Putting power in the hands of the communities

Kenya has had a taste of the consequences of high costs of electricity and erratic electric power generation. Droughts experienced in recent years had driven water heights in major dams to precarious levels, that power industry authorities were left with no other conceivable choice but to rely on imported fuel to produce electricity. High cost of available fuel in the international market drove electricity prices up – a burden that would have to be passed on to industrial and private consumers that were fortunate enough to be connected to power lines.

While rising energy prices were the bane of these end-users, approximately 90% of Kenya’s rural population and an estimated 45% of the country’s urban residents were yet to gain access to electricity, while a projected 60% of Kenya’s total population still used biomass as a source of energy for cooking.

The energy situation in Kenya was far from being stable, to say the least.

Kenya Engineer Sept 2014 Page 1

Kenya’s renewable energy potential

The country’s energy situation represented a daunting affair for any government to try to overturn. But somehow, something has to be started somewhere, so Kenyan authorities trained their gaze on renewable energy sources for solutions. Today, Kenya’s renewable energy sector is touted to be one of the most active in Africa, with investments in wind, geothermal, small-scale hydro and biomass rising from virtually zero in 2009 to approximately USD 1.3 billion in recent years. Kenya is considered to be the largest producer of geothermal power in Africa and is known as a world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita.

Kenya’s renewable energy sources hold enormous potential. For instance, experts from the African Energy Policy Research Network 2004 observe that, at an average, Kenya receives an estimated four to six kWh per square meter per day of solar insolation, which is equivalent to about 300 million tons of oil. The study adds that most areas in the country can enjoy the benefits of solar energy, because they receive more than six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Moreover, according to scientific studies, Kenya has one of the best wind resources in the world, averaging between three and 10 m/s, with northern Kenya even hitting record speeds of up 11 m/s. Experts suggest that wind energy facilities can be strategically installed along the coast and in areas where agricultural production is counter-intuitive, like in the Northeastern Province. The Lake Turkana Wind Project currently underway is poised to provide 300 MW of wind power to Kenya’s national grid.

While the country has already been thriving in geothermal energy production, experts say that only two per cent of the country’s geothermal potential has been tapped, adding that the total estimated potential for geothermal power capacity in Kenya is in the area of 7,000 to 10,000 MW. Currently, the Geothermal Development Company has laid out plans to drill 1,400 steam wells to provide steam for up to 5,000 MW of geothermal power capacity by 2030.

Kenya Engineer Sept 2014 Page 2

It is not just power; it is empowerment

Beyond providing large-scale additional power to Kenya’s national energy generation capacity, renewable energy solutions hold a significance much closer to home. Owing to their flexibility and scalability, renewable energy sources could be locally installed in rural and urban communities, and in industrial facilities, encouraging power decentralization and source diversification. Experts opine that this fact can potentially be a workable solution to over-dependence on hydro and thermal power, which could at times be unreliable or expensive. Decentralized and localized renewable energy projects will find merits in terms of mitigating the risks of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as of the rising prices of fuel in the world market. Giving local communities and industrial players the opportunity to “create” their own power will additionally pave the way to fully capitalizing on the renewable energy potential of Kenya and to unraveling further economic growth.

While localized renewable energy projects in Kenyan rural and urban communities and in industrial facilities are still in the nascent stages, there are technologies available that are able to sustain their progress and advancement. Mobile power technologies are designed and engineered to support power generation when permanent or renewable sources meet challenges in sustaining the electricity demand. As national frameworks are created to promote renewable energy investments at the community levels, temporary power stations can provide the power supply that installed renewable facilities are still not able to produce. As wind or solar power plants depend on unpredictable natural elements for “fuel”, interim generators will be able to supplement the generated power in cases when wind or solar supply is insufficient.

As Kenya improves its hydropower and thermal energy generation capacities, veering away from over-reliance on fossil-based power, mobile electric power stations will be able to support existing permanent power infrastructure in times when the national electric power requirement outstrips the supply. Owing to the fact that rental gensets do not require steep initial investment to procure, the Kenyan government will be able to preserve the budgetary allotment aimed at the construction of renewable energy facilities at the grass-root levels.

