Saudi energy delegation to participate in WFES

Updated 06 December 2014
0

Saudi energy delegation to participate in WFES

Organizers of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) announced Saturday that Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, minister of water and electricity, will lead a Saudi delegation of senior energy ministers and officials from national energy companies, including Saudi Aramco and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), at WFES in Abu Dhabi from Jan. 19-22.
Saudi Arabia’s participation in the region’s largest sustainable energy event comes as the country is accelerating the implementation of domestic renewable energy projects.
Earlier this year, KACARE announced its plans to build solar power plants in five regions across the country by the end of 2015 as it works to diversify its domestic energy supplies.
According to Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy roadmap, more than 17 gigawatts of operational solar power and six gigawatts of clean energy from wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy, will be fully operational by 2020.
Saudi Arabia has announced $109 billion for the development of 41 gigawatts of solar power, as part of a wider plan to install 54 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2032.
WFES takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), January 17-24, a global platform attracting more than 32,000 delegates to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, water scarcity, poverty, energy and climate change that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and clean energy.
As part of the WFES conference agenda, the Kingdom will be central to a discussion of how to connect industry and technology with opportunities in growth markets across the Middle East and Africa. At WFES, the country will offer insights into how it is working to transform its domestic energy supply to become one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energies.
"We are very interested to learn more about Saudi Arabia's long-term strategy to build upon its position as the world’s largest oil exporter to become a competitive clean energy producer," said Tareq Emtairah, executive director of the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE).
"The country's renewable energy development strategy for 2032 can inspire new insights into implementation opportunities for the integration of sustainable energy across the Arab region. The Kingdom’s energy efficiency potential is among the highest in the MENA region, with real results attainable in meeting energy efficiency targets for transport, industrial and residential energy use,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia’s diversification plans are bold, and we are beginning to see an upturn in investment and deployment activity from the country,” Emtairah added.
“Becoming a domestic clean energy power house will require a robust, sustained roll-out plan and smart investments into latest-generation clean technology. Saudi Arabia’s participation at the World Future Energy Summit underscores the country’s commitment to advancing the development of clean energy across the region. The next few years will be critical to the success of that goal,” he said.
WFES anchors ADSW, which includes the International Water Summit (IWS), supported by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and EcoWaste, in association with Tadweer, Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Waste Management. The fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards ceremony will also take place during ADSW.


Gulf of Oman tanker attacks jolt oil-import dependent Asia

Updated 15 June 2019
0

Gulf of Oman tanker attacks jolt oil-import dependent Asia

  • Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz have alarmed Japan, China and South Korea
  • Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Tehran when the attack happened

SEOUL: The blasts detonated far from the bustling megacities of Asia, but the attack this week on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz hits at the heart of the region’s oil import-dependent economies.

While the violence only directly jolted two countries in the region — one of the targeted ships was operated by a Tokyo-based company, a nearby South Korean-operated vessel helped rescue sailors — it will unnerve major economies throughout Asia.

Officials, analysts and media commentators on Friday hammered home the importance of the Strait of Hormuz for Asia, calling it a crucial lifeline, and there was deep interest in more details about the still-sketchy attack and what the US and Iran would do in the aftermath.

In the end, whether Asia shrugs it off, as some analysts predict, or its economies shudder as a result, the attack highlights the widespread worries over an extreme reliance on a single strip of water for the oil that fuels much of the region’s shared progress.

Here is a look at how Asia is handling rising tensions in a faraway but economically crucial area, compiled by AP reporters from around the world:

WHY ASIA WORRIES

The oil, of course.

Japan, South Korea and China don’t have enough of it; the Middle East does, and much of it flows through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which is the passage between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

This could make Asia vulnerable to supply disruptions from US-Iran tensions or violence in the strait.

The attack comes months after Iran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz to retaliate against US economic sanctions, which tightened in April when  the Trump administration decided to end sanctions exemptions for the five biggest importers of Iranian oil, which included China and US allies South Korea and Japan.

Japan is the world’s fourth-largest consumer of oil — after the US, China and India — and relies on the Middle East for 80 per cent of its crude oil supply. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster led to a dramatic reduction in Japanese nuclear power generation and increased imports of natural gas, crude oil, fuel oil and coal.

In an effort to comply with Washington, Japan says it no longer imports oil from Iran. Officials also say Japanese oil companies are abiding by the embargo because they don’t want to be sanctioned. But Japan still gets oil from other Middle East nations using the Strait of Hormuz for transport.

South Korea, the world’s fifth largest importer of crude oil, also depends on the Middle East for the vast majority of its supplies.

Last month, South Korea halted its Iranian oil imports as its waivers from US sanctions on Teheran expired, and it has reportedly tried to increase oil imports from other countries.

China, the world’s largest importer of Iranian oil, “understands its growth model is vulnerable to a lack of energy sovereignty,” according to market analyst Kyle Rodda of IG, an online trading provider, and has been working over the last several years to diversify its suppliers. That includes looking to Southeast Asia and, increasingly, some oil-producing nations in Africa.

THE GEOGRAPHY AND THE POLITICS

Asia and the Middle East are linked by a flow of oil, much of it coming by sea and dependent on the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran threatened to close the strait in April. It also appears poised to break a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that US President Donald Trump withdrew from last year. Under the deal saw Tehran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling sanctions.

For both Japan and South Korea, there is extreme political unease to go along with the economic worries stirred by the violence in the strait.

Both nations want to nurture their relationship with Washington, a major trading partner and military protector. But they also need to keep their economies humming, which requires an easing of tension between Washington and Tehran.

Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Tehran, looking to do just that when the attack happened.

His limitations in settling the simmering animosity, however, were highlighted by both the timing of the attack and a comment by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who told Abe that he had nothing to say to Trump.

In Japan, the world’s third largest economy, the tanker attack was front-page news.

The Nikkei newspaper, Japan’s major business daily, said that if mines are planted in the Strait of Hormuz, “oil trade will be paralyzed.” The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper called the Strait of Hormuz Japan’s “lifeline.”

Although the Japanese economy and industry minister has said there will be no immediate effect on stable energy supplies, the Tokyo Shimbun noted “a possibility that Japanese people’s lives will be affected.”

South Korea, worried about Middle East instability, has worked to diversify its crude sources since the energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s.

THE FUTURE

Analysts said it’s highly unlikely that Iran would follow through on its threat to close the strait. That’s because a closure could also disrupt Iran’s exports to China, which has been working with Russia to build pipelines and other infrastructure that would transport oil and gas into China.

For Japan, the attack in the Strait of Hormuz does not represent an imminent threat to Tokyo’s oil supply, said Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser at S&P Global Platts Analytics.

“Our sense is that it’s not a crisis yet,” he said of the tensions.

Seoul, meanwhile, will likely be able to withstand a modest jump in oil prices unless there’s a full-blown military confrontation, Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Seoul-based Kiwoom Securities, said.

“The rise in crude prices could hurt areas like the airlines, chemicals and shipping, but it could also actually benefit some businesses, such as energy companies (including refineries) that produce and export fuel products like gasoline,” said Seo, pointing to the diversity of South Korea’s industrial lineup. South Korea’s shipbuilding industry could also benefit as the rise in oil prices could further boost the growing demand for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which means more orders for giant tankers that transport such gas.