Las Vegas, NV – This year's POWER-GEN International attracted over 20,000 attendees from over 100 countries with more than 1,400 exhibitors and nearly 300 speakers. Representation from international markets was high, with over 700 international attendees coming as part of official delegations, including delegations from nearly 20 countries across Middle East and Africa.
ISI representatives arranged and attended meetings for, and on behalf of, our clients in the sector with a number of the international delegates and government officials and were able to get a good sense of the current market conditions across the region.
While the Middle East has seen lower levels of spending in the power sector over recent years, mostly as a result of years of low oil prices impacting government spending budgets, this trend appears to be reversing, and most Gulf countries expect to see higher levels of spending in the sector in the coming 18 months. Consensus appeared to be that while oil prices had recovered somewhat, the main drivers for expected growth were a combination of governments realigning their budgets to recognize the new reality of lower oil prices for the foreseeable future as well as pent-up demand necessitating spending. Saudi Arabia in particular appeared to be a bright-spot as its Vision 2030 plan for the country starts to take effect.
Africa, meanwhile, looks set to continue to be a large and growing market for power generation, with projects spreading all across this vast continent and of all types: on-grid, off-grid, thermal, solar, hydro etc. The majority of projects still tend to be funded by governments with the support of financing from institutions such as the World Bank, African Development Bank and various other international development and donor agencies. However, there also appears to be a marked increase in private sector investment in the African power sector as independent power projects (IPPs) become more common practice in a number of markets and are starting to show good returns for investors in many cases.
And the African market potential has clearly not gone unnoticed by some U.S. companies with many presentations focusing on this topic as well as several exhibitors promoting products and services with a definite marketing focus on African countries. While this new focus was limited to only a few of the exhibitors, it clearly demonstrates that some U.S. companies are waking up to the realization that, while Africa suffers from huge power deficits, it is also benefitting from large inflows of foreign direct investment that make these markets very attractive prospects in the short and long term.
ISI Consultants assists U.S. companies to enter or further expand their business in Middle East and African markets. From small projects to longer-term engagements, we put our knowledge and experience to work for you, saving you time and money and minimizing your risk. And our results-oriented approach means we don’t just advise you on what to do to be successful – we work with you to get it done.
As part of our commitment to the U.S. Government's efforts to promote exports, ISI Consultants offer a limited number of COMPLIMENTARY STRATEGY SESSIONS each month to qualified U.S. companies.