Empowering local communities

National economic growth may never be sustainable if a significant percentage of a country’s population and industries has yet to be empowered. Today, with the advancement in research and technology, local electrification and community empowerment is within reach. Renewable technologies are maturing, and are now proving to be viable and sustainable sources of energy. As communities and industrial facilities enjoying the benefits of electric power grow in number, the road map ahead of a country’s economy becomes increasingly clear.

Empowerment, however, does not simply mean being connected to the grid. Encapsulated within the very essence of the word is giving rural and urban communities alike the opportunity to care for their environment, to plot their own future and to traverse their own paths to economic and social advancement.

Kenya Engineer Sept 2014 Cover

The foregoing article was originally published in the September-October 2014 issue of Kenya Engineer, published by Intercontinental Publishers, Kenya.



Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Power to grow sub-Saharan Africa’s economy

While achieving a buoyant economic climate is a feat in itself, the real challenge lies in staying afloat. To sustain the economic optimism that Africa is now enjoying, it is imperative that governments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, address the critical issue of chronic power shortage, which hampers the development of various industries in the region.

Energize coverage June 2014
Africa has remained resilient in the face of the economic headwind of the previous years. This was the good news delivered by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which recently presented the African Economic Outlook 2014 in its annual meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. Africa’s economic growth, the continent-wide document suggested, was expected to reach 4,8% in 2014 and 5,7% in 2015, on its way to hitting the same numbers as it had before the 2009 economic downturn. The economic expansion, the report indicated, would be driven by domestic demand, infrastructure and a heightened continental trade in manufactured goods. Moreover, the report revealed that direct and portfolio foreign investments were projected to reach US$80-billion in 2014, and financial flows towards the continent were predicted to surpass $200-billion – four times its year 2000 level.

The above-mentioned growth projections bode well for the entire continent, and AfDB suggested that in order to sustain the momentum and achieve economic sustainability and a development breakthrough, Africa would need to participate more actively in the global production of goods and services. In this way, added AfDB, the continent could boost its economic diversification, domestic resource mobilisation and investments in critical infrastructure.

Is there enough power, though?

Since the industrial revolution, power has always been identified as a key factor in encouraging economic growth, and that still holds true today. In the light of Africa’s ambition of achieving economic sustainability, diversity and viability, the continent needs to ramp up its production and industrial activities, and to achieve that, it needs the staying power. The question, however, is “does the continent have enough energy supply to power its way to the future?”

Though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concurred with AfDB, it sounded a caveat when it said that the observed power supply deficiency in the continent may rein in economic growth. It has been documented that some 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa were facing an energy crisis, evidenced by rolling blackouts, and that some 30 countries in region had suffered acute energy crises in recent years. While the Key World Energy Statistics by the International Energy Agency reported that electricity generation in Africa rose from 1,8% in 1973 to 3,1% in 2011, the continent still remained to have the smallest share globally, despite being the second most populous continent.

Nigeria, for instance, a country that has three times the population of the South Africa, only has one-tenth of the power generation capacity of the latter, and enterprises are already complaining about regular power interruptions. In Tanzania, a month-long blackout was experienced in Zanzibar when the underwater cable lines supplying power to the archipelago failed, following a surge in demand. As a result, residents were paying $10 daily to run diesel powered domestic generators, while businesses requiring refrigeration or heating had to suspend operations until the power was restored. In Kenya, it has been observed that only 25% of the population had access to electricity, and that only 5% of the country’s rural areas had access to the grid. The occasional recession of the water level in some of Angola’s rivers affects power production, disturbing other services, like water distribution. Luanda’s water supply firm, EPAL, cited that various areas in Luanda experienced water supply shortage, owing to challenges related to power distribution.

Touted to be Africa’s biggest copper producer, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) advised mining companies in the country to suspend any project expansion which would require more power, due to a power shortage that, the government said, would take years to resolve. While the country would reportedly institute an electricity-rationing program, mining companies were encouraged to postpone signing new contracts, in an effort to slowdown the growth of electricity demand in the country. Even the region’s largest economy, South Africa, was not exempt from power-related woes. In fact, in a recent communiqué, Eskom, supplier of 95% of the country’s electricity, warned residents of a rolling blackout due to load-shedding, which it said, was to protect the electricity grid from total failure. Eskom said it had begun scaling down maintenance to prepare for winter, but in the face of a rising demand, particularly during peak hours, it appealed to the public to reduce power consumption by at least 10%. If the power demand does not decline, then, the company said, load shedding would be the last resort to avoid a total power shutdown.

