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A series of portraits of VINCI Energies employees. They hail from a whole range of backgrounds and personal career paths, and work around the world in one of the multiple business activities that allow VINCI Energies to prosper.

In her role as the business unit manager at Omexom RE Solar in the South of France, Anabelle Bories has found a niche that combines her different professional aspirations: autonomy, responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and solidarity.

“Having an overall vision of what I do and not just being another ant in the anthill.” This is the credo that has guided Anabelle Bories throughout her career. Since 2023, her role as the business unit manager at Omexom RE Solar has encapsulated this perfectly. “This is a role that comes with a lot of responsibilities but also offers opportunities, especially in terms of creativity and initiatives to express the vision you have for your business unit.”

Aged 41 and the head of a team of 40 people based in Montpellier in the South of France, Anabelle Bories appreciates her role as the conductor of an ensemble and the diversity of her colleagues. “It’s really rewarding and motivating to have a 360-degree view and be able to act in line with business unit strategy. It can be exhilarating, even dizzying at times,” she says, smiling.

Turnkey projects

Anabelle Bories retains this focus on tracking a project end-to-end from her earliest professional experience in 2006, when at the age of 23, she completed her engineering training at Centrale Lille and joined Areva T&D Automation. There, she discovered turnkey EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) project management for the construction of energy infrastructure in Libya and Qatar. “I had the chance to get to grips with contractual mechanisms and working in English within a highly structured process framework. It was a great training ground.”

Keen to increase her experience of working abroad, Anabelle seized the opportunity of a role in China with Goldwind, the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer. On a human level, those 18 months in Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and location of Goldwind’s head office, and later in Beijing, were a turning point for the young engineer: “This was an extremely rich and seminal period that really broadened my world view.” But in professional terms, Anabelle Bories had not quite found her place.

“To have a 360-degree view and act in line with business unit strategy”

Returning in 2009 to a France mired in economic crisis, she was tempted by the EPR project in Flamanville, joining EDF as a project engineer on nuclear steam system contracts. “This was a highly codified world and an immense project, one of the largest in Europe, and I couldn’t really see the results of what I was doing.” This did little to satisfy her craving for the “big picture”.

Search for meaning

This is what was guiding Anabelle Bories in 2012, when she joined VINCI Energies as a project manager at Cegelec. This was an opportunity to get involved in EPC construction of electric power plants at a macro level.

“What interested me was working on more modestly sized projects, lasting three or four years, and working in a team of ten or so,” she says.

For example, she has great memories of the project to overhaul the Mwadingusha power station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: “It was a complex project in terms of organisation with local stakeholders and French, Belgian and Swiss interests. I went on several field assignments. It’s rewarding to work on a project that is essential for a country – DR Congo in this case.”

After six years, however, Anabelle Bories wanted to experience things from the customer side. She did so with Albioma, a producer of renewable energies. She worked on projects in Réunion and Guadeloupe to convert three coal-bagasse (sugar cane residue) power plants to biomass (wood pellets).

But the experience would be a relatively short one. Aged 35, the young engineer was considering her future and how she could make a mark on the world. “It was a time in my life when I wanted to take a step sideways, having followed a straight line from my studies to that point,” she explains. “I did a lot of training during that time, in coaching, in singing… I spent three months in Colombia learning Spanish, and I joined Tous Elus, an association working for greater diversity in political institutions.”

A commitment to equality

Her rich career journey ultimately led Anabelle Bories to realise that what she wanted was to manage projects in the renewable energies sector, and if possible, in her native region near Montpellier. “EDF Renewables ticked all the boxes. I spent three years there as a construction manager for solar farms. From the viewpoint of the contracting party, I was able to see all the engineering upstream of the project, in contact with leading experts in photovoltaics.”

Today, as Business Unit Manager at Omexom RE Solar, she draws on all this accumulated experience to manage innovative turnkey projects, from sunshades on the car parks at Lyon Airport to an agrivoltaic power plant in the Aude, via a solar farm on former uranium mines in the West. And throughout, she reaffirms her commitment to equality.

A sponsor at the voluntary organisation Elles bougent, Anabelle Bories helps raise awareness of technical education and training among female high school students. She is also a member of the Hub au Féminin network in Occitanie, which brings together female managers of VINCI Energies business units and other entities. This is something that Anabelle Bories truly believes in: “It’s so important to encourage these vocations, to remove bias and widen possibilities.”


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