SolarQuarter Middle East magazine interviewed Dr. Firas Balasmeh, Co-Founder & CEO, FB Group He saied We Have Been Awarded A 130 MWp Project In Jordan With O&M For 20 Years, This Project Will Be The Beginning Of Bigger Steps And Opportunities In The Near Future:
-We have established a partnership with big groups in Saudi Arabia, we are going to expand to other countries by 2023.
-We have the experience, knowledge, and highly educated engineers to perform any project of any size.
-It’s also important to localize your marketing strategies for the goal market such as user experience, and creative.
What are the distinguishing attractive factors for the development of RE in the Middle East market? At the same time, what are some of the challenges there?
The market in Arab countries is growing fast. In recent years, the market in the Middle East has become very attractive. Competition in the Middle East is not very high; it’s just dominated by a small number of big companies. Everything is owned by big companies and supported by local investors.
It’s also important to localize your marketing strategies for the goal market such as user experience, and creatives. In order to do that, you will need locals to create your marketing message. Alternatively, you could find an expert for local culture.
Different standards for quality and service: In many Western markets, you have comparisons between the companies which focus on product reviews and services. Many consumers buy systems based on these reviews and they play a major role in buying decisions. In comparison to marketing in the Middle East, there is nothing like this. People buy systems because they need them or enjoy them only. They don’t look at systems as a long-term investment or plan.
Marketing in the Middle East is not better or worse than in the West; it’s just different. In order to begin, you first need to understand the market.
Which have been the major projects executed by FB Group? How have your projects performed, financially and technically?
We have executed many projects in Jordan, the first big-scale project was the 5MWp with Hashemite University, then 3MWp with Al-Hussain Bin Talal University, 2.11 MWp with German Jordanian University, 1.1 Mwp with Civil Defence Department (Wheeling Project) and 0.8 MWp with Irbid Specialized Hospital, and 1.45 MWp in Saudi Arabia with Glass factory in Jeddah, 1.75 MWp with Amazon Hub stores in Jeddah, and now the 130MWp in Jordan. Financially we were depending totally on the local finance from our local banks with the support of Jordan Central Bank. Technically we do strongly believe that we have the experience, the knowledge, and highly educated engineers to perform any project of any size taking into consideration that the whole design process was performed locally within our team.
What have been some of the key achievements of your company in the recent period?
We have been awarded a 130 MWp project in Jordan with O&M for 20 years; this project will be the beginning of bigger steps and opportunities in the near future.
Please tell us about how you are planning for further growth and expansion in the region.
We are working actively in the market, we were working in Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. We have even tried to open in Africa, we have visited two countries, Nigeria and Gabon.
We have established a partnership with big groups in Saudi Arabia, we are going to expand to other countries by 2023.
How do you see the solar sector performing in the next couple of years in the Middle East region?
I do believe that the renewable energy sector will continue to grow, all countries must reach at least 80% renewable energy production by 2050.