SHUWEIHAT S2 PLANT INAUGURATION – A SHARED MILESTONE

There is something almost paradoxically delicate about celebrating the launch of a power plant. Having built a reputation for organizing unique events to mark the milestones of leading businesses in varied industries such as the inauguration of FAPCO F2 plant two years ago; Zaman has spent the past 7mths working tirelessly to create yet another memorable event for the UAE’s energy sector.

The inauguration of the Shuweihat S2 power & desalination plant, which was held on Oct 8th, was the culmination of three years of insurmountable efforts by a consortium of local & international partners, who’s shared vision forms a critical component of the Abu Dhabi government’s Vision 2020 master plan. It is because of this that Zaman was tasked with the responsibility to create an event that was intense, tactful, refined and powerful.

The inauguration event for the S2 plant was scheduled to take place on the premises of the actual plant site. In the lead up to this, lots of planning was required of which logistics was one of the most critical parts. Set about 250 kms away from Abu Dhabi, the logistics to organize the venue and accommodate the security detailing involved in having members of the Royal family as invited guests, while adhering to the stringent access protocol to power plants for unauthorized personnel – called for detailed planning, timely coordination, continuous information flow and a degree of improvisation as ground preparations & rehearsals were not feasible.

In previous posts (here & here) we have highlighted the importance of streamlining the entire event experience from the moment invited guests arrive at a venue to the moment they leave. For S2 it was really important that the first impression be welcoming, entertaining, with a sense of excitement about the milestone that the guests would be a part of, in order to counter the 5hrs required to reach the plant site!

Zaman orchestrated the day’s proceedings in a way that cascaded a series of onsite interactive events, which included a discovery trip around the state of the art facilities of the S2 plant. The event began with a simple lunch to set everyone at ease after a long journey. There were a total of 230 guests who accompanied guest of honour HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed. Post lunch guests were escorted to a reception tent which had been set up akin to a gallery with a series of huge panels that highlighted the milestones of the plant’s construction as well as its features and capacity specs. This was visually told in a blend of beautifully shot plant photos and infographs created by Zaman using research and inputs from various partners such as ADWEA and members of the S2 team.

Just before the arrival of the Royal family everyone was ushered to the presentation area – a black room with 7m high ceiling, a dramatic stage design and an amazing canopy of the plant. The setting was contemporary and elegant, with amber lighting used to focus on a red carpet walkway and the lecterns. Once guests were seated, two appointed Masters of Ceremony ensured that the itinerary, which included speeches by senior officials from ADWEA and GDF Suez, flowed smoothly. A showreel, which was a blend of 3D animation, testimonials, and motion graphics, showed a 4-minute interplay between facts and figures that were highlighted against a backdrop of S2 pictures – showcasing once again Zaman’s varied creative development capabilities.

The peak of the event was the official plant unveil which was done by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed. To capture the attention of the audience, Zaman put together a unique mechanism for this moment. A tower in the form of a stack was brought to His Highness. Once he pressed the button, the sound of a turbine filled the room and a gauge on screen was animated followed by the opening of a large 20meters panel to reveal the S2 in all its glory.

This was immediately followed by a small Royal tour, and a guided discovery in shuttles around the plant. The entire experience was marked with many memorable moments, including an iconic photo of the plant with HH Sheikh Hamdan and the consortium of partners.

The culmination of 7months preparation and coordination with our partners, which manifested into a one hour event, underscores Zaman’s ability to expertly create & manage complex event projects. All of this work would not have been possible without the professionalism and commitment of team Zaman. Well done!