Collaborative Power: Providing Integrated Solutions to the Middle East for a Circular Economy
28th February, 2022
Since first entering the Middle Eastern market in the 1970s, Mitsubishi Electric has been contributing to the development of the region’s economy and infrastructure. As one of Japan’s foremost technology leaders, Mitsubishi Electric has been working to improve life for people in the region through a variety of its products. Now, the company is looking to help transform the Middle East into one of the world’s foremost circular economies — not only through individual products, but also through integrated solutions that make the most of the collective strengths of the company and its affiliates.
Meeting the Needs of the Middle East
Around the world, there is a growing demand for carbon neutrality to be achieved without delay. The Middle East is no different — it may be one of the world’s top oil-producing regions, but it is in the midst of a rapid transition to a more sustainable society and economy. Organizers of Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened in October 2021, designated one area of the expo as the Sustainability District in a demonstration of the region’s commitment to realizing a circular economy.
Against this backdrop, Mitsubishi Electric is working to contribute to sustainability throughout the Middle East. Not only does it provide electric grid stabilization technologies to ensure a smooth transition to renewable energy, it also offers energy-saving technologies for large commercial facilities and energy-efficient consumer products such as air conditioners and elevators.
In fact, Mitsubishi Electric has been addressing the unique needs of the Middle East and supporting the foundation for energy security and stability since the early 1970s. The electric power industry is a prime example. Mitsubishi Electric has built numerous substation plants in the region that even today continue to deliver a stable supply of electricity, an indispensable part of people’s everyday lives. Over the years, the company has expanded into a wide range of industries, while also delivering and providing customer support for a vast number of elevators and escalators, residential and commercial air conditioners, chillers, factory automation systems, and more.
Key Middle East Affiliates
What are the entities supporting Mitsubishi Electric’s business development in the Middle East? Let’s take a look at some of the key players.
Providing elevators, escalators, and moving walkways since its founding in 1980, Mitsubishi Electric Saudi has positioned itself as the regional market leader in vertical transportation systems. Premium products from Mitsubishi Electric are installed in some of Saudi Arabia’s most famous landmarks, including the 300-meter-tall Kingdom Centre skyscraper in Riyadh, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers complex in Makkah, and the luxury Jeddah Hilton Hotel in Jeddah.
George Khalil, Central Region-Regional Manager at MELSA, says, "We will continue providing safe and comfortable vertical transportation systems as well as high-quality customer service to maximize client satisfaction. Additionally, we aim to provide environment-friendly and efficient building solutions for controlling and managing air conditioning, lightings, and other building equipment. To expand its business offerings in this way, MELSA is looking to strengthen collaborations with Mitsubishi Electric affiliates outside of the vertical transportation industry."
Since the establishment of Mitsubishi Electric’s Dubai branch office in 1977, the company has been supplying the Middle East with steam turbine generators, high-voltage gas-insulated switchgear, transformers, and power electronic equipment (including FACTS and SVC/STATCOM systems) for electric grids.
"Memorably, the first order we secured was from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority," says Vikas Bajaj, Marketing Manager at the Dubai branch of Mitsubishi Electric. "In the 40 years since then, we have carried out over 20 large-scale projects. Mitsubishi Electric has taken an active role in building power infrastructures in countries throughout the Middle East, including the UAE and Kuwait. Our work supports people’s everyday routines and helps governments manage energy supply and demand."
MELCO-Dubai has a history of collaborating with other Mitsubishi Electric affiliates in the Middle East — for instance, supplying air conditioners and HVAC control systems to substation projects. Recent presentations introducing the company’s business operations have sparked greater interest in its product lineup among customers, including privately owned electric companies that also have operations in other business areas such as food and construction. Bajaj hopes that this will lead to more collaborations with other Mitsubishi Electric affiliates.
In 2012, Mitsubishi Electric Turkey was established to sell factory automation-related products. It operates in 14 countries in and around the Middle East, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
The company maintains a wide product portfolio, including collaborative robots, edge computing products, programmable controllers, inverters, and integrated monitoring SCADA systems. By partnering with competent, experienced distributors and system integrators who are capable of executing large-scale projects, METR aims to further strengthen its presence in the Middle East. Hüsnü Dökmeci, Sales Team Manager at METR, says, "If we look at initiatives like Vision 2030, we can see that the Saudi government is making enormous investments in creating cities of the future. Through taking part in such projects, the collaboration between regional Mitsubishi Electric affiliates will continue to add value to the Middle East region."
It has been over 30 years since Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems, a company specializing in hydronic solutions for air conditioning and IT cooling systems, delivered its first high-performance air-cooled chiller in the Middle East. Today, MEHITS has solidified its position as a market leader in heat pumps and cooling solutions for IT environments.
"Luxury hotels in Dubai form one of our major customer bases for heat pump units, which are the best alternative to electric or gas boilers and can produce purified hot water," says Patrizia Bortolotto, Area Sales Manager at MEHITS.
Meanwhile, Sales Manager Mohamed Fouda described how MEHITS has also become a major player in IT cooling solutions, a growing industry. The company recently delivered a data center cooling system to one of the largest telecommunication companies in the UAE.
Enrico Maineri, Regional Sales Manager at MEHITS, says, "In the high-rise and high-occupancy building sector, we see more and more potential synergy with other Mitsubishi Electric affiliates in the years to come. For instance, combining our product line with top-quality elevators and escalators from Mitsubishi Electric will allow us to provide our clients with complete and integrated building solutions."
Established in 1983, United Electronics primarily deals in air conditioners, refrigerators, fans, and exhaust fans. UNITCO contracts with Mitsubishi Electric and vendors to deliver these products to mosques, schools, hotels, government facilities, residential complexes, and more. Boasting a long history of collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, the company occupies an important position in the air conditioning industry in the Middle East.
Hamza Al Bakir, Marketing Manager at UNITCO, says, "There has been an increase in environmental product regulations, so we are working closely with Mitsubishi Electric to develop products such as cooling-only VRF systems that satisfy these requirements and meet the demands of the Middle Eastern market." Vertical transportation for large residential complexes and villas is another area where UNITCO is collaborating with Mitsubishi Electric affiliates. Such collaborations are certain to become even more important in the future.
Toward a Circular Economy
Each of these entities specializes in a particular industry — vertical transportation, electric power, factory automation, chillers, and air conditioners — and are creating business strategies and opportunities to expand their market share. However, they are also sharing project information with each other and holding discussions on a periodic basis in order to strengthen horizontal cooperation throughout the Middle East region.
Hiroshi Yoshinari, General Manager of the Middle East office of Mitsubishi Electric Europe, explains why this horizontal cooperation is necessary. "The issues we face as a society are diversifying. To provide the solutions that society needs to evolve, we must allow for the various businesses affiliated with Mitsubishi Electric to join forces and provide integrated solutions, not just individual products. In this way, we hope to contribute to the process of the Middle East region evolving into one of the world's leading circular economies."
Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric will further concentrate not only on its business practices regarding individual business operations and products but also on added value and solutions so that the company can effectively tackle the issues faced by the region. By building on and disseminating this vision, the company will continue to strengthen its presence in the Middle East.
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