Renewable energy schemes are set to become the key growth area for the Middle East’s project finance market in the coming years, MEED’s Qatar Projects 2014 conference has been told.

Mario Salameh, managing director and head of project finance, Mena, HSBC, told the conference that the renewable sector will become the main growth area, and also said he expected general infrastructure to offer further increasing opportunities for the project finance sector.

Salameh said the region’s lending institutions were well placed to fund major projects going forward, with “ample liquidity” available for strong projects.

According to Salameh, lenders will be keen to look at renewable energy projects as this will diversify their portfolio. But he also warned that they will be “very cautious” as they lack experience in investing in renewable schemes.