Qatar moving toward cleaner environment
March 22 2013 12:49 AM
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An e-Bus on a Vienna street.
An e-Bus on a Vienna street.



By Bonnie James/Deputy News Editor


Qatar’s efforts to reduce energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels will receive a fillip from a path-breaking new partnership between Siemens and GreenGulf.
Siemens is the world’s largest provider of environmental technologies, whereas GreenGulf is a pioneering Qatar-based renewable energy and clean technology company.
They are signing a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in developing and implementing potential projects in energy efficiency and urban transportation in Qatar.
An electric-bus (e-Bus) urban transport system, energy efficient district cooling technologies, and energy optimisation and supply management are among the areas to be pursued.
The MoU, which includes the identification, conceptualisation, and development of opportunities and possible pilot projects, is expected to form the basis of a future business partnership.
“This partnership is essential to delivering energy efficient solutions to help the Qatar achieve its future goals, as the country continues to make great strides towards realising its National Vision 2030 and with increasing investments in infrastructure in preparation for the World Cup 2022,” said Bernhard Fonseka, CEO of Siemens WLL in Qatar.
“Qatar is committed to creating a cleaner and more energy efficient environment and we hope this partnership with GreenGulf will result in significant contributions to addressing the challenges in those areas,” he added.
“GreenGulf is very excited to collaborate with Siemens to develop unique applications and clean technologies for Qatar,” CEO Omran al-Kuwari told Gulf Times in an interview.
GreenGulf will provide advisory services, know-how and expertise for the development, positioning and implementation of new projects in Qatar.
Siemens is to contribute cutting-edge solutions for energy efficiency in urban transportation, district cooling, energy optimisation, and grid management.
The co-operation between the two companies also reiterates their continued support for Qatar’s ongoing transformation and its future goals for sustainable development.
“Doha, being a small, compact city having excess power and natural gas, is very well positioned for electric vehicles, especially in the mass transit segment,” al-Kuwari explained.
Pointing out that Siemens had successfully launched electric buses in Vienna, Austria, he maintained that GreenGulf is keen to build on that knowledge and adapt it to Qatar’s needs.
“We have to tackle the challenges of how far the buses can travel on a single charge and where the charging stations will be located.
“The first step will be to make sure everything works technically in Qatar’s environment and then comes the commercial and regulatory aspects,” he added. The e-Bus currently in operation in Vienna recharges within 15 minutes and recovers braking energy.
GreenGulf, launched in 2009 with support from Qatar Foundation and its Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), is one of key players behind Qatar’s first large-scale Solar Test Facility, inaugurated on December 2, 2012, at QSTP in collaboration with Chevron Qatar.
The 35,000sq m STF will test emerging solar technologies from across the world to identify which suits best for the Gulf region.
The STF will also generate other key applications such as solar cooling and solar desalination, and provide training and internship programmes for local students.

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