Petroplan Insights

Empowering Excellence: Transforming the way we service recruiters, clients and contractors.

16 Aug 2023

“Traditional business structures often have a definite divide between sales and operations. Petroplan’s Business Support function is different, and the expectation of this function is that Business Support operates alongside the Sales side of the business driving exceptional service and support. At the heart, it’s all about providing a personal service and building relationships, irrespective of which stakeholder you are working with.”

Helen Fowler, VP – Global Business Support


In the ever-evolving landscape of global business, adaptability and innovation remain the cornerstones of success. Recognising this, Petroplan is thrilled to announce a paradigm shift in its Contracts and Mobilisation team, symbolising a profound commitment to progress, efficiency, and enhanced customer experience. This transformative journey encompasses a change in the traditional customer service practices, a refined role definition, and a renewed focus on client-centricity – both internal and external.

Starting July 1st, the Contracts and Mobilisation team embraced its new identity as the Global Business Support team. This change signifies a shift in mindset and approach. The team's core objective remains steadfast: to facilitate the onboarding process with unparalleled efficiency and compliance. Yet, now it aspires to be more than just a support function; it aspires to be a proactive partner, delivering exceptional value across the full cycle of talent acquisition.

Leading this transformative journey is Helen Fowler, who now assumes the role of Vice President, Global Business Support. Helen's ascendancy to this pivotal role is not just a change in leadership; it's a testament to Petroplan's commitment to placing the right people in the right positions. With an extensive understanding of Petroplan's ethos and operations, Helen is armed with a profound insight that only comes from being part of the organisation's fabric.


Why change?

Helen explained to us the rationale behind this innovative shift:

“The rationale behind building a Global Business Support function is to have a team that are fully aligned to Petroplan’s values and culture, with a common purpose and goal, resulting in the provision of exceptional service and support to our contractors, clients, and co-workers consistently across each region of the business. We want our contractors and clients to be immersed in Petroplan’s Culture.

The Business Support Managers and Business Support Consultants within this function are in many ways the ‘First Responders’ and ‘Care Givers’ of our business, internally to our recruitment team and externally for our contractors and clients. “


360° Support

“Internally the Business Support team will collaborate with our recruiters and their clients before contractors are onboarded, understanding our clients’ needs at the time of engagement ensuring our onboarding process aligns with our clients’ requirements.

Taking a caring and consultative approach, the Business Support team are fully responsible for walking our contractors through the entire onboarding process, to ensure they are ready to start their assignment with confidence.

The relationship doesn’t end there, the Business Support team will take a proactive approach and continue to maintain a relationship with our contractors throughout their assignment, helping at any time. They are also ready to support our clients, handling and fielding issues and queries to ensure client needs are taken care of professionally and efficiently. It’s all about continuing to provide a premium service and building ongoing relationships.”


Flexible Approach, Common Goal

Petroplan’s Business Support team spreads across 7 time zones – from Calgary to Malaysia. “Whilst we are striving to achieve common goals, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all, and the approach and journey to reach a common goal might look different from one region to another, depending on the size and culture of the team and the maturity of the region with respect to processes, procedures and infrastructure already in place.”

Helen and her team realise the challenges arising from different regions, cultures, projects and requirements and are determined to provide tailored solutions while ensuring an overall high quality service.


Helen’s leadership prowess is not limited to her technical competence; it's underpinned by a deep-seated belief in the essence of compliance and customer service and a strong commitment to consistency and excellence. Helen's alignment with Petroplan's ethos is a catalyst for this transformation.

“I am thrilled and excited for the opportunity to lead this global team. When you introduce common goals, to a group of people who are brought into a global set of values and company culture, you create a sense of overall purpose. This opens the gateway for engagement and collaboration which will lead to the team feeling like they are part of something great. The success of this global Business Support function will come down to the simple fact that I have a team of amazing individuals who are committed to embracing new challenges, willing to step out their comfort zone and stretch themselves to new capabilities.”


With dedicated Business Support Managers and Consultants in every region, Petroplan's Global Business Support team is poised to redefine quality in customer service. This transformation isn't just about functional efficiency; it's about instilling a sense of partnership and trust, about Petroplan's commitment to progress, customer-centricity, and compliance. It's about being more than just a facilitator; it's about being an enabler of Petroplan's vision, both for the organisation and its clients.

It’s Petroplan’s promise to empower excellence in every endeavour.

Dean Greenwood becomes Petroplan's Regional Manager for Europe & Africa.

11 Jul 2023

Dean joined Petroplan as the pandemic was coming to an end and has been responsible for reinvigorating the UK recruitment team. He was the obvious choice to lead the newly formed Europe & Africa Region.

