Isuzu facility in Dammam makes rapid progress

Updated 14 May 2013
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Isuzu facility in Dammam makes rapid progress

Isuzu Motors has set up in the Kingdom “its first production plant in the Middle East.’ Located in the Industrial City of Dammam II, the Saudi-Japanese joint venture will assemble 140 to 160 F-series medium-size trucks every month starting from next year.
The company said it would eventually expand production from 600 to around 25,000 units per year.
The move is part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious vision to upgrade its industrial production capacity, especially in the automotive sector.
To this end, some major industrialized countries manufacturing both light and heavy vehicles will be providing technical support and on-the-job training for Saudi youth in this sector.
Future plans include expanding the site, located in an industrial park in the Eastern Province to handle local assembly of light-duty Elf trucks produced at the company’s plant in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture as well as heavy duty models.
The Saudi-Japanese automaker scheme, which was launched last year in Dammam by Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah is currently producing about 50 trucks per month, while its commercial production has reached 200 trucks so far.
In a related development, sources said the Saudi-UAE investment in Dammam, in the second industrial city, has begun pilot production for the manufacture of forklifts.
Commercial production under the joint venture is expected to commence during the next two months.
Specialists in the industrial sector look at the Saudi-Japan investments and Saudi-UAE investments have extended their full support to the joint venture, whose goal is to manufacture automobile components in the first place before moving on to the next stage of setting up a car assembly plant in the Kingdom.
In his comments, Abdullah Al-Sanie, vice chairman at the Asharqia Chamber, said investments would be in support of the industry in the event of any further support by the concerned authorities in the industrial sector.
He called on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to adopt a dual strategy based on the auto parts industry and their products in the first place followed by the establishment of a car assembly plant.
Such a move will help the Kingdom’s small-scale industries, besides providing job opportunities for Saudi nationals.


US energy secretary meets Saudi counterpart after OPEC cuts

Updated 10 December 2018
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US energy secretary meets Saudi counterpart after OPEC cuts

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister held talks Monday with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, after the Kingdom and its allies defied US pressure to cut oil production in a bid to prop up prices.
They discussed the “state of the oil market” and energy cooperation between the two countries during a meeting in eastern Dhahran city, the minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said on Twitter.
Perry tweeted that he discussed the need for “open, free, and fair markets with the Saudis.”
OPEC members and 10 other oil producing nations, including Russia, on Friday agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day from January in a bid to reverse recent falls in prices.
The decision came even as US President Donald Trump demanded that the cartel boost output in order to push prices down.
But Al-Falih shrugged off the pressure last week, saying “we don’t need permission from anyone to cut” production.
The US “is not in a position to tell us what to do,” he told reporters ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna.
Last week, for the first time in decades, the United States — which is not a member of OPEC — was a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products.
It was the latest sign of how the shale boom has lifted the US standing on global petroleum markets, prompting talk of “energy dominance” by Trump.
Perry’s visit to Dhahran came as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled state oil giant Aramco’s plan for a new energy megaproject in the area known as the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK).
The energy park is expected to attract an initial investment of $1.6 billion, Aramco said.