CONSTANT EVOLUTION

Dubai 2018 | ENERGY & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Saif Humaid Al Falasi, CEO of ENOC Group, on its tremendous growth in the past decades, promoting sustainability, and the impact of Expo 2020.

Saif Humaid Al Falasi
BIOGRAPHY
As a 37-year veteran in the energy industry, Saif Humaid Al Falasi’s wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge spans a wide range of specialties, including project management and petroleum asset evaluation operations. He joined ENOC in 2008 as Group General Manager. In 2011, he was appointed Executive Director for the Environment, Health, Safety and Quality, and Corporate Affairs Directorate overseeing functions of key divisions within the group. Before joining ENOC, he worked with the ADNOC Group, where he executed multiple development plans for the largest oil fields in Abu Dhabi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana Tech University, US.

How do you assess ENOC's contribution to the development and growth of Dubai?

ENOC's management explored the potential of Dubai's energy assets, using primitive maps to navigate dusty roads, when the group was established in 1993. Today, the group has a swathe of first-rate infrastructure projects, generated USD13.8 billion in economic value for Dubai in 2016 and recorded a total of 249 million barrels in 2017 alone. The group's initial payroll of 200 people has soared to 11,000 employees today. ENOC's tremendous growth rate reflects its deep commitment to supporting Dubai's transformation over the last 25 years. In 2015, the government announced that it would eliminate subsidies on diesel and gasoline, significantly spurring ENOC's financial growth. At a time when lower oil prices since 2014 have forced most of the world's energy companies to rein in their expenditure, ENOC has had the strategic capacity to broaden its scope. The group recognized the importance of gaining full access to the value chain and moved forward with the full acquisition of Dragon Oil in 2015 that became the group's exploration and production arm. This acquisition was a game changer for ENOC, transforming it into a fully integrated oil and gas player.

How is ENOC taking up and implementing new technologies that promote sustainability in its operations?

The success of ENOC's inaugural solar-powered service station at the entrance of Dubai Internet City (DIC) on Sheikh Zayed Road means the zero-carbon technology has now led us to move forward with phase two of our plans: to include solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in all future service stations leading up to 2020. Since then, we have successfully opened three solar powered service stations across the UAE. Our ongoing transformation of existing infrastructure into independently powered energy pods brings a myriad of benefits and illustrates the value of rapidly evolving green technologies. Creating solar-powered service stations supports the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's (DEWA) capacity growth at a time of rising demand. Smart energy management will underpin Dubai's transformation into a low-carbon and globally competitive knowledge-based economy, with renewable technologies playing a leading role. The PV panels will generate a total of 6.5MWh—the equivalent of powering 1,700 homes in Dubai and saving 16,000 tons of CO2 emissions in one year.

What are your expectations around the impact of Expo 2020 on Dubai?

Dubai is moving into a new phase of growth as the Emirate aims to attract 20 million visitors before Expo 2020, while 25 million unique visitors are expected during the event itself. Undoubtedly these ambitions will increase the demand for energy and the need for critical infrastructure. Our appointment as the Expo 2020 Integrated Energy Partner places a responsibility on us as a national oil company to continue investing in projects that will contribute to the development of the country's energy sector, such as the expansion of our refinery, the construction of the jet fuel pipeline to Al Maktoum International and our retail expansion plans across Dubai and the UAE. Part of our plans leading up to the Expo 2020 also include setting up a fully functioning, futuristic service station, using multiple energy sources, from solar to hydrogen, as well as traditional hydrocarbon sources.

How will the jet fuel pipeline to Dubai South support Expo 2020 and fuel Dubai's economic growth?

Set to be operational in time for Expo 2020, the 16.2km pipeline will carry 2,000cbm of jet fuel per hour to Al Maktoum International Airport. ENOC's network of jet fuel pipelines aims to meet the demand for jet fuel at Dubai Airports up until 2050. Eventually, Al Maktoum International is expected to become the world's largest airport with an annual capacity exceeding 220 million passengers and 16 million tonnes of cargo, and, hence, our commitment to build a pipeline to ensure an uninterrupted fuel supply will support the airport's demand for jet fuel up until 2050.