With his extensive experience and people-centric approach to management, Dean is already making a significant impact in his new role. Our latest blog explores Dean’s leadership style, his focus on renewables projects, and showcases his dedication to promote a positive work environment in the pursuit of growth.


People-centric approach to Management

Dean’s  people-centric approach to management became immediately obvious as soon as we started our conversation. He understands that a motivated and engaged workforce is vital to achieve long-term success. He prioritises building strong relationships with his team members, fostering open communication, and empowering individuals to take ownership of their work. “When you lead a big team of people, they need to feel empowered to contribute to the decision-making process. I aim to provide them with an open forum where they can contribute their ideas about the way the business is run”, he says.

Dean believes in creating a supportive and inclusive work culture where employees feel valued and inspired to contribute their best. By investing in professional development and recognising achievements, he encourages personal growth and cultivates a sense of loyalty among the workforce.


Servicing Europe & Africa’s Renewable Projects

In line with Petroplan's commitment to sustainable energy solutions, Dean has placed a strong emphasis on driving support for renewables projects within the Europe & Africa region. Recognising the global shift towards clean energy, he believes it is important for Petroplan to play its part in  the industry's transition.

“Traditional sources of energy have powered our progress and shaped our world. Their significance cannot be understated. Yet, as we look ahead, we must recognise the urgent need to sync our energy systems with the planet's well-being. By embracing renewable energy, we are engaged in a transformative journey, ensuring a brighter and cleaner tomorrow. There are many transferrable skills and acquired knowledge which can be used to create a sustainable energy landscape.”

Under Dean's leadership, Petroplan is rapidly expanding its capabilities in renewable energy talent solutions and project management. By leveraging his team's expertise, he actively seeks out opportunities to collaborate with companies engaged in renewable and clean energy projects. This proactive approach ensures Petroplan can contribute to the growth of the clean energy sector by providing clients with top-tier talent to support their sustainability and commercial goals.


A positive work environment following Regional Restructure

When Petroplan took the progressive decision to restructure its geographic regions to make the most of market synergies, Dean’s 12-year experience in major energy recruitment businesses and his deep knowledge of servicing clients in Europe & Africa were considered great advantages. By streamlining processes, optimising resource allocation, and implementing a robust project management framework, he aimed to create a more agile and responsive team structure.

This new structure has involved investment in market specialists, and alignment of teams with specific industry sectors, such as upstream exploration, downstream operations, and renewable energy projects. His focused approach brings together specialised knowledge and expertise, leading to better client relationships and enhanced delivery of services.

“Great companies are built upon the foundation of exceptional people. At Petroplan, we recognise the value of industry experts who possess not only deep knowledge but also a growth mindset. We understand that investing in the right people is crucial for our collective success and to create a positive work environment. We’re constantly on the lookout for people who embody the spirit of continuous growth and learning. We want them in our team so we can forge together a path of innovation, progress, and success.”


Dean Greenwood's promotion to Regional Manager for Europe & Africa at Petroplan marks a significant milestone in his career. His people-centric approach to management fosters a positive work environment, promoting collaboration and personal growth among employees. His deep knowledge of the business of recruitment and the energy industry is already making the most of Petroplan’s regional restructure, as he has enhances operational efficiency and positions Petroplan for sustained success. Dean's focus on renewables projects underpins his dedication to driving sustainable growth and supports the transition to clean energy.

As he develops his new role, his visionary leadership and commitment to a greener future will undoubtedly continue to inspire his team and ensure Petroplan's involvement in renewable initiatives, solidifying the company's position as a key player in the evolving energy landscape.


From HR Co-ordinator to Global HR Manager: a short story of a 10-year long life journey.

20 Jun 2023
Loving what I do in work, as well as loving what I do outside work and having a really good support within the business has got me to a place where I’m feeling very lucky – Suzie Lambert


When Suzie joined Petroplan, in March 2013, she was just 18 months out of her master’s degree. It all started with a leap of faith – ‘Even though I hadn’t worked in HR before, they recognised that they could train me up and that I had other things to offer in the role.’

She fell right in the deep end from the beginning, with Petroplan introducing a new HR system at the time and her role varying from crafting carefully worded letters to reporting and basic coding (!), she had to learn quickly and immerse herself in all things HR.

Through her can-do attitude and natural curiosity, she gained her seniors’ trust early on and was allowed room to grow and discover more about the business; the people, the needs, the priorities. ‘It was a role that touched every aspect of HR, but also every bit of the business at every level.’

