The backbone of the energy transition TEY_post_Ismail_Alkhatib

As society shifts towards sustainable energy, one thing is clear: electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system.


The backbone of the energy transition

May 24, 2023

Ismail Alkhatib, general manager of Hitachi Energy Kuwait, talks to The Energy Year about the evolution of the company’s footprint in Kuwait and the solutions it can provide to the oil and gas sector. Hitachi Energy serves customers in the utility and industry sectors with solutions and services across the value chain.

How has the footprint of Hitachi Energy evolved in Kuwait?
Hitachi Energy has been present in Kuwait for over 40 years, with a diverse manufacturing portfolio and dedicated teams. Throughout this time, we have established a strong reputation for technological expertise, providing more than 125 grid connection solutions ranging from 33 kVs up to 400 kVs, including one of the largest transformers in the region at 750 megavolt-amperes (MVA). Hitachi Energy remains committed to maintaining these grid connections to the highest standards to ensure safety. We have an extensive installed base across the utility transmission, distribution and generation segments. Our technological solutions in industry and infrastructure demonstrate the continuous trust our customers have in us.

Which solutions can Hitachi Energy provide to the oil and gas sector?
Hitachi Energy offers a range of solutions to the oil and gas sector to address energy and communication needs. Specifically, we provide technologies for the supply of electrical energy to onshore and offshore installations. Our solutions are designed to meet the highest safety, reliability, resiliency and maintainability standards and are tailored to withstand harsh environments.
The company offers solutions both in DC and AC to efficiently transmit power to shore and can perform detailed FEED studies for grid connection and power quality solutions that will enable oil and gas players to be powered from the mainland.
We also offer high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems to help connect offshore operations to the onshore power grid, enabling a sustainable, flexible and secure power supply. HVDC is widely employed for subsea electrical transmission and the technology of choice for long-distance bulk power transmission, able to send vast amounts of electricity over very long distances with low electrical losses.
Alternatively, Hitachi Energy offers AC solutions that combine two power quality technologies: high-performance STATCOMs [static synchronous compensators] and thyristor-controlled series capacitors that ensure the smooth, reliable and safe transmission of electricity to the offshore platforms.
Moreover, Hitachi Energy has recently released its Grid-eXpand range of modular and prefabricated grid connection solutions that make the grid expansion easier and more efficient by shortening lead times, reducing the grid connection footprint, cutting the cost of construction and speeding up energisation.
In addition, we offer a wide portfolio of products, systems and consulting services to address power quality concerns in the oil and gas industry.
Through digitalisation, we help oil and gas companies digitally transform their operations to reduce their impact on the environment while increasing competitiveness by becoming more agile and making more data-driven decisions. Digitalisation creates real business value by unlocking reliability and resilience, efficiency, safety and security, and flexibility.
On top of this, for remote oil and gas fields, where cellular coverage is limited, Hitachi Energy offers broadband wireless network solutions for SCADA [supervisory control and data acquisition] to provide real-time video feeds, surveillance, security systems, drill rig communications and diagnostics, asset tracking and field workforce connectivity.
Furthermore, our asset and work management software portfolio enable asset-intensive industries to be more adaptive, collaborative, insightful and predictive.
Renewable energy technologies, such as battery energy storage and other grid edge solutions, are offered to limit the impacts of global climate change and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Hitachi Energy’s portfolio also includes several prefabricated and integrated high-voltage solutions. These solutions involve assembling and testing integrated multifunctional products (IMP) in a factory setting environment. The extensive level of integration minimises on-site work and permits speedy energisation with a low-risk profile, utilising a plug-and-play approach.
Hitachi Energy has also developed a range of products, solutions and services to help operate and safeguard customers’ digitalised infrastructure. Integral to the life cycle of all Hitachi Energy products, cybersecurity is incorporated into our systems, which follow industrial best practice guidelines outlined in such standards as IEC 62443, IEC 62351, NERC-CIP, IEEE 1686, as well as the recommendations of the BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft) white paper. Our innovative products and system solutions place the highest priority on reliability and security.
Advancing a sustainable energy future is not achieved only by making best-in-class and pioneering technology products. It takes active collaborations with both customers and partners delivered through committed experts providing support in ensuring the right solutions with the best flexibility, efficiency, reliability and availability through the entire service lifecycle, are continually used and maximised. Our local service team does this with complete focus and dedication.


How competitive is the market for automation in the oil and gas sector?
The automation market in the oil and gas sector is highly competitive, which benefits customers by offering them a wide range of options to choose from. After being in this market for quite a long time, we have a strong track record in the industry offering high-quality products and solutions. Local availability is also an important factor in maintaining competitiveness. It is therefore crucial for us to understand the specific challenges and needs of our customers, providing them effective solutions with excellent after sales support, factors that have made us successful in this market in the last 40 years.

What is the potential for transformation that venturing into offshore operations offers Kuwait?
It is exciting to see Kuwait venturing now into offshore operations, exploring the production of hydrocarbons by investing into offshore infrastructure. Offshore is an excellent place to increase power generation capacities, and with our full portfolio of solutions and services, Kuwait can truly benefit on this full portfolio of solutions and services immensely.

How important is it to provide environmentally friendly solutions?
Our world needs to deliver on its urgent climate change commitments. The energy transition is key. As society shifts towards sustainable energy and as industries rapidly transition to electrification, one thing is clear: electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system. ​
As a technology leader, we continuously collaborate with customers and partners to enable a sustainable energy future for all. A good example is EconiQ, Hitachi Energy’s eco-efficient portfolio for sustainability where its products, services and solutions are proven to deliver with exceptional environmental protection performance.

Which are your key goals for 2023?
We have been serving our esteemed customers in Kuwait for the last 40 years with the utmost professionalism, which we believe is the primary reason for our continued success in the country. We have a clear purpose in advancing the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible and secure. As a pioneering technology leader, we collaborate with our customers and partners ​to enable a sustainable energy future for all.

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