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The acquisition of PennWell Corporation, with a 100-year history of producing leading business to business exhibitions, conferences and publications, by Clarion Events, which operates over 180 events in 50 countries, creates a significant new entity in infrastructure and power events and publications.

With a vision to achieve a global footprint for end-to-end power and energy trade exhibitions, David Ashdown, managing director of Clarion Energy South Africa (Spintelligent) and Glenn Ensor, managing director of PennWell international, highlighted the move is in line with global trends to bolster the interactive network between power and energy professionals.

Ashdown commented: “As the power and energy sector converges; integrated generation becomes a standard, renewables drive economic diversity, micro-grids de-risk national infrastructure, financing and investment models evolve, it becomes increasingly obvious that an end-to-end power and energy trade exhibition and conference model is the right positioning opportunity for the industry.

“It reflects the development of the sector. We have taken the consult of industry advisory boards to our projects from across the globe to take this bold positioning step.”

Ensor added: “The acquisition allows a dream that the PennWell team has been working towards for the past few years of bringing the kind of end to end events to market that the world needs." Read more: Clarion Events expands global presence through PennWell acquisition

Sector transition

Speaking to ESI Africa, Ensor notes that industry discussions are focusing on the rise of renewables, followed by the growing importance of decentralised energy solutions with many being off-grid to accommodate the large numbers of people living in remote areas with no access to conventional power.

Over the last 18 years, African Utility Week has grown to be the premier meeting place for the entire power, energy and water value chain, attracting around 7,000 visitors each year. POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa, focusing on pan-African power distribution and generation, attracts over 3,000 pan-African and international visitors annually.

In 2019, the events will be co-located in Cape Town on 14 - 16 May. Read more: Industry power events join forces in 2019