As part of Petroplan’s L&D programme, Suzie was offered to do a CIPD qualification course right at her interviewing stage; 6 months in her new role, and having acquired some practical knowledge, she decided to go for it; she was eligible for a CIPD level 7 diploma – ‘Every weekend would see me studying, learning, trying to absorb all this information so I was ready to pass the exams.’ And she did – with merits and distinctions!

While Suzie was growing professionally, Petroplan was growing along; halfway through her CIPD course and with the addition of a more junior member to the HR team, to cover Petroplan’s expansion needs, Suzie gets promoted to HR Advisor and takes on much of the day to day running of the HR department. Soon after that, Suzie gets a further promotion and becomes Petroplan’s HR Manager.

Having conquered that professional summit, it was time to start planning a personal one. With a slightly difficult start and a lot of support from Petroplan, Suzie becomes a mum for the first time in 2017. The birth of her first child sees her going on maternity leave and questioning her return to work. But Petroplan’s flexible working policy, offers her and her family an alternative solution, suitable to her new lifestyle.  

‘The best decision I made was saying ‘yes’ to giving Petroplan two mornings a week after my son was born.’

Suzie gradually increased her hours with Petroplan until the birth of her second child in 2019. With the same high level of support from Petroplan, she came back from her second maternity leave and is now still at two and a half day weeks. This allows her to be with her children while getting involved with very interesting HR projects at Petroplan, like the roll out of a new HR system, the design and implementation of a global well being programme or the editing and circulation of Petroplan’s monthly People News. Suzie also finds time to volunteer with her local church – a precious commitment that so agrees with her character.

‘I feel so fortunate to have this balance, where I have my family life, my volunteering life and my work life…and I give a good amount of time to each thing.’

When discussing the future, she feels hopeful and optimistic; she loves the balance that she’s been allowed to achieve and is confident that, with her children growing up, she’ll still be able to enjoy professional progression without missing out on the dear family moments.

‘One thing I've learned in the past five years is that I don't have to give every waking minute and I don't have to work full time in order to grow a career.’

The flexibility, support and understanding she’s experienced so far has made her want to take a personalised approach to her interactions with the Petroplan people. As Global HR Manager, she has to deal with many difficult situations in people related matters and find a resolution which will suit both the individual and the business.

‘If you take the time to understand what the individual needs and what the business needs in detail, you can start to come up with a solution that works well for both; we won’t get it right every time…but it’s important to be honest with people and take time to explain and get them involved in the decisions.’

Her biggest lesson learnt so far and the advice she’d give to anyone starting out would be to set clear boundaries; to love the work you do but not let it creep into your personal life. To find something you love to do outside of work which will allow you to recharge and clear your mind.   


Suzie loves people, words, and exciting new projects; she loves her job, her family and her volunteering work.

Suzie is an achiever, a thinker, and an objective advisor; she’s a professional, a working mum, a giving individual and Petroplan is her home!



In a fast-paced environment, a one-year anniversary comes around quickly.

08 Jun 2023

Valentina Bini is a ball of energy. She sits at the Petroplan conference table, a brightly lit room with large windows looking out over west Houston’s energy corridor, looking like she might jump out of the seat at any moment.

“The year has gone by so fast,” she says, looking like the completion of her first twelve months at Petroplan has genuinely surprised her.

“I didn’t think I’d have done so many different things so soon after joining this team.”


Valentina began her recruitment career five years ago, after graduating from UH with a bachelors in psychology.

“It’s been a particularly challenging time for recruiters everywhere,” she says.

“The pandemic dominated so much of the landscape for all of us, and for the customers we serve. It was draining in a lot of ways. Now that period is behind us, there’s this huge swell of energy in the industry, and so much activity going on.”

The statistics back this up. According to government data, overall labor force participation is back to its pre-pandemic forecasted level, and the closely-watched prime-age labor force participation rate is now a shade above pre-pandemic levels.

Over the past 12 months, the market has seen a net gain of more than four million jobs, averaging around 350,000 new jobs gained, per month. This has left unemployment at a decades-long low. Filling these jobs represents a huge challenge in such a competitive market, especially in clean energy where skills are in relatively short supply.


When asked about her approach to recruiting, Valentina explains that she looks for several key qualities in a candidate. She looks for candidates who have the right skills and experience for the role, as well as a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work effectively in a team. She also looks for candidates who are passionate about their work and are committed to driving success for themselves and others.


“We have to look beyond the candidates’ hard skills to work out if they’re a genuine fit for the company they’re joining,” she says.  


The daughter of an expat, she spent her childhood in seven different countries, thriving amid the change and the constant exposure to new cultures. She brings this experience into her job.

“Culture is so important, particularly now that so many teams are working remotely and are separated from each other day to day.”