With Africa’s population expected to double to approximately 1.9 billion people by 2050, the World Bank said that a much higher investment would be needed to at least double Africa’s current levels of energy access by 2030. In fact, it is estimated that the sub-Saharan region would require more than $300-billion in investments to achieve total electrification by 2030.

Boosting energy

As a response to this pressing need, countries in the region are mapping out strategies to supply more energy through alternative solutions. In the DRC, for instance, the Grand Inga hydroelectric project, expected to boost the country’s power supply by 44 000 MW, is said to be gaining traction, while in Zimbabwe upgrades to the Kariba South hydropower and the Hwange thermal coal plants, forecast to add about 300 MW and 600 MW, respectively, are reportedly in the pipeline. South Africa is also reported to be cooking up the building of two new coal-fired power stations at Kusile and Medupi, expected to individually add approximately 4 800 MW of capacity.

The afore-mentioned initiatives are a testament to the tremendous attention that these countries are paying to their respective power generation challenges. Governments and private entities alike have been putting years’ worth of research and investigation, and billions worth of investment, to draw up the myriad adverse economic and social effects of electricity supply deficiency. A crucial element in the equation, however, is time, and in a world governed by more stringent business practices, faster turnarounds and heightened interdependency, the essence of time transcends chronos. Today, time may mean the difference between profit and loss, between political unrest and stability, and between economic growth and uncertainty.

The price of power: Focus on Southern Africa

Southern Africa was observed to have absorbed the blow of the power crisis in recent years. Blackouts brought cities to a standstill and spelt terminal financial losses to small- and medium-size companies. One of the region’s flagship industries, mining, was also unfavorably affected, prompting mining companies to halt expansion plans and repress local power usage. When Eskom deemed to cut down its electricity export to support its power demand at home, the electricity supply in Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Swaziland, countries that import power from South Africa, was severely affected.

The foregoing, however, was not unexpected. In 1998, the government of South Africa apparently acknowledged the necessity of investing in electricity infrastructure amidst the threat of a power crisis looming large. It deemed, therefore, to privatise Eskom to inject new capital, thus encouraging a ramp up on its efficiency. The finalisation of any agreement, however, was reported to have taken longer than expected, and by 2008, the utility found itself unable to support the then-existing power demand.

Other governments in the region were said to have admitted to underestimating the trajectory of power requirements. In 2008, Botswana Power Corporation said that the energy forecast was skewed by the proliferation of new mines, which meant a steep spike in power demand, not only in Botswana, but also in other countries, such as Zambia.

At present, solutions are underway – but they, naturally, will not come cheap. Economic reports indicated that, at the prevailing growth rate of the demand from industries and residents, the region would have to double its power generating capacity by 2025, at an approximate cost of $171-billion in South Africa alone. Of that amount, $45-billion would supposedly have been needed before 2013.

In order to sustain this projection, the governments have identified potential sources of funds, such as approved power rate hikes and foreign investment. Yet, power hikes could stir alarm and protest from the citizens and trade unions, and could prompt industrial entities, like mining corporations, to cut down on operations, putting jobs and production at risk. Foreign investment agreements, on the other hand, could take time to materialise, and the planning, designing, installation and commissioning of alternative power generation projects may entail years, if not decades.

Bridging the power gap now

Unstable electricity production and regular power interruptions bring about a multitude of negative impacts to any country’s economy, business and citizens. In today’s world, power has become a fundamental element for any economy to function, as every sector of the modern society, be it domestic, commercial or industrial, is heavily dependent on electricity. Nowadays, a power interruption affecting critical facilities, such as hospitals, airports, telecommunications towers, data centers, mining facilities and oil & gas installations, has the potential to put an entire country, region or city to a standstill, and in light of globalisation, the consequences could transcend national or regional borders.

Hiring interim power generation plants to bridge the gap between the demand and the supply of electricity yields many advantages, particularly when there is a foreseeable delay in the fruition of permanent power generation facilities or when the temporary power is immediately needed. It was clear in the above-mentioned examples that countries in sub-Saharan Africa are looking to mitigate the observed deficiency in power supply by upgrading existing facilities, soliciting foreign investment to build new power plants and harnessing the potential of alternative sources of energy, including geothermal, solar, hydro and nuclear. While the aforementioned initiatives have recognised and acknowledged merits and potential, they may require further research, planning, designing and legislation, and additional physical facilities to be operational; and this takes time.

