Hamriyah Free Zone to install air quality monitoring stations

Updated 22 November 2014
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Hamriyah Free Zone to install air quality monitoring stations

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) has decided to install continuous and portable ambient air quality monitoring stations in the Free Zone to monitor the levels of air pollution at all times.
Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF ZONE), signed a contract in this regard with BDH Middle East L.L.C which was represented by its Business Development Director, Noveel Pandya.
“This initiative is in line with the directives of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah,” said Al-Mazrouei.
He thanked the Ruler for his constant support toward environmental conservation and industrial growth in accordance with the standards.
“We are installing this system to assess the extent of pollution, to evaluate our control options and provide data for air quality modeling,” he added.
“These ambient air quality monitoring networks are designed to address environmental & human health objectives and we are committed toward preserving the environment and have established high performance standards for environment, health and safety (EHS) in the free zone as a step toward our objectives,” Al-Mazrouei said.
“We have assigned BDH Middle East for the supplying & commissioning of Ecotech, Australia and Airpointer, Austrian brands of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring stations as a part of this project which is on par with the international and federal environmental standards,” he said.
“We are upgrading our systems with the launch of this ambient air quality monitoring system,” he added.
“Apart from leading to heightened awareness of the importance of EHS across our operations, the new air quality monitoring system — to be managed by the internal environmental protection department — will also help in identifying and managing risk or breach of norms by companies operating in the Free Zone,” he said.
“Ambient Air Quality Monitoring will help to determine the daily trend of air pollutants and to assess the free zone’s compliance with the air quality standards. It will also assist in evaluating the potential impact of the air pollutants on the environment and on the health of the free zone population and the general public. In addition, reliable and updated information on air pollution will be available to the general public,” Al-Mazrouei said.
“Our environmental team keeps a close watch on air quality at different sites within the Hamriyah Free Zone and the priority monitoring is focused on the industrial and other sensitive areas,” he added.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.