Valentina has adapted to a wide range of recruiting activities in engineering and oil and gas. The variety has clearly made her job quite challenging, but she focuses on the human elements of the recruiting task.

"I enjoy getting to know my clients and candidates on a personal level. It helps me to understand what motivates them and what they're looking for in a role,” she says.




“Valentina has been an asset to our team since she joined us a year ago,” says Craig McConochie, Petroplan’s Country Manager in the US.

“Her dedication to finding the best people, whatever the discipline, has made her hugely successful, and our clients appreciate the results they see.”

Outside work, Valentina is an avid cook who loves to experiment with different cuisines. Her parents are Indian and Italian, which has influenced her cooking style.

"I love trying out new recipes and experimenting with different flavors. Cooking is a creative outlet for me, and I find it very relaxing."


After a few very confident photographs, she leaves as quickly as she arrived, back to the team, and to the open job list.



With so much at stake, the pace of change for clean energy is critical.

06 Apr 2023

As the world continues to experience the effects of climate change, governments and organizations have made a lot of noise about reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner forms of energy. How much of the talk turns into action will be critical for the future of our industry and our world.

Arash Roknian is leading Petroplan’s Clean Energy business in the US, as it becomes a larger part of the organization’s overall business model.  

“As a recruiter, I’m drawn to clean energy because it represents a huge opportunity for innovation and economic growth,” says Arash.

“The clean energy sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with tremendous potential for job creation and economic development.”

Arash acknowledges that the pace of change can never be fast enough, given the urgency and what’s at stake.

“When we look at the progress that has been made so far, as well as some of the challenges that remain, it’s clear there’s a long way to go.”

One of the most significant signs of progress has been the rapid growth of renewable energy sources. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power accounted for 72% of global electricity generation capacity additions in 2020. This number continues to grow.

In fact, renewable energy sources are now the second-largest source of electricity worldwide. This growth has been driven by falling costs and government incentives, as well as increasing awareness of the need to address climate change.

Another positive development has been the increasing adoption of electric vehicles. While it’s still a small percentage of the overall vehicle market, sales of electric vehicles have been growing rapidly in recent years.

“We’re looking at up to 25% of new cars being electric by 2025,” Arash says.

“This growth is expected to continue as more automakers introduce new electric models and governments implement policies to encourage their adoption”

Despite these positive developments, there are still significant challenges in the energy transition. While renewable energy sources are growing rapidly, they still only account for a small percentage of total energy consumption.

“Another challenge is the need to upgrade and modernize electricity grids,” he says.

“Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are intermittent, meaning that they are not always available when needed. This requires a flexible and resilient electricity grid that can balance supply and demand in real-time.”

A major aspect of his team’s current activities is Hydrogen, where the US is making a huge push in development.

“It is a particularly exciting energy source for a number of reasons, including its high energy content, its versatility, and its potential to be produced from renewable sources.”

Hydrogen has a very high energy content per unit of weight, making it an extremely efficient fuel. It has three times more energy per unit of weight than gasoline, and when burned, it produces only water vapor as a byproduct. This makes hydrogen a very clean-burning fuel, with no emissions of pollutants or greenhouse gases.

Hydrogen is a very versatile energy source. It can be used in a variety of applications, including fuel cells for vehicles and power generation, industrial processes, and heating. It can also be used as a feedstock for the production of chemicals and other materials.

Hydrogen also has the potential to be produced from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power through a process called electrolysis. This involves using electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. When renewable energy is used to power the electrolysis process, the resulting hydrogen is completely carbon-free and emits no greenhouse gases.

Despite these challenges involved in production and storage, there is growing excitement around its potential as a clean, versatile, and efficient fuel.

Finally, there is the challenge of ensuring that the energy transition is equitable and just.

“The shift to renewable energy sources has the potential to create new jobs and economic opportunities, but it also has the potential to disrupt existing industries and communities. It is important that the transition is managed in a way that takes into account the needs and concerns of all stakeholders, including workers in the fossil fuel industry.”


Arash himself has been working in recruitment for ten years. After beginning his career in London, he transitioned to Houston four years ago, looking to take a role in one of the key battlegrounds of the energy transition.

“As a millennial, I’m acutely aware of the urgent need to address climate change and transition to a more sustainable, clean energy future. For me, working in clean energy is not just a job, it's a way to make a real difference and help build a better world.”


“Finally, I am drawn to clean energy because it offers the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and disciplines. The transition to clean energy is a complex, interdisciplinary challenge that requires collaboration and cooperation across a wide range of fields, from engineering and science to policy and finance. I believe that diverse teams are more innovative and effective, and I am excited about the prospect of working with people from different backgrounds and perspectives to find creative solutions to the challenges of the clean energy transition.”