When time is of essence, rental power companies, like Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, are capable of providing solutions as needed, when needed. Utility companies in the region, can hire temporary power plants in times when demand outpaces the supply, when the electrical grid is unstable or when power distribution networks are unavailable, like in the rural areas. This will allow them to bridge the supply deficit without waiting for another day. Hiring power generators can prove to be a viable solution to power supply inefficiency, bridging the power gap while the permanent power solution is still in progress.

Powering the way to the future

The world welcomes the positive outlook of Africa’s economy. The continent that was once regarded as a tailender in terms of development, is now making an aggressive move towards economic stability and viability. While achieving a buoyant economic climate is a feat in itself, the real challenge lies in staying afloat. To sustain the economic optimism that Africa is now enjoying, it is imperative that the governments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, address the critical issue of chronic power shortage, which could hamper the development of various industries in the countries. The effort that the region’s governments are applying to address this predicament is commendable, but there exist other entities which can help them to further alleviate the situation. Rented power addresses the issues of urgency, cost-efficiency, reliability, energy-efficiency and environmental safety. In recognition of the indispensable role of electricity in today’s modern society, it is advisable that utility companies provide for a contingent power solution in cases of power interruption that may lead to operational delays and, ultimately, negative social, economic and financial consequences.


* The foregoing article was published in the June 2014 issue of Energize (EE Publishers, South Africa). To read more: http://bit.ly/1pTKEgj *

Energize June 2014 cover

Robert Bagatsing

Altaaqa Global

Tel: +971 56 1749505


Power, the Key to Economic Stability

There is one pivotal era in history that forever changed the way we look at productivity. At the dawn of the industrial revolution, productive output was fundamentally constrained by the limits of human toil or animal strength and by the boundaries of available land. The industrial revolution paved the way to exponential and sustainable economic growth, to a point that new generations were afforded the confidence that the economy that they will eventually shape would be better off than the one wrought by their forefathers.

At the height of the revolution, electric power was identified as a foremost factor in encouraging a viable economic growth – and that has not changed till now. As the demand for energy exponentially increases in today’s expanding economies, the need to support a country or a region’s electricity requirement becomes ever more crucial. In order to sustain the economic momentum of any given country or region, an ample and continuous supply of clean, viable and affordable energy is imperative.

Power Today cover July 2014 sheet 0

When power is not enough

The Indian Sub-continent is enjoying an economic upturn. According to a recently published market report from the Asian Development Bank, the South Asian region is predicted to grow by 5.3% in 2014 and by 5.8% in 2015. India’s economy, taken alone, is forecast to achieve growth rates of anywhere between 5.5% and 6%.

Behind India’s burgeoning economy is power: Power to manufacture, to drill for oil, to fly millions of passengers in and out of the country, to sail the seas with tons of export goods on board, to put on computers, to light up offices and to activate phone lines necessary for worldwide communications. India’s economic growth is a testament to one of the basic tenets of the industrial revolution: That electricity gives economies the power to catapult themselves to heights they thought would never be possible to reach. And India is reaping the fruits of that.

There is, however, a looming electricity supply issue that may challenge India’s continuous economic growth. Energy industry experts ascertain that there are 1.4 billion people in the world who have no access to electricity, and they estimate that over 300 million of them are in India. Recorded data in recent years show that demand for energy in India has consistently outstripped the supply, both in terms of base load energy and peak availability. Studies show that the country registers an 8.5% deficit in base load requirement and a 9.8% short-fall in peak load requirement. Seconding this observation, India’s Central Electricity Authority forecasts that the energy deficiency will affect all of the country’s regions and that, though Northern India expects a power surplus during the monsoon months (as its power generation capacity is predominantly dependent on hydropower), the spare capacity will gradually recede during the winter months.

