Jaguar set to invest SR600m in new Saudi car plant

Updated 03 March 2014
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Jaguar set to invest SR600m in new Saudi car plant

The British-based Jaguar Land Rover Company plans to invest 100 million pounds (SR600 million) in Saudi Arabia to manufacture 100,000 vehicles per year that could meet the growing demand on its cars in the Middle East region, local media said.
Jaguar Land Rover has been a subsidiary of the Indian carmaker Tata Motors since 2008 when they purchased it from Ford.
Earlier, The Sunday Times reported that the luxury car maker is close to sign an agreement with its counterparts in Saudi Arabia to build an assembly factory in the Eastern Region.
According to the British paper, the proposed plant will initially make a new version of its Land Rover Discovery and is expected to employ 4,000-5,000 workers.
The proposed plant will be its third biggest factory in its overseas expansion drive following deals it has signed to open two plants, in China and Brazil, the paper said.
Azzam Shalabi, head of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), said the investment project is still under study with the British company. The talks began a year ago following the signing of a letter of intent (LoI) for a car-making project between the NICDP and the British company, he said.
According to British press, the Saudi government is expected to invest in the plant as it seeks to develop its automotive industry. The company is expected to assemble cars from components made in Britain and later progress to taking more parts from Saudi companies, the press said.
In 2013 Jaguar, which signed a 240 million-pound agreement to build a factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, plans to open a plant in China in a 1 billion-pound joint venture with Chinese car maker Chery, the reports said.
The company sold a record 425,006 vehicles in 2013, or an increase of 19 percent over the figures of last year, thus registering new sales records in 38 markets worldwide, the reports added.
According to Saudi media, three big US auto-makers, namely General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, were considering setting up car plants in the Kingdom. Japan’s Isuzu Motors is already manufacturing trucks in Dammam, and hopes to produce around 25,000 units a year.


Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

Updated 52 min 57 sec ago
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Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

  • The project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP
  • It will include investments of about $700 million

TUNIS: Tunisia will almost double production of natural gas to about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, the industry and energy minister, Slim Feriani, told Reuters on Friday.
The country’s gas output will jump from 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) when the southern Nawara gas field comes onstream in June, Feriani said.
“We will raise our production by about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent when the Nawara project in the south will start,” Feriani told Reuters in interview.
This project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP with investments of about $700 million.
Feriani also said Tunisia was seeking to attract about $2 billion in foreign investment to produce 1,900 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in three years. “We will start launching international bids for the production of renewable wind and sun energy. We aim to produce 1,900 MW by investment of up to $2 billion until 2022,” he said.
This would represent about 22 percent of the country’s electricity production.
PHOSPHATE
Tunisia also plans to raise production of phosphate from 3 million tons to 5 million in 2019, he said.
Raising the output will boost economic growth and provide revenue to revive its faltering economy, the minister said.
Phosphate exports are a key source of foreign currency reserves, which have dropped to levels worth just 82 days of imports, according to Tunisia’s central bank.
Tunisia produced about 8.2 million tons of phosphate in 2010 but output dropped after its 2011 revolution. Annual output has not exceeded 4.5 million tons since 2011.
Feriani said lower production has caused Tunisia to lose markets and about $1 billion each year.
Phosphate exports were hit by repeated protests in the main producing region of Gafsa, where unemployed youth demanding jobs blockaded rail transport.