The renewable energy sector will continue to grow in the coming years, with the potential to create up to 42 million jobs globally by 2050. However, this growth will depend on supportive policies and investment in the sector, as well as the continued development and deployment of renewable energy technologies.

“We’re all excited about the possibilities. We just need to make sure we’re moving fast enough.”

A wind farm in Australia

Major energy projects in the Asia-Pacific region

06 Feb 2023

Energy production in Asia and the Pacific is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. By 2030, 56% of the world’s energy will originate from the region.

A wave of new energy projects continues to drive this growth as countries seek to meet the demands of rising populations while also transitioning to renewable energy.

We’ve picked out some of the biggest projects from recent years that are set to play a key role in raising the region’s energy capacity.

An overview of the Asia-Pacific energy sector

Home to a large and diverse population at different levels of economic development, the Asia-Pacific region faces several challenges with energy supply and electrification.

Significant progress has been made over the last decade in expanding the supply of electricity to remote areas like the Pacific Islands. The transition to clean energy is also well underway, with the number of new renewable energy projects growing year on year.

Green investment has so far been focused on solar energy, offshore wind and hydropower. The region has also emerged as a leader in the production of lithium-ion batteries, a fast-growing market in which China currently holds a 79% share.

Coal, gas and oil remain the primary sources of energy, however, with fossil fuels accounting for around 85% of the region’s combined energy consumption. This figure is significantly higher than in Europe and North America.

The next decade will be pivotal as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and on coal in particular. Key players like China, India and Australia are poised to play a big part in shaping both the regional and global energy outlook.

Five key energy projects in the Asia-Pacific region

A wide range of projects are currently under development as the Asia-Pacific region looks to scale up its supply of energy, creating thousands of new energy sector jobs in the process. 

We’ve gathered five of the region’s most significant energy projects that have recently been completed or are set to take shape over the coming years below.

Ubol Ratana Dam Hydro-Floating Solar Hybrid Project, Thailand

Thailand’s government is currently working on an ambitious project to develop 16 floating solar farms with a combined capacity of more than 2.7GW by 2037.

Among these new solar farms is Sirindhorn dam, a major project touted as the world’s largest floating hydro-solar farm that combines solar, hydropower and energy storage systems.

Given that the country’s clean energy capacity currently sits at around 12GW, the project will go a long way to helping Thailand achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, while also creating thousands of renewable energy jobs for local people.

MacIntyre Wind Precinct, Australia

MacIntyre Wind Precinct is an onshore wind complex consisting of two wind farms currently under construction in Stanthorpe, Queensland.

At full capacity, the AU$2 billion project is expected to generate around 1GW, making it one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms.

Along with the 180 wind turbines scheduled for construction, MacIntyre Wind Precinct will also include 65km of transmission lines and two new switching stations.

The project is set to support around 600 wind farm jobs in construction and transmission across its operational lifetime.

Australia-Asia PowerLink, Singapore and Australia

The Australia-Asia PowerLink (or AAPowerLink) is a major energy infrastructure project set to begin construction in 2023, with operation starting in 2026 and completion by the end of 2027.

The intercontinental power grid will transport electricity from Australia to Singapore via the world’s longest submarine power cable. The ambitious project will also feature the world’s largest solar plant and the world’s largest battery.

At full capacity, the AAPowerLink is expected to meet up to 15% of Singapore’s electricity demand, and there are also plans to export electricity to Indonesia. The project will create around 1,500 wind farm construction jobs and a further 350 lineman jobs once operational.

Kapar CCGT Power Plant, Malaysia

Fossil fuels are set to remain an important part of the Asia-Pacific region’s energy mix over the next decade, with most new investment going to natural gas.

Malaysia is looking to leverage this natural resource by building a new 2.1GW combined-cycle power plant in the town of Kapar, which is around 50km west of the capital Kuala Lumpur, at an estimated cost of $2 billion.

The power plant will use a gas turbine to generate electricity, with waste heat routed to a nearby steam turbine that generates additional power. 

Aligned with Malaysia’s commitment to net-zero by 2050, the site will be able to support hydrogen co-firing by the time commercial operations begin in 2031. It will also provide local people with power plant jobs.

Sarulla Geothermal Power Generation Project, Indonesia

Straddling the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is a volcanically active country with vast supplies of geothermal energy. In fact, the country is home to around 40% of the world’s geothermal energy reserves and second only to the USA in geothermal power generation.

The Indonesian government has been adding new geothermal power plants to its energy grid for some time, with the 330MW Sarulla Geothermal Power Generation Project among the biggest in recent years.