India’s government has responded to the pressing situation by launching ambitious rural electrification programs, but the challenge proves to be vast that it could not be resolved in an instant. Ground research shows that approximately 400 million Indians still lose electricity during blackouts and that 35.5% of Indian households still has limited access to electricity. The compelling need to urgently address the economic repercussion of the imminent power instability was more vividly drawn by a study conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries in 2012. The document showed that power interruptions in India could result in approximately 10% in production short-fall, leading to revenue losses of up to INR 40,000 per day.

Who could forget the massive blackout of 2012 that left 700 million people in India without electricity? In what is touted to be one of the worst blackouts in history, twenty of India’s 28 states suffered the effects of the power interruption that almost incited social instability and protests for fears that the country was no longer in the position to support its booming local energy demand. The repercussion was almost journalistically indescribable: traffic jams all over the affected cities, babies wailing of heat, bodies half-burnt at crematoriums, patients gasping for every breath of life, miners trapped underground in complete darkness, passengers stranded in the middle of miles of track.

While stakeholders strive to bridge the supply gap, India’s demand for electricity is not showing signs of slowing down. Industry studies indicate that India’s manufacturing sector will continue to grow at an even faster pace and that domestic demand will increase more rapidly.


Power that sustain power

In these crucial times, India’s power generation infrastructure needs all the support it can get. The governments and the utility companies may be moving mountains to immediately resolve the present and the impending energy sooner, but with the scope and extent of the difficulty, they may not be able to do it single-handedly.

Temporary power generation companies, like Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, a leading global provider of interim energy facilities, have the capacity to support the existing power generation infrastructure, with the end of bridging the gap in electricity supply as, where and when the necessity be. Hiring power plants has tested and recognized merits, particularly in cases of emergencies or natural calamities, unplanned power failures, unforeseen delays in power projects, temporary plant shutdowns, load shedding or peak shaving. Signing an agreement with interim power providers can also prove beneficial when electricity distribution facilities are not available in certain areas, like in dispersed communities; when permanent power stations are still being constructed or commissioned or when energy generation facilities are being expanded or refurbished.

India’s initiative to harness alternative sources of energy, like geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind and tidal has proven to be effective, but seasonal changes may alter the operations of the aforementioned facilities. For instance, some parts of the country where hydroelectric power stations operate may experience droughts or prolonged absence of rain, which in turn can drastically reduce the power generation capacity of the said plants. Solar or photovoltaic farms thrive during summer months but may experience shortage in production in months when days are predominantly cloudy or rainy. In these cases, rental power plants may support the power generation capacity of the current facilities if only to bridge the gap during the crucial months of seasonal change.

With its large manufacturing sector, production facilities in India often need to double, may be even triple, their capacities to meet the international production requirement in certain months, say during Christmas or Diwali. While a manifold increase in production bodes well for a company’s income, the consequent spike in power consumption may usher in operational challenges. It is highly probable that during the same peak months, utility companies will set ceiling caps for electricity consumption or will ask production facilities to pay an additional consumption premium during peak hours. In this case, based on cost-benefit studies conducted among industries within the arc of peak months, it will be more economically sound to hire a temporary power plant than to pay an additional fee for every peak kilowatt used, shut down parts of the production complex when power usage is at its peak, or pay a hefty fine for using more power than what has been allocated for a company’s function. Peaker power plants (peakers for short) are an ideal solution offered by energy rental companies like Altaaqa Global to curb seasonal electricity demand during peak production months.

Of all unforeseen occurrences, a natural disaster may prove to be the most difficult to immediately address. Calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes have the capacity to destroy roads; interrupt power, water and communication lines and cripple transportation routes. In these cases, local or governmental entities may need assistance from a temporary power service provider that has the logistical capabilities to deploy, install, commission and run interim power plants anywhere in the world, on a short notice. Altaaqa Global’s temporary power products and genset technologies are the most efficient solution for a rapid capacity application, owing to their modular and flexible design, especially engineered for swift mobilization and start-up.

Power Today July 2014 covarage sheet 1

Partners in mobile power

To fully capitalize on the advantages of temporary power technologies, the governments and the utility companies in India need to be keen and discerning in hiring an interim energy service provider. In selecting a temporary electricity partner, one should look at the provider’s experience, organization, support system, rate of deployment and equipment reliability and sustainability before signing an agreement with it.

