Thomas ... innovation focus

By fulfilling local demand, the company is playing a pivotal role in the future of Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure, CEO Jacob Thomas tells OGN

Eram Power Electronics Company stands as a pioneering force in the power electronics sector, proudly headquartered in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 2011, it has carved a distinguished path through its relentless pursuit of innovation, commitment to excellence, and dedication to driving technological advancement.

In an exclusive interview with OGN energy magazine, Jacob Thomas, the company’s CEO, delves into the company’s strategic direction, key initiatives, and vision for shaping the future of power electronics.

Briefly, what led to the establishment of Eram Power Electronics Company and what is its mission in the power electronics industry?

When we were exploring the industry landscape, it became apparent that there was a notable absence of a local power electronics manufacturer in Saudi Arabia.

Fueled by a desire to address this need and contribute to the nation’s energy self-sufficiency, Eram Holdings embarked on the entrepreneurial path to establish Eram Power Electronics Company (EPEC), the first of its kind in the Kingdom.

Ours has been a journey of passion, innovation, and a deep-seated commitment to contribute to the energy sector in this region.

EPEC's state-of-the-art production area

The process of establishing EPEC was marked by challenges, strategic planning, and unwavering determination.

It was a bold venture aimed not only at fulfilling the current demand for power electronic solutions but also at playing a pivotal role in the future of Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure.

Today, as the company’s CEO, I take pride in leading a team of passionate individuals dedicated to advancing the field of power electronics, promoting local innovation, and fostering economic growth in Saudi Arabia through sustainable energy solutions.

Our mission is to revolutionise the power electronics industry in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

We want to be more than a market player. We want to be a contributor to a brighter and more sustainable future, where innovative power electronics solutions play a pivotal role in meeting the energy challenges of today and tomorrow.

How does EPEC stay at the forefront of innovation in the power electronics industry, and what are some recent technological advancements?

We maintain our leadership in innovation within the power electronics industry by continuously striving to anticipate and surpass technological trends.

EPEC allocates significant resources to ongoing research and development (R&D) efforts.

This investment allows the company to explore emerging technologies, test new concepts, and develop innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of the power electronics industry.

Understanding the unique challenges and requirements of the Saudi market, EPEC tailors its innovations to address specific local needs.

EPEC's offices in the Kingdom

This approach ensures that the company’s technological advancements align with the Kingdom’s energy goals and contribute to its economic development as envisioned in Vision 2030.

Semiconductors serve as the essential foundation for power electronics, constituting the central focus of our R&D team’s efforts that delves into fundamental research on semiconductors and explore their diverse applications.

EPEC has made a breakthrough in developing silicon carbide (SiC) based systems suitable for industrial applications, such as charge controllers for solar power systems.

This will soon be followed by EV chargers, utility grade AC and DC systems and variable frequency drives.

Given the increasing focus on sustainability, how does EPEC contribute to the development and implementation of sustainable energy solutions?

EPEC is deeply committed to contributing to sustainability in the energy sector. The company recognises the importance of addressing environmental challenges and actively pursues initiatives that promote a greener and more sustainable future.

The company’s multifaceted approach to sustainability encompasses ecofriendly product design, renewable energy integration, use of energy-efficient components, greener energy storage solutions, compliance with environmental standards, employee training, and community engagement.

Through these initiatives, we remain dedicated to advancing sustainable energy solutions and fostering a more environmentally conscious energy sector.

EPEC boasts a substantial clientele spanning various countries. How do you navigate the complexities of different markets, and what strategies contribute to your success on such a scale?

Our success in serving a diverse clientele across various countries is driven by a set of strategies designed to navigate the complexities of different markets.

EPEC places strong emphasis on understanding and addressing the unique needs of its customers in different markets.

This customer-centric approach involves active engagement, feedback collection, and a commitment to delivering solutions that align with the specific requirements of each client.

We conduct thorough market research in each region to understand the local dynamics, including customer preferences, regulatory frameworks, and industry trends.

This insight guides the customisation of products and services to align with specific market needs.

We also place a strong emphasis on compliance with international standards and certifications.

How does EPEC actively promote the development of the supplier ecosystem, while also contributing to the overall economic progress of the Kingdom?

We have played a pivotal role in advancing the supplier ecosystem in the Kingdom by actively fostering collaboration and development within the industry.

Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, EPEC contributes to the growth and enhancement of the supplier network in several ways.

We actively engage with local suppliers, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.

The company prioritises the establishment of long-term partnerships with local suppliers. This commitment provides stability and encourages suppliers to invest in continuous improvement and innovation, ultimately contributing to the economic sustainability of the Kingdom.

How does EPEC foster employee engagement and development within the organisation?

Our success is driven by our talented team. We prioritise a culture of continuous learning, providing opportunities for professional development and growth.

Our team is strategically composed of a diverse blend of youthful energy and seasoned expertise, creating a harmonious synergy within our organisation.

To enhance collaboration and skill diversification, we facilitate cross-functional training.

Employees are provided with opportunities to learn about different departments and roles within the organisation, promoting a well-rounded skill set and fostering a deeper understanding of the company’s overall operations.

What do you see the upcoming trends in the power electronics industry, and how is EPEC preparing for these changes?

The power electronics industry is undergoing rapid evolution, driven by technological advancements, regulatory shifts, and the global push towards sustainability.

As we anticipate future trends in the sector, we are proactively preparing for these changes through strategic initiatives.

The industry is witnessing a shift towards wide-bandgap semiconductors, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) due to their superior performance.

Exceeding industry standards, we introduced a groundbreaking innovation in the power electronics field last year with the LB Series solar charge controllers.

These cutting-edge controllers utilise SiC semiconductors to achieve high power density, minimise electromagnetic emissions, and excel in challenging operational environments.

We are expanding our product portfolio to include innovative solutions for EV charging stations aligning with the growing EV market.

We are rapidly embracing digitalisation and realigning our strategies to match the evolving landscape of power electronics.

Today, EPEC stands as the embodiment of our vision a leading force in the power electronics industry in Saudi Arabia.

The journey continues, fueled by a commitment to excellence, sustainability, and the belief that innovative solutions born in Saudi Arabia can have a global impact on the future of energy.