Completed in 2018, the power plant created around 1,800 geothermal jobs for locals and now powers the homes of 2.1 million people. It’s considered one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants.

The future of energy in the Asia-Pacific region

Steady strides have already been made towards decarbonisation, but there are still challenges for countries in the region to overcome. Chief among them is the need to meet the growing demand from a rapidly rising population without compromising long-term energy security.

As with other regions, progress has not been spread evenly; most countries are still heavily reliant on coal and lag behind the examples set by the likes of Japan and Australia. In most cases, this is because they lack the financial means to increase the supply of renewable energy.

Initiatives like the Asia-Pacific Green Deal for Business are however helping to level the playing field, particularly in places like South Asia and the Pacific Islands. Should the region succeed with its energy transitions, it’s clear that a multilateral approach will be key.

In terms of new renewable energy projects, there is growing optimism about the potential of offshore wind in North Asia. South Korea, Japan and Vietnam are now following the example set by Taiwan in developing large offshore wind farms, creating thousands of offshore construction jobs.

Geothermal energy capacity will continue to grow in seismically active countries like Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The region is also expected to become a global leader in various developing technologies like biomass and green hydrogen.

These resources, along with the region’s established networks of hydropower, solar energy and onshore wind, must all be scaled up quickly to ensure a secure and sustainable future for Asia and the Pacific.

Powering the Asia-Pacific region's energy transition

Are you looking to hire for an upcoming project in the Asia-Pacific region? We recruit for a wide range of petroleum engineering jobs and jobs in renewable energy. With a decade’s experience in the region, we can be trusted to find the right fit for your role. Contact us today to get started.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the UAE

The rapid rise of renewable energy in the Middle East

24 Jan 2023

Historically a region that has relied heavily on its vast reserves of oil and gas, the Middle East, is fast becoming a leader in renewable energy. 

Clean energy capacity in the region doubled between 2010 and 2020 to 40GW, with this figure set to double again by 2024. 

The shift has been sparked by changes in legislation as an increasing number of countries commit to clean energy targets and net zero. 

Which Middle Eastern countries are leading the charge to clean energy?

For decades, the Middle East’s energy mix has been comprised almost exclusively of oil and natural gas. As recently as 2019, these two energy sources made up more than 98% of total supply in the region. 

Recent volatility with oil and gas prices has underlined the risks of relying solely on fossil fuels and, as part of the wider push towards net zero, several countries are now seeking to diversify their energy assets. 

The UAE, a leader for renewables in the region, is aiming to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050. Along with a scaling up of solar, wind and biomass, the country is also targeting a 25% share of the global low-carbon hydrogen market by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia has set the most ambitious target of generating 50% of its energy from clean sources by 2030. Solar farms will be the driving force behind the Kingdom’s transition, with the country also investing heavily in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. 

Elsewhere, Qatar is among the countries adopting electric vehicle (EV) technologies and plans to transition to an emissions-free public transport system by 2030. Israel and Oman are also taking steps to reach net zero by 2050, generating thousands of renewable energy jobs for local people. 

Key renewable energy projects in the Middle East

Some of the world’s biggest and most ambitious renewable energy projects can be found in the Middle East. We’ve picked out three key projects that are set to drive the region’s transition to renewable energy over the coming decades. 

Neom, Saudi Arabia

The Neom megacity currently under construction in the northwest of Saudi Arabia promises to push the boundaries of urban design. Its ambitious scope of work extends to energy, with the city to be powered entirely by solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. 

Neom will also feature what has been dubbed the world’s largest green-hydrogen-based ammonia production plant. The facility is expected to produce up to 600 tonnes of carbon-free hydrogen per day, which will be used as a sustainable alternative to fuel within the global transportation industry.   

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, UAE

Operational since 2013, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is soon to be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. The power plant’s capacity is projected to reach 5GW by 2030, enough to power 320,000 homes. At its peak, the project created around 1,280 energy sector jobs. 

Alongside the Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Plant, which primarily serves the city of Abu Dhabi and holds the current title for the world’s largest single-site power plant, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will play a key part in the UAE’s push towards net zero.   

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm, Saudi Arabia

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm is Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Construction on the project began in 2019 and the wind farm was connected to the country’s grid last year. To date, it has created over 1,000 wind farm jobs for local people. 

Work on Dumat al-Jandal is still ongoing, with completion imminent. Once fully operational, it’s expected that the wind farm will have a capacity of 400MW, helping to displace approximately one million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. 

