"As these sectors grow, both in size and their importance to regional development, so does the need to reward industry leaders and innovators. The 2009 Power Generation and Water Solutions Awards appreciate, celebrate and reward outstanding organisational and individual achievement in the Middle East and are independent, prestigious endorsements of the quality of the region's power generation and water professionals, companies and organisations."
Nominations for six categories - Middle East Power Plant Operator of the Year; Middle East Desalination Plant Operator of the Year; Power Generation and Water Solutions Innovation of the Year; Energy Efficiency; Transmission & Distribution Project of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, were judged by a panel of high profile industry professionals that comprised Terry Willis (Managing Director, EICUK Middle East - The Regional Office of the Energy Industries Council), Dr. Corrado Sommariva (Managing Director, ILF Consulting Engineers Middle East), Miriam Balaban (Secretary General, European Desalination Society), Anthony Hilton-Bailey (Mott MacDonald) and Dr. Titia de Mes (Senior Process Engineer, Atkins). The awards ceremony was compered by Graham Brown of Technical Review Middle East magazine.
Enviromena Power Systems received the award for Middle East Power Plant Operator of the Year, based on the company's contribution to the power sector and its performance in the key areas of environmental responsibility, personnel safety, impact on the community, plant operation and maintenance, improved efficiency of energy conversion and/or transmission from fuel source to consumer in the electricity sector, demonstration of impressive technical achievement in the industry and quality control and assurance.
The Middle East Desalination Plant Operator of the Year Award, which recognises the greatest overall contribution to the desalination sector in terms of environmental compliance, making significant steps forward for the industry in terms of financial innovation and meeting the demands of challenging circumstances as well as technical and quality achievements, went to AES Barka Power and Desalination Plant. The judging panel felt that the company deserved to win as, in addition to focusing on environmental measures related to the process of producing water itself, AES Barka also consistently demonstrate that they are involved in promoting environmental projects which, in turn, create environmental awareness in our society. In addition, they have an excellent training schedule for their personnel and show no hesitation in co-operating with universities to further improve their processes.
In choosing the winner of the Power Generation and Water Solutions Innovation of the Year Award, the panel looked for the organisation that has made the most significant achievement in creating innovative products or services designed to help businesses or residents save energy or water. This included manufacturing and retailer promotions, as well as vendor, contractor and consultant programmes. The winner, Seawater Greenhouse, received the award for their unique concept, successfully implemented in real applications, which combines natural processes and solar energy to provide water for food production in arid, coastal regions, and which was judged to be an excellent solution for the specific needs of the Middle East.
The Energy Efficiency Award was received by Enviromena Power Systems, who scooped their second award by impressing the judges with their use of solar energy, which delivers a significant saving over fossil energy and has a clean carbon footprint. Their application of solar power (the company is the first to use the sun to deliver power to the grid) demonstrates great reductions in power consumption and carbon emissions and was also deemed to provide significant inspiration to others.
The clear winner of the Transmission & Distribution Project of the Year Award, in the judge's opinion, was Dubal (Dubai Aluminum Company Limited), who were viewed as making the most significant contribution in terms of transmission and distribution within the power sector. The award was based on leadership, innovation, advancement and overall contribution to the electric power industry in the fields of engineering, construction, operations, communications, customer service, environment, finances and strategy.
Leon Awerbuch, President and Chief Technology Officer of Leading Edge Technologies Ltd., received the final award for Lifetime Achievement. The judging panel selected Awerbuch as he is a personality of international reputation with a life-long dedication to the desalination industry. A recognised leader and past-president of the International Desalination Association (IDA), Chairman of six World Congresses and the pioneer of technology encompassing creativity and innovative solutions, he has contributed to the development of the industry in an excellent manner.
An audience of senior industry professionals and influencers who are driving and shaping the future of the power and water sectors in the Middle East gathered for the awards, which were sponsored by Voltamp Energy and Dubal.