SR1.6 billion titanium sponge factory on way

Updated 30 April 2015
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SR1.6 billion titanium sponge factory on way

The Royal Commission in Yanbu (RCY) has signed a lease for an industrial land to establish a factory for titanium sponge production with an estimated cost of SR1.6 billion.
The contract was signed by Alaa bin Abdullah Nassif, CEO of the Royal Commission in Yanbu, with the Advanced Metal Industries Complex Ltd., a subsidiary company of Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialization Co. (Tasnee).
The company, under the scope of the contract, will also expand the current plant using high-pressure oxidation line technology for the production of titanium dioxide at a cost of SR1.35 billion.
It is expected that the two projects will be completed and start production by 2017.
The construction will be next to the current crystal factory in Yanbu Industrial City.
The total production of the two projects is likely to reach 15,600 metric tons per year of titanium sponge that goes into many high-tech industries, including all types of aircraft components, along with 120 thousand tons per year of dioxide titanium.
Tasnee has also signed a participation agreement for the establishment of a project for the production of titanium sponge with Toho Japanese Company.
The company said that the project will be established in Crystal Complex in Yanbu, with 32.5 percent of the project’s ownership for each of the manufacturing company and Crystal company (belonging to Tasnee), and 35 percent for Toho company.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
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Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.