The future of renewable energy in the Middle East

With its sprawling desert terrain and exposure to intense solar irradiation, the future of energy in the Middle East is likely to be led by solar power.  The renewable energy source is set to account for 15% of the region’s power mix by 2030, creating thousands of solar jobs in the process. 

Due to the intermittent nature of solar energy, significant resources have also been allocated to wind energy. New projects in Oman, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will generate plenty of wind farm jobs for local people and industry contractors while bringing the region closer to its clean energy targets. 

The region has also emerged as a leader in green hydrogen. Several trade agreements, including the UAE-Germany Hydrogen Partnership and Saudi Arabia-Germany Hydrogen Agreement, will see the Middle East becoming a major exporter of green hydrogen in the coming decades. 

Similarly, the region has established itself as a hub for the development of CCS technology. Carbon capture will help to reduce emissions from industrial processes while also contributing to the production of low-carbon hydrogen. 

The development of clean energy in the Middle East is exciting news not only for the region but also for the rest of the world. Other countries will benefit from the region’s exports and innovations, creating millions of renewable energy jobs and accelerating the global push towards net zero. 

Supporting the energy transition in the Middle East

With over a decade’s experience in the Middle East, Petroplan is perfectly placed to support renewable energy companies and candidates through the energy transition. We recruit for a wide range of renewable energy jobs and can be trusted to find the right fit for any role.  

Contact us today to discuss our specialist renewable energy recruitment services. 


Power for Petroplan: A look back at 2022

06 Jan 2023

2022 has been a busy but successful year for Petroplan. From scaling up our clean energy operations in the Middle East, to growing our team in North America, we have continued to expand our range of energy services across the globe.

As we continue to grow and adapt our offering to suit the rapidly evolving market landscape, we focus on prioritising and championing the best talent in the sector.

With 2022 drawing to a close, we look back on some of the highlights and achievements across the year…

We kick-started 2022 with a raft of appointments and expansions across the globe, signalling the start of a strategic organisational shift to sharpen our service offering. This business transformation was delivered by six newly appointed senior leadership team members, led by CEO Christopher Honeyman Brown.

January also marked the beginning of the expansion of our operations in the Middle East, driven from our offices in Oman and the UAE – supporting projects across the region in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait too. To accommodate a growing workforce in the region, we acquired more office space in Dubai’s business district at Jumeriah Lake Towers and welcomed new team members in the Muscat office. Leading this growth in the region is Regional Director EMEA, Darren Brown, and Recruitment Director EMEA, Dean Greenwood.

February saw the transformative remodelling of our office in Houston, Texas, to provide a larger and more efficient workspace for the growing US team. US team member Helen Fowler celebrated 8 years at Petroplan this year, following her promotion to Head of Compliance and Operations, North America, in 2021 – an honourable mention!

In recognition of the re-invigoration of energy projects in North America post-pandemic, we appointed David Waterfield as Director for North America in May. David manages our hubs in Houston, Texas, and Calgary, Alberta, and specialises in LNG export projects. As a result, the team in North America is exploring a number of opportunities to support LNG development projects and operational facilities, concentrating on operations in the US Gulf Coast, Western Canada and the Mexico Pacific Coast. 

In May, we celebrated the launch of our employee share scheme – the first of its kind in the recruitment sector. The scheme gives all our employees across the globe – no matter their level or experience – the option to enrol on the scheme on joining the company, with shares exercisable on sale. The share scheme has strengthened our continued mission to attract and retain high quality talent within the industry, and has encouraged productivity, performance, and engagement in the team – building an inclusive culture to celebrate everyone’s successes.

To take advantage of the multiple opportunities for growth in mining and energy in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Petroplan expanded its operations into the large, mineral-rich province in July. The expansion is in line with the increasing demand for hydroelectric, hydrogen and wind power in the region, led by our business consultants in Canada.

Continuing our expansion in the Middle East and following a contractual agreement with national oil company Saudi Aramco in 2019, we expanded our activity in Saudi Arabia in August. This expansion focused on the EPC market in the Eastern province of KSA, and coincides with the Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic framework to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, meet net zero targets and diversify its economy. Petroplan will be supporting significant client projects in the region in the coming years, including the new city of Neom.

In September, the business announced its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, and appointed Daniel Torpy to drive this new offering forward. With a regional headquarters in Singapore, we have initially focused on driving business expansion in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. In 2023, we will be entering the Australian market in line with government investment in the country’s renewable energy sector.

To end the year, in November we received the news that our annual contribution to Oakleaf’s Mental Health Leaders Network (of which we were founding members in 2021) has helped to provide 50 people with 12 weeks of counselling this year. Oakleaf is a charity who provide free support for those suffering from mental health problems in Guildford, Surrey, and the surrounding areas – where our UK headquarters is based.

