Etihad Esco chief named as keynote speaker at LuxLive

Retrofit lighting projects are a win-win for all parties concerned, says Etihad Energy Services chief Stephane le Gentil

The man tasked with creating a retrofit lighting market in Dubai has been named as a keynote speaker at LuxLive Middle East 2016.

Etihad Energy Services CEO Stephane le Gentil will discuss the role of lighting in the organisation’s ambitious plans to help make Dubai one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

‘Lighting’s an easy and quick win and the payback is very short,’ says le Gentil. ‘We’ve seen projects where the return on investment is less than a year. It’s one key component in what we do, as it’s easy and it helps finance other elements of the project that would have a longer payback, such as, say, replacing the chillers.

‘The potential is big and there’s a lot to do here in Dubai. Everything was built very quickly at a time when energy was not an issue and now we have to be sustainable. It’s only the recent building codes that focus on energy so everywhere we go we find big savings.’

Established in 2013 by the Dubai Energy and Water Authority (DEWA), Etihad Esco has an ambitious target to make energy savings of 1.7 TWh by 2030, part of the wider plan to reduce energy use in the Emirate by 30 per cent by 2030.

Already the organisation – a so-called ‘Super Esco’ – has facilitated some spectacular projects. Over 8,500 luminaires were replaced recently at DEWA’s power plant in an AED 21 million retrofit which realised 70 per cent savings. Payback is just three-and-a-half-years.

At Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, some 90,000 light fittings are being replaced across 157 buildings throughout 2016. This AED 22 million retrofit is part of a wider, Etihad Esco-funded project worth AED 65 million.

Tenders have just closed for a major upgrade to low-energy lighting at Dubai International Financial Centre. Some 30,000 indoor and outdoor luminaires are involved in the project and it’s predicted to realise savings of 50 per cent.

The scope isn’t limited to commercial and industrial projects either. Etihad Energy Services is working on a social housing project covering 2,000 villas across two sites. The plan at the

Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Housing Establishment is to replace the 80 incandescent lamps in each villa with their LED equivalent.



For these projects. Etihad Esco looks for turnkey suppliers who can give a five-year guarantee for light fittings and light levels. The latter are measured annually to ensure compliance.

Le Gentil is confident Etihad Esco can deliver its ambitious targets. ‘After all, these projects are win-win for everybody concerned’.


  • Staphane le Gentil’s keynote presentation takes place at 10.40am in the Lux Arena on Wednesday 13 April. LuxLive Middle East takes place on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April 2016 and the whole event, including the two-day, two-arena educational programme, is free if you pre-register. More information at