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At the signing ceremony (l to r): Hideyuki Ariyasu,ceo, Hitachi Plant Qatar; Kunizo Sakai, vice president and executive officer, president and ceo of infrastructure systems company, Hitachi; professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, president, Qatar University

QATAR: Hitachi is to collaborate with Qatar University to research and develop energy-efficient air conditioning for the region.

The joint venture will look at the development of advanced technologies that are suited to the environment and the needs of the Middle East region, including Qatar, over the next three years.

The parties say they will conduct technology development, field trials and other activities based on the selected R&D themes, selecting energy-efficient air conditioning as the first activity starting next year. Other research will cover water treatment and recycling, and energy efficient management.

Guided by the Qatar National Vision 2030, a growth strategy eyeing 2030, Qatar is seeking to spur further economic development and improve the country’s standards of living in the course of achieving a sustainable society. With its plans to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, infrastructure investment in the country is expected to increase. Qatar has extensive plans for new construction projects, such as football stadiums, hotels and railways. The development of these projects has been accompanied by a growing influx of foreign migrant workers, resulting in a rapid increase in demand for power and water. At present, Qatar has set national targets of reducing power consumption and water consumption per person by 20% and 35%, respectively, by 2016 compared with 2011 levels.

Qatar is currently planning to build a large number of new facilities, including buildings, hotels, hospitals and football stadiums, in addition to vegetable cultivation facilities to improve the country’s food self-sufficiency rate. These facilities will require a vast amount of electrical energy to operate air conditioning systems, making it imperative to evenly distribute energy efficiency measures and power consumption.