As we look ahead to 2023, we will continue to grow into new markets and evolve our service offering, focusing on clean and renewable energy projects in line with international government targets and priorities.


Critical minerals and their role in the energy transition

08 Dec 2022

The transition to renewable energy has given rise to a modern-day mineral rush. Increasing investment in green technology has seen soaring demand for the essential materials that power these systems. 

According to the World Bank, production of the planet’s most critical minerals for energy transition will need to grow by 500% over the next 30 years in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

Surging demand for these materials presents new challenges to energy security – challenges that can only be solved through the combined efforts of key players from across the supply chain. 

The use of critical minerals in renewable energy technology

As with oil refineries and power plants, renewable energy systems are reliant on a wide range of minerals for their construction and continued operation. Generally, these systems require more minerals than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. 

According to the IEA, the production of an electric vehicle (EV) calls for approximately six times more minerals than a conventional car. Offshore wind farms need 12 times as many minerals for every megawatt of electricity produced compared to natural gas systems. 

Elsewhere, critical minerals can be found in the high-performance motors, batteries and generators that power solar farms and green hydrogen systems. The widespread need for raw materials and required pace of transition means that minerals sourcing must be scaled up significantly. 

What critical minerals are needed for the energy transition?

The types of minerals needed to support energy transition vary by technology. Some elements are essential for batteries, while others are especially suited to motors, magnets or electrical wiring. Here, we explore five of the materials in greatest demand. 


Arguably the most important mineral for energy transition, copper can be found in a wide range of clean energy technologies including wind turbines and solar panels as well as the energy infrastructure that stores and transports electricity. 

Copper is second only to silver in terms of thermal and electricity conductivity, making the metal especially suited to electrical cabling and wiring. On average, clean energy systems consume around five times more copper than those used in traditional power generation. 


Lithium is among the minerals currently in highest demand, with supply set to triple between 2021 and 2030. The metal is the key component of lithium-ion batteries, used to power many EVs and energy storage systems. 

Light and highly reactive, lithium has a unique ability to store large amounts of energy. However, it’s also finite, has an energy-intensive mining process and can be difficult to recycle. Many challenges lie ahead to scale up and make lithium supply sustainable.  


Just like lithium, cobalt is a critical material that’s used widely in rechargeable batteries. Previously, most cobalt had been used in mobile phones and laptops, however this has changed recently with EV batteries now constituting the largest single user of the metal. 

The growth of the EV market will see demand for cobalt more than quadruple between 2020 and 2050. It’s hoped that a significant chunk of this demand will be met with recycled cobalt, which, compared to lithium, is easier to extract from used batteries. 


Nickel is a versatile metal with many applications in renewable energy infrastructure. Like lithium and cobalt, it can be found in lithium-ion batteries, as well as offshore wind farm equipment, green hydrogen electrolysers and geothermal power stations. 

The metal’s strong resistance to atmospheric corrosion makes it suitable for use in extreme environments. While geothermal energy is yet to be used on a mass scale, the IEA expects that the renewable energy source will account for up to 80% of nickel demand by 2040.   

Rare earth elements  

Rare-earth elements (REEs) are a set of seventeen metallic elements that includes the fifteen lanthanides as well as scandium and yttrium. While these metals are actually quite common, they are rarely found in large enough quantities to be extracted economically. 

Several rare earths are key to energy transition. These include neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, which are used to manufacture the permanent magnets found in the generators of wind turbines and EVs.   

Scaling up the supply of critical minerals

Even under the least ambitious emissions pathway, the supply of critical minerals for the energy transition will need to increase dramatically. Scaling up supply brings several challenges, including resource shortages, trade restrictions and new environmental concerns associated with extraction. 

While many minerals already have an established recycling infrastructure, others like lithium are yet to be recycled on a mass scale. In these cases, it’s generally accepted that new mining jobs and projects will be required to meet the immediate needs of the transition. 

The demand for these minerals is set to create thousands of new exploration jobs in the short and medium term as secondary production is scaled. Increasing investment in minerals recycling will also generate a large number of jobs in renewable energy. 

Beyond the balancing act of primary and secondary production, there are also geopolitical hurdles to overcome. International collaboration between governments and corporations will underpin the transition, with key players working together closely to develop sustainable supply chains. 

Only through a holistic approach that considers the combined impact of minerals sourcing on the environment and communities that produce these key materials will it be possible to transition successfully to renewable energy. 

Petroplan: supporting the energy transition

We’re proud to play our part in energy transition and stand ready to support employers looking to recruit for a wide range of mining jobs as well as jobs in renewable energy. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your talent acquisition process.