One of the most important things to consider when entering into an agreement with a rental energy provider is its track record in delivering executable, measurable and sustainable solutions to a wide array of projects. It is essential to ascertain if the rental power plant provider has thorough experience in delivering temporary power plants in complex situations, like city-wide utility electrification. The exercise of putting an interim power provider at the helm of a project or of a city’s electrification program will prove to be counterproductive if the chosen partner does not have the technical experience and the required organization to deliver what it promises. If the mobile generator company cannot supply the required power, it may cause more delays in the project, eventually leading to legal disputes and further economic damage. It should be heavily chalked up that utility companies should avoid dealing with backyard rental companies that will over-promise but will eventually under-deliver.

Though temporary power plants, like the ones provided by Altaaqa Global, are engineered to endure even the harshest conditions known to man, they are by no means indestructible. The governments and the utility companies in India must keep in mind that the service of a rental energy company should not end when the electric power generators are switched on. The company should have the spare parts and the human resources to carry out after-sales support to installed and commissioned projects at any given location, at any given time. Whether the project is in the middle of a mountain for a mining operation or in the hot burning Gulf desert for oil & gas refineries, the rental power provider should have the capability to support its temporary power plants, whenever and wherever.

Proving solutions when needed and where needed is the prime reason for being of rental power companies, like Altaaqa Global. An interim energy partner should have the capability to react, deploy, mobilize and commission temporary power plants at a moment’s notice. This means that the provider should have available equipment and manpower on the ground to carry out a rapid delivery. If the rental company has the available equipment to deploy and a team of professional logistic personnel that can deal with the complexities of ports, customs and transportation, then help is on the way to immediately solve the power crisis.

Providing solutions to power requirement of different entities does not follow a template nor is governed by a rule of thumb. Each case should be carefully studied and evaluated in order for rental power companies to prescribe an optimal solution. The only way that an interim energy company can afford to meet the exact requirement of any client is for it to have the adequate and state-of-the-art technologies available in its product line. Altaaqa Global has a wide range of large-scale temporary power plants running on gas, diesel or dual-fuel (70% gas and 30% diesel). It also offers systems on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and on compressed natural gas (CNG), in recognition of rigid sets of licensing and sustainability regulations that may exist in some parts of India.

Altaaqa Global also proposes state-of-the-art products that pushes the envelope of technological flexibility. One of the company’s flagship innovation is the variable operational mode that can switch from island to grid mode in just seconds. It provides the most scalable power solution to support base load, intermediate, peaking or standby power generation.

Altaaqa Global also offers the first and only substation-free power plants, specifically engineered to serve places in India where they may not be substations. These temporary power plants require no substations and can directly be hooked to the grid.


You do growth, we do power

The advantages of renting temporary energy facilities are multifarious, especially from the prism of cost-savings, flexibility and continuous energy supply. Hiring interim energy plants means that the governments and the utility companies in India will not have to shell out huge capital (CAPEX) to erect permanent power generation facilities if the heightened demand is just seasonal or momentary. Provisional electric power plants are also equipped with state-of-the-art innovations that allow them to increase or decrease the capacity following the end-user’s requirement. More importantly, mobile power technologies can provide electricity to any entity as it is needed, when it is needed and where it is needed.


* The foregoing article was published in the July 2014 issue of Power Today magazine (ASAPP Media, India). To read more: http://bit.ly/1omDahQ *

Power Today cover July 2014


Robert Bagatsing

Altaaqa Global

Tel: +971 56 1749505


Altaaqa Global Opens Office in Southern Africa

Dubai-based Altaaqa Global CAT Rental Power, a global provider of temporary power solutions, has recently opened a new branch in Johannesburg that will cater to several countries in Southern Africa, including the Republic of South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


The new Johannesburg office will serve as a hub for Altaaqa Global’s sales and operations in the Southern African region

The new Johannesburg office will serve as a hub for Altaaqa Global’s sales and operations in the Southern African region


Altaaqa Global will bring its expertise, innovative technologies, industry-proven reliability and rapid deployment to the region, which is largely known for its thriving oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, and mineral and coal mining industries. Peter den Boogert, General Manager of Altaaqa Global, said that we would provide Southern Africa with the most advanced power plant packaged systems, remote monitoring, and fuel-efficient gas, diesel or dual-fuel-powered generators. “Altaaqa Global and its sister company in Saudi Arabia have a total combined fleet of 1,400 MW rental power plant generation readily available to serve the Southern African region.”

