Marcopolis presents the Jordan Report focused on the investments, doing business, economy and other topics featuring interviews with key executives and government officials. The sectors under review are industry, telecom, banking sector, ICT, investments and more.
Interview with Samer Hanania, Deputy General Manager of Hanania Energy
Give us an introduction to the renewable energy in Jordan. Where is the country moving towards?
Jordan suffers from a rising energy bill and imports 97% of its crude oil from abroad. To challenge this, the Kingdom is developing energy sources and improving energy conservatory and efficiency, and has set a target to increase its share of Jordan energy mix to 10% by 2020.
In your personal opinion, do you think that Jordan will be energy self-sufficient by 2020?
The aim is for exploiting Renewable Energy Services to increase the percentage of contribution to the total energy mix to reach 10% by 2020, by achieving safe supply, promoting investment in this field, and issuing new laws and legislation for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
We look forward to one day in the future when we will export our solar energy products and the energy itself.
What are the major projects when it comes to solar or wind power?
Many projects have been accomplished and many more proposals are under way. To name a few -- a 117 MW Wind Energy project was completed in September this year in Tafileh and another 80MW to be completed by mid-2016 in Maan and 565 MW solar PV system projects in Maan, Aqaba and Mafraq which implementation has started.
For solar thermal heating, there was a 12% penetration of Solar Water Heaters of all Dwellings in 1986, increased to 24% in 1997 and dropped back to 12% in 2011. The goal is to reach back a penetration of 24% by 2020 and thus Jordan established the Jordan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund (JREEEF) to meet this demand.
What exactly does Hanania Energy provide? Are you involved in solar energy exclusively? What are the specific technologies that you have?
Hanania Energy is proud to be Jordan’s oldest and most reputable Solar Energy Company. The Company manufactures and markets different types of solar thermal systems, and is also a service provider, designer and installer for solar PV systems. Most of our solar systems have a life span of 20 years and we provide After Sales Service and Maintenance as well.
What is your position within the market?
With the help of AUB School of Business/Enterprise Growth Reading Program, funded by USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program, we have measured our competitiveness rank for 2014 and calculated our market share for SWH's in Jordan; the finding concluded that we served larger sized accounts than all other competitors combined with a 75% of the total market share.
How do you stand out?
Trust is a major and important contributor for business. Our Company is very well trusted in Jordan, we operate with integrity and honesty. We provide the right solar solution and we do not use low–quality products.
We provide many concerns including safety, durability, reliability, installation, performance, operation and maintenance. Our peace of mind warranty is the longest and most comprehensive in the industry.
When it comes to larger projects, are you currently involved in some big nationwide projects?
We have just completed the implementation and installation of 2,500 solar water heaters. The project was funded by the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in cooperation with the Jordan River Foundation and about 70 charitable societies across the country. The majority of Jordanians families do not have the financial capabilities to buy solar water heaters, this project enabled them to purchase these solar heaters through affordable monthly payments.
Is there any specific project that you will be launching soon?
We are currently working with international organizations and NGOs (USAID, AFD, etc.) for providing the local communities with affordable solar water systems that they can purchase by a monthly installment payment plan.
When it comes to doing business in Jordan and the daily business of Hanania, what are the challenges?
Usually it depends on the product. If it is PV solar power it usually needs a lot of space or surface area to install the system. When you talk about apartments they usually won’t have that surface area. There are also other products that are being imported from abroad that are of low quality materials and will need annual maintenance and that have a very short lifespan. This is an important issue for us because at the end of the day it will damage the reputation of solar energy in Jordan if we keep on bringing in these low quality products because people won’t trust any solar system anymore. Quality is very important as is the lifespan of the system.
What are some of the certifications you hold and the awards that you have been granted?
We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. We have won many international awards throughout the years. To list a few we have won the American Award for Excellence, the Star of Leadership and Quality Award in Paris in 2009, the Asian Award for Technology and most recently the Oasis 500 Award.
Do you only cater for the Jordanian market?
No, we also export abroad to the Gulf nations and to Egypt.
Are you looking towards new export markets?
Sure of course, we are looking to Qatar and Emirates as our new targets.
Could you tell us more about your strategy for 2016 and 2017? What is the general direction of the company?
We want to open new markets and to open new lines of production. We have already received funds from the European Union in cooperation with Jedco for a porcelain enabling plant. We would be manufacturing these solar hot water tanks in our facility and these are very good quality products that are needed in the market. This is the main thing in terms of production. We are also the sole exclusive agent for Heliocol USA solar heated swimming pool systems so we are looking to expand that into more of the Gulf countries.
It’s also important to discuss your role in raising awareness in local communities. You mentioned the installation of solar water heaters in residential areas, what other initiatives are you involved with?
We often have education sessions for many of the engineers in Jordan. We are planning on opening a new academy in 2016. We do hands on training experience for graduates and we are spreading awareness by telling people how solar energy will benefit all of us.
Is there anything else you would like to highlight about Hanania Energy or the sector itself?
We are very optimistic; we are looking to a bright future with solar energy. We will meet the target that was issued by the Ministry of Energy. We look forward to one day in the future when we will export our solar energy products and the energy itself.
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