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Kingdom on the path of green energy.

THE National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga), established in September 2005, is responsible for the organisation, supervision and development functions of the oil and gas industry and related industries in Bahrain.

Noga is committed to the realisation of the 2030 Economic Vision of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the authority has formulated its strategic plan for the future years in conformity with this vision.

Noga's vision is to be the pioneering agency for meeting the oil and gas requirements required for economic growth and enhanced standards of living. The authority's mission and vision are progressing smoothly in conformity with the 2030 Economic Vision, providing support to Bahrain's economic growth, which is the foundation for realising Bahrain's long-term economic and social objectives.

The strategic initiatives taken by Noga are intended to achieve the following strategic objectives for Bahrain:

* Meeting the ever growing demand for energy in the kingdom.

* Creation of an 'incubator' for the development of a skilled workforce with expertise in oil and gas for the kingdom.

* Diversification and development of businesses related to the oil and gas industry.

* Attaining excellence in the operation and businesses.

Playing a catalyst to all these activities is Jassim Al Shirawi, general manager, Oil and Gas Affairs, Noga, who is a veteran of the oil industry, a mechanical engineer, with more than 33 years in the oil industry including Caltex, Bapco and Noga.

Currently, he is involved in the evaluation of a number of key initiatives from the introduction of solar energy pilot schemes to the building of the new Noga Tower, a landmark structure that is set to become the new home of Noga and other energy-related companies in a few years.

"Renewable energy is vital for Bahrain's future and the kingdom is embarking on a green revolution and has started with a model pilot scheme in Awali and other pilot solar power projects across the kingdom," according to Al Shirawi.

"We are introducing into Awali solar-powered streetlights that are not connected to the traditional power grid, a very important pilot scheme, which will also include other solar-powered assets including petrol stations and specific installations at Bapco. These are 20 megawatt photovoltaic light boards with lights working throughout the year fully independent of the electricity grid and unaffected by any possible power interruptions," says Al Shirawi.

"We are looking to make Bahrain a regional hub for renewable energy establishing with various stakeholders centering their activities in the kingdom such as solar power applications and others. These strategic initiatives involve Noga, Bapco, the Electricity & Water Authority (EWA), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the private sector such as Petra Solar from the US. Eventually, we envisage the fabrication of photo voltaic panels in Bahrain and, at a later stage, manufacturing, assembly and technology transfer. We are also working closely with research institutions including the University of Bahrain during the assessment stage," he adds.

According to a statement made by Dr Abdul-Hussain Bin Ali Mirza, Minister of Energy and chairman of Noga, at a recent symposium, renewable energy still accounts for only 18 per cent of energy used in the world today but that renewable will witness steady global growth.

Solar power is just one of the renewable energy options being explored by Bahrain to help reduce energy waste. Noga established a committee for renewable energy to identify and assess sources of renewable energy, as well as draw up plans for its development and use. The aim is to support the country's plan to create a diversified resources economy, as well as back its commitment to environment protection.

Noga is also tackling energy wastage and has established a Commission for the Conservation of Energy five years ago to find ways to reduce energy waste in all aspects of production and consumption in industrial, commercial, domestic and other sectors.

Reducing energy consumption, finding alternative energy and increasing oil company efficiency are also key goals, along with new environmental projects particularly those that limit carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition, Noga has teamed up with a Japanese company to install precision instruments for measuring wind speed at a height of 50 metres. Readings will be taken for more than a year as part of a comprehensive assessment of the potential wind energy in Bahrain. Bahrain has signed many agreements and environmental protocols regionally and internationally, including the Kyoto Protocol attached to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Al Shirawi is also involved with the development of the Noga Tower, an iconic 46-storey 50,000 sq m office complex with Bahrain Real Estate Development (Edamah) appointed to manage the development with the detailed design by UK architects RMJM.

According to Al Shirawi, construction is expected to start on the new BD50 million building in 2012 with the Noga Tower being positioned as Bahrain's premier office building. This state-of-the-art landmark project will achieve international standards for green building design consistent with Edamah's corporate commitment to sustainable urban development. The external cladding of the building will significantly reduce the level of direct sunlight heating the building whilst other passive and active design elements such as photo voltaic arrays will produce a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 'gold' certified development. The design concept incorporates a variety of landscaped spaces including an outdoor plaza overlooking the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

Noga is also looking into restructuring its inspection services for oil and gas vessels and onshore assets such as pipelines and petrol stations. This restructuring may lead eventually to the creation of a privatized inspectorate looking at safety, environmental compliance, and quality assurance of oil-related products. Energy conservation is the cheapest form of energy, and Noga is proactively looking at conservation in all its activities alongside the various ministries, stakeholders, research institutes and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to improve energy efficiency.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Sep 5, 2011
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