One of the flagship innovations that Altaaqa Global will offer, he added, was the flexible operational mode that can switch from island to grid mode in just seconds. Furthermore, Altaaqa Global’s energy rental dynamic package allows its power plants to hook directly to the grid without the need for a substation.

The global outlook for the rental power industry has been encouraging, and Steven Meyrick, Board Representative of Altaaqa Global, sees merit in capitalizing on it through strategic market and geographic expansion. “With this recent feat, we believe that we are on our way to fulfilling, even exceeding, the highly ambitious objectives we set at the launch of our company in 2012.” Meyrick added that Altaaqa Global would continue to pursue multi-megawatt independent power projects (IPP) in various industries, in addition to heavily investing in human resources, process and business optimization, and product expansion.

In line with its avowed corporate social responsibility programs that aim to alleviate the social needs of its immediate environs, Altaaqa Global will also continue to provide job opportunities, extend immediate assistance for school children, and conduct educational campaigns on energy conservation and environmental stewardship in Southern Africa. Meyrick continued, “One of the pillars of our sustainable business model is employing and training local professionals in areas where we operate, and we are excited to extend that commitment to Southern Africa.”

Majid Zahid, Strategic Accounts Director of Altaaqa Global, said, “Southern Africa has a promising economic outlook within the energy, engineering, production, oil and gas, and mining sectors, and we are delighted to open our new office in Africa to provide our wide range of highly innovative interim power plants. We are determined to serve various industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining, electric power utilities, industrial manufacturing and maritime.”

Altaaqa Global has been aggressively making inroads into the African market with the opening of branch offices in several key locations in the continent. “We have also recently opened an office in East Africa,” said Den Boogert, “and have appointed a highly competent management team to oversee our African operations.” He shared the information that Hendrick Mtemeri, a power distribution veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the power utility industry, has been appointed as the Regional Director for the entire Sub-Saharan region, and Paul Heyns, a power equipment engineering expert based in Pretoria, and Oduor Omolo, power generation professional based in Nairobi, have been appointed as Sales Managers for Southern Africa and East Africa, respectively. “Under their leadership, we will reinforce our presence in Africa and ensure that we stay close with our customers.”

The economy of Southern Africa is largely driven by the precious stone, mineral and coal mining industry. The Republic of South Africa, a leading economy in the Southern African region, is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, and is touted to be the largest African economy ahead of Nigeria. Though still reeling from the effects of its recent economic setbacks, the African Economic Outlook expects South Africa’s economy to moderately accelerate in 2014. Angola’s economy, after experiencing slow growth due to the recent oil and financial crises, is also predicted to be on the rebound, expected to grow by 7.8% in 2014. Furthermore, Mozambique’s economy is forecast to maintain its upward trend, predicted to grow by 8% in 2014. Agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, in addition to mineral and coal mining, significantly contribute to the countries’ GDP, as well as to their employment rates.

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 About Altaaqa Global

Altaaqa Global, a subsidiary of Zahid Group, has been selected by Caterpillar Inc. to deliver multi-megawatt turnkey temporary power solutions worldwide. The company owns, mobilizes, installs, and operates efficient temporary independent power plants (IPP’s) at customer sites, focusing on the emerging markets of Sub-Sahara Africa, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, South East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Offering power rental equipment that will operate with different types of fuel such as diesel, natural gas, or dual-fuel, Altaaqa Global is positioned to rapidly deploy and provide temporary power plant solutions, delivering electricity whenever and wherever it may be needed.



About Zahid Group

Zahid Group represents a diverse range of companies, offering comprehensive, customer-centric solutions in a number of thriving industries. Some of those include construction; mining; oil & gas; agriculture; power, electricity & water generation; material handling; building materials; transportation & logistics; real estate development; travel & tourism; and hospitality.




