Cities like Houston, Calgary, Aberdeen and Singapore are hubs of the global energy industry but strangely there is nothing similar in the Middle East. But step forward the $2.6 billion Energy City Qatar which plans to fill the role of regional energy city when its first phase opens in mid-2009.
The announcement this week that global networking giant Cisco is to be a key technology partner in the creation of Energy City Qatar alongside other partners led by Accelerator Technology Holdings marks another important milestone in this project.
'Energy City Qatar has to deliver the highest standards of connectivity and efficiency and Cisco's proven expertise and ingenuity will help us to make this a reality,' says CEO Bob Moore, formerly Principal Consultant of Supply Chain Services with Perfect Commerce and previously with Deloitte Consulting, Schlumberger Oilfield Services and Pantellos.
Regional energy hub
The Energy City Qatar will be the Middle East's first purpose built hub for energy and was launched this March as a private sector development.
'We will have a total of 92 buildings in a one square kilometer business park,' explains Mr. Moore. 'Of the $2.6 billion investment, $1.6 billion will be for business offices and $1 billion for residential accommodation.
'Phase one will open in mid-2009 and the whole project will be completed by 2012. We will accommodate 20,000 residents out of the 200,000 planned for Lusail, the new suburb of Doha.
'At the centre of the project will be the IMEX energy exchange in an iconic building but the Energy City Qatar will be the Gulf's first hydrocarbon industry business centre covering all aspects of the hydrocarbon value chain.'
Remarkably the Middle East accounts for over 60% of proven oil reserves and over 40% of the world's natural gas reserves, but is without an integrated energy trading platform. IMEX is designed to bridge this gap with a transparent and technologically advanced energy trading platform under a well respected regulatory authority
Promoted by Gulf Energy, ECQ aims to attract the industry leaders in Oil and Gas production, International Oil Companies, National Oil Companies, support services, infrastructure and downstream activities, shipping and trading, market and resource data, intellectual property and energy trading.
ECQ's financial advisor is Gulf Finance House, and PFC Energy, the global energy consultant, is the strategic advisor. Its strategic partners are Abu Dhabi Investment House and Kuwait Investment Company.
'We are now hard at work on the detailed design work and will take delivery of the land for the ECQ in the first quarter of 2007,' says Mr. Moore. 'But the ECQ will actually be functional before the delivery of accommodation.
'It will bring energy industry leadership together in one location, attracting investment from significant global players in the hydrocarbon chain, and fill a missing gap in the business infrastructure of the Middle East.'