By Amer al-Ajmi, vice-president, sales and marketing, Alfanar Construction
What are your predictions for the diverse sectors in which Alfanar operates?
We foresee that digitalisation will continue to catalyse transformation through the Industry 4.0 revolution. Global trends show Industry 4.0 significantly impacts the world’s economy as it spans industries that represent 62 per cent of GDP among G20 nations, including manufacturing, mining, agriculture, oil and gas, and utilities.
Businesses are investing heavily in the internet of things (IoT), with worldwide Industry 4.0 expenditure estimated to have hit $500bn in 2020. While use of IoT currently focuses on improving efficiencies, trailblazing companies are finding unconventional ways to utilise IoT by creating new products and services.
We believe Saudi Arabia will be a leading regional player in the Industry 4.0 revolution. The kingdom’s Vision 2030 targets include increasing non-oil revenue’s contribution to GDP to 50 per cent, from 16 per cent, which requires companies to optimise their operations and reduce costs.
There are now more than 40 industrial cities in the kingdom hosting some 7,600 factories, many of which are increasing their spending on digital transformation – a trend that Covid-19 has accelerated. Meanwhile, gigaprojects such as Neom, the Red Sea Project, Amaala, Qiddiya and Diriyah Gate will catalyse digitalisation, diversify the economy, promote localisation, and encourage local and foreign investment.
With experience in executing strategic and fast-track projects across Europe, Mena and Asia, and a diverse portfolio in digital solutions, power, water, oil and gas, social infrastructure and healthcare, we will be closely involved in the latest transformations and newest gigaprojects as either an EPC or investor.
We believe that all these developments fulfill our commitments at Alfanar, such as instigating innovation and digitalisation, enhancing the quality of life, setting higher quality standards, and developing the economies of the countries we operate in.
Regarding carbon neutrality, what important factors need to be considered?
More than 110 countries and over 50 global corporations have committed to becoming carbon neutral by mid-century.
Achieving carbon neutrality is essential for every country, financial institution, company and individual. To assure our joint future, we should all adopt plans for net-zero and act now to achieve that goal, which means cutting global emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels.
A combination of renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies will power the race to carbon neutrality, and this important mix is being increasingly emphasised.
We will see more energy-efficient products entering the market. At Alfanar, we have already invested in energy-efficient equipment and run advanced research and development (R&D) programmes. We have a background in digitalisation and IoT and are working towards a future where smart grids play a significant role in increasing energy efficiency.
Together with the greater inclusion of renewable sources in the energy mix, the result will be significant reductions in our carbon footprint. Government support is also critical in building this kind of national capacity.
On a local scale, Saudi Vision 2030 as well as the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives will encourage the type of commitment, innovation and strategic regional collaborations that are essential for securing a sustainable future.
Alfanar is known for its commitment to localisation. What sets Alfanar apart?
For Alfanar, making genuine social contributions goes beyond localisation policies and requirements – it is part of our corporate culture. We pride ourselves on our international projects in Spain, India, Egypt and the UK, all of which upgrade the skills of hired experts and create new opportunities.
On a national scale, we have gone the extra mile by becoming certified participants of various localisation programmes that develop the entire local supply chain, and by engaging in active capacity building across the communities we operate in through comprehensive training programmes.
Within the organisation itself, we have multiple professional development schemes that train talented staff to rise through the ranks and assume managerial positions.
Now, initiatives like Vision 2030 inspire us to continue promoting localisation and making a positive impact across the board.
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Published in partnership with Alfanar
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