Robert Bagatsing

Altaaqa Global

Tel: +971 56 1749505




Altaaqa Global

Marketing Department

P.O. Box 262989

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Her Excellency F. S. Magubane, South African Ambassador in Spain and officials from the Department of Energy of South Africa

Her Excellency F. S. Magubane, South African Ambassador in Spain and officials from the Department of Energy of South Africa

Her Excellency F. S. Magubane (in the middle), South African Ambassador in Spain and representative officials from the Department of Energy of South Africa, together with Majid Zahid and Peter den Boogert of Altaaqa Global during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Altaaqa Global’s grand launching was attended by various Energy Ministers, Ambassadors, Presidents, Caterpillar and Altaaqa Global Executives

سعادة سفيرة جنوب أفريقيا بأسبانيا السيدة اف اس ماجوبان (في المنتصف)، وممثلون رسميون من وزارة الطاقة في جنوب أفريقيا

سعادة سفيرة جنوب أفريقيا بأسبانيا السيدة اف اس ماجوبان (في المنتصف)، وممثلون رسميون من وزارة الطاقة في جنوب أفريقيا

سعادة سفيرة جنوب أفريقيا بأسبانيا السيدة اف اس ماجوبان (في المنتصف)، وممثلون رسميون من وزارة الطاقة في جنوب أفريقيا، جنبا إلى جنب مع ماجد زاهد وبيتر دين بوجيرت من شركة الطاقة جلوبال خلال حفل قص الشريط. وحضر الانطلاقة العظيمة لشركة الطاقة جلوبال العديد من وزراء الطاقة والسفراء والرؤساء والمديرين التنفيذيين لشركة كاتربيلر ولشركة الطاقة جلوبال.

La Excelentísima F. S. Magubane, embajadora de Sudáfrica en España y funcionarios representantes del Departamento de energía de Sudáfrica

La Excelentísima F. S. Magubane, embajadora de Sudáfrica en España y funcionarios representantes del Departamento de energía de Sudáfrica

La Excelentísima F. S. Magubane (en el centro), embajadora de Sudáfrica en España y funcionarios representantes del Departamento de energía de Sudáfrica, junto con Majid Zahid y Peter den Boogert de Altaaqa Global durante la ceremonia de corte de cintas. Al gran lanzamiento de Altaaqa Global asistieron varios ministros de energía, embajadores, presidentes, ejecutivos de Caterpillar y de Altaaqa Global.

La excelentísima Sra. F. S. Magubane, embajadora sudafricana en España, y miembros representantes del Departamento de Energía de Sudáfrica

La excelentísima Sra. F. S. Magubane, embajadora sudafricana en España, y miembros representantes del Departamento de Energía de Sudáfrica

La excelentísima Sra. F. S. Magubane, embajadora sudafricana en España (en el medio), y miembros representantes del Departamento de Energía de Sudáfrica junto a Majid Zahid y Peter den Boogert, de Altaaqa Global, durante el acto ceremonial de corte de cinta. El gran lanzamiento de Altaaqa Global contó con la presencia de varios ministros de Energía, embajadores, presidentes y ejecutivos de Caterpillar y Altaaqa Global.

Son Excellence F. S. Magubane (au centre), ambassadeur d’Afrique du Sud en Espagne, accompagné de représentants du Ministère de l’énergie sud-africain

Son Excellence F. S. Magubane (au centre), ambassadeur d'Afrique du Sud en Espagne, accompagné de représentants du Ministère de l'énergie sud-africain

Son Excellence F. S. Magubane (au centre), ambassadeur d’Afrique du Sud en Espagne, accompagné de représentants du Ministère de l’énergie sud-africain ainsi que de Majid Zahid et Peter den Boogert d’Altaaqa Global pendant la cérémonie de coupe du ruban. Divers Ministres de l’énergie, ambassadeurs, présidents et cadres de Caterpillar et d’Altaaqa Global ont assisté à l’événement

Sua Excelência, F. S. Magubane, embaixadora da África do Sul na Espanha e representantes do Departamento de Energia da África do Sul

Sua Excelência, F. S. Magubane, embaixadora da África do Sul na Espanha e representantes do Departamento de Energia da África do Sul

Sua Excelência, F. S. Magubane (no centro), embaixadora da África do Sul na Espanha e representantes do Departamento de Energia da África do Sul, em conjunto com Majid Zahid e Peter den Boogert, da Altaaqa Global, durante a cerimônia de lançamento. O grande lançamento da Altaaqa Global teve a presença de Ministros de Energia, embaixadores, presidentes e executivos da Caterpillar e da Altaaqa Global.