Last Word with Christian Cravedi

Last Word with Christian Cravedi

Christian Cravedi
Christian Cravedi

What is your current role in the Middle East oil & gas industry?
I first joined ABB in 1991 and have worked in various roles within power and automation sectors in a number of countries across Europe, Africa, Middle East and America. This is my second stint in this region where currently, I am taking care of ABB’s Industry Solutions Business for UAE. Industry Solutions is a new business unit in ABB which was formed last year and encompasses industry verticals such as paper, metals & cement, mining, and oil, gas & petrochemicals.

What is the most exciting trend or development in your sector?
In order to be successful in this industry, a company has to have the technology and expertise to be able to work on greenfields and brownfields. We have observed a slowdown in greenfield investments over the past few years. Despite the planned $60 billion investments in the oil & gas industry by local government over the next three years, the reality is that we will not see many significant investments in our field in the near future. There will be a number of investments over the horizon, but not like the $10 billion mega projects in past years.

Are you optimistic about the future of unconventionals in the Middle East?
Whether the Middle East can replicate North America’s success with shale gas depends on local expertise and availability of water for hydraulic fracking. The solar industry is likely to become mainstay in the region for obvious reasons and we see the governments like Saudi Arabia encouraging local manufacturing of PV films, Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) compounds etc to support this industry. Growth of unconventionals will help diversify the energy mix and use the more precious natural gas/oil for exports and the governments in the region are definitely working towards that goal.

What CSR programmes is your company involved in?
ABB launched ‘Access to electricity’ rural electrification programme in 2002 proving successful in raising social, environmental and economic standards in remote areas in India, Africa and Mexico. ABB is providing basic medical infrastructure and health care for people in need. In South Africa, ABB supports a project to help orphans of HIV/Aids victims. In Egypt, ABB helps a leading pediatric hospital in Cairo. 

ABB in the Middle East raised more than $ 70,000 for the Pakistan flood victims and channelled all funds through “Save the Children”. ABB has also donated transformer unit and other electrical equipment to Higher College of Technology for educational and training purposes.

What are your out of office hobbies?
Leisure is a resource increasingly rare and therefore more valuable. I love to spend free time in a simple manner, dedicating myself to my family and my children who are 10 and 17.

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