container and PI is expecting to receive a good demand from the industry during 2017.

Pi also showcased their new gen set for the telecom industry. The PI 38D is powered by a Deutz F4L2011 4 cylinder diesel engine. The set is rated at 1800 rpm with a prime power of 36.5 kVA and stand-by power of 38.3 kVA. Telecom application like this one are expected to see a high demand during 2016.

Perkins was very active with two brand new engines on the show. The new 4008 offers several improvement versus its predecessor. The 4008-30TAG ElectropaK meets the key power nodes from 900-1250 kVA for prime and standby ratings at 50 Hz. Simon Gray, electric power marketing manager at Perkins reported that “This new engine, which is already in production, builds on a proven, reliable core, so end users can be confident the 4008-30 is another dependable Perkins engine. “In the electric power sector this is a very important consideration as the engine is ideally suited for 1 megawatt prime power application. It can also supply back-up power up to 1250 kVA for standby applications in health facilities and airports, among many other applications.” Perkins claims improved efficiency, more power and the capability of the engine to run up to 3000 meters without any loss of power due to altitude.

Perkins also introduced a new gas engines, the 404A-22SG1. The 4 cylinder 2.2 litre engine is designed for electric power applications and is powered by liquid petroleum gas (LPG), a mix of propane and butane. The 404A-22SG1 runs at 1500 or 1800 rpm and produces 20 or 23 kVA of prime power respectively.

Both engines were also on gen sets presented at the show. The 4008 was at Jubaili Brother stand, a Lebanese company producing gen sets in Middle East Europe and Africa.

The 404A-22SG1 was o the Ghaddar Machinery stand, in the prototype of a gen sets that they are planning to introduce in the future. The company is reporting lower business due to the oil price fall in 2015. Nevertheless, they are expanding their footprint and will open a new production facility in Saudi Arabia during 2016. The new factory will have a capacity of 15 thousand gen sets, although won’t be operating at those level at the beginning.

SDMO, one of the largest European gen set producer introduced at MEE the new K44 and K66 sets. The first is powered by a Kohler KDI2504TM-40 diesel engine. The maximum total output is 44 kVA in stand-by mode.

Big news at FPT Industrial. The Italian engine manufacturer unveiled for the first time their new 16 litres diesel engine for Power Generation applications. The C16 TE1W has a 15.9 displacement, common rail injection system with a pressure of 2200 bar. The new engine will allow FPT to compete in the 500 to 600 kVA market, extending their current gen set range. Besides, MEE was also the stage for the new 3 cylinders diesel S800 AM1 engine. |This unit is developed for non-emission regulated markets, and can output 30 kVA. FPT claims that this new engine can offer the same performances of a 4 cylinder engine but with a 6% increase in fuel economy and with an 11% improvement in packaging. Both the engines are ready and available for the market.

Remaining with the Italians, PR Industrial (Pramac) went to Dubai with its new Rental gens set, the GRW 115. The unit falls in one of the critical nodes for rental applications, according to one of Pramac spoke person. The set is powered by a Perkins 1104D-E44TAG2 diesel engine compliant with the latest EU Stage IIIA regulations for mobile gen sets and capable of a maximum power of 116 kVA in stand-by mode. The gen sets is built in Spain along with the rest of the range that goes from 30 to 700 kVA. Pramac reported growing demand for rental generators which represent the majority of the volumes produced in the Spainsh factory.

Teksan Jenerators brought to show their hybrid solutions. The gen set is based on the Perkins 400 series diesel engines, 3 and 4 cylinders according to the configurations plus  battery banks ranging from 300 to 1500 Ah and solar panels from 2.5 to 9.3 kW.  The Turkish manufacturer, one of the largest by volumes in their country, claims lower generator operating time up to 80% and lower fuel consumption up to 65% compared to similar non hybrid generators. Furthermore the unit can be operated remotely with GSM and Internet connections.

Middle East Electricity will be back in 2017 with a lot of expectations for the development of the power generation industry. PSR