3M to set up $15m manufacturing plant in Riyadh

Updated 05 March 2014

3M to set up $15m manufacturing plant in Riyadh

A US company based in Riyadh plans to set up a manufacturing plant in the capital at an initial cost of $15 million.
Joaquin Delgado, executive vice president of 3M, told Arab News on Wednesday that his company hopes to produce consumer, electronics, and energy health care and industrial products at the proposed factory.
Delgado, who is on a brief visit to the capital also met with Deputy Health Minister Dr. Hamzah Al-Kosheim on Wednesday.
He said the manufacturing plant, to be located in the third industrial city of Riyadh, will start production in mid-2015. “We hope to manufacture some 12 products and will increase the number depending on the local demand,” Delgado said.
Initially, he said, the 3M manufacturing company will have around 100 employees who would include technical experts from 3M from various countries. “We plan to transfer the technology to the local leadership and follow the guidelines of the host country’s Saudization program,” he said, adding that every effort would be made to develop local leadership in all the activities of the company.
During his talks with the Ministry of Health officials, Delgado said he discussed a wide range of areas where the two parties could enter into cooperation agreements. These include infection control, critical and chronic cases, oral care, drug and delivery systems, food and drug safety and health information systems.
“Our mission is to help reduce health care-associated infections through innovative solutions. It is committed to providing customized solutions based on 3M diversified technologies that help improve business efficiency.” He pointed out that hospital-acquired infection leads to an annual death toll of 83,000 in the United States.
3M’s goal is to collaborate to deliver proven, innovative solutions to help prevent and treat critical and chronic conditions across the continuum of care.
Commenting on helping dental professionals to improve their patients’ oral health care, he said, “Our digital oral care department is committed to leading the digital transformation that is occurring in dentistry.”
3M, which has been functioning in the Kingdom for the last three decades, is a diversified technology company serving customers and communities with innovative products and services. Each of its six businesses has earned leading global market positions.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms — often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With $29 billion in sales, 3M employs 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries.

Crisis at India's Jet worsens as it grounds planes, faces strike

The debt-laden carrier has delayed payments to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors. (Reuters)
Updated 21 min 9 sec ago

Crisis at India's Jet worsens as it grounds planes, faces strike

  • More than 20,000 people are employed in the company
  • The company had to stop more than 50% of their aircraft due to insufficient funds

MUMBAI: India's Jet Airways was fighting multiple crises Wednesday after grounding six planes, leaving it with only a third of its fleet flying, while pilots have threatened to walk out and a major shareholder is reportedly looking to offload its huge stake.

The problems at India's number-two carrier come as other airlines struggle to turn a profit despite the sector rapidly expanding in the country over recent years.

Jet, which employs more than 20,000 people, is gasping under debts of more than $1 billion and has now been forced to ground a total of 78 of its 119 aircraft after failing to pay lenders and aircraft lessors.

In a statement late Tuesday announcing its latest grounding, the firm it said it was "actively engaging" with lenders to secure fresh liquidity and wanted to "minimise disruption".

But with hundreds of customers left stranded, Jet's social media accounts have been flooded with often suddenly stranded passengers demanding information, new flight tickets and refunds.

"@jetairways We book our flights in advance so that we save on travel cost and you are sending cancellation (message) now?", read one irate tweet on Wednesday.

"I have sent a DM (direct message) regarding my ticket details. Please respond!", said Sachin Deshpande, according to his Twitter profile a design engineer.

Another, Ankit Maloo, wrote: "Received an email for all together cancellation of flight days before departure without any prior intimation or communication over phone!"

The firm is also facing pressure from its many pilots who have not been paid on time, with unions threatening they will walk off the job if salaries do not arrive soon.

"Pilots will stop flying jet planes from 1st April 2019 if the company does not disburse due salaries and take concrete decisions," a spokesperson for the National Aviator's Guild, a pilots union, told AFP.

India's aviation regulator on Tuesday warned Jet Airways to ensure that staffers facing stress are not forced to operate flights.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Etihad Airways of the United Arab Emirates has offered to sell its 24 percent stake in Jet to State Bank of India (SBI).

A collapse would deal a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pragmatic pro-business reputation ahead of elections starting on April 11.

India's passenger numbers have rocketed six-fold over the past decade with its middle-class taking advantage of better connectivity and cheaper flights.

The country's aviation sector is projected to become the world's third-largest by 2025.

But like other carries, Mumbai-based Jet has been badly hit by fluctuating global crude prices, a weak rupee and fierce competition from budget rivals.

Alarm bells for Jet first rang in August when it failed to report its quarterly earnings or pay its staff, including pilots, on time. It then later reported a loss of $85 million.

In February, it secured a $1.19 billion bailout from lenders including SBI to bridge a funding gap, but the crisis has since deepened.

"Jet Airways is rapidly reaching a point of no return and running out of assets to keep itself afloat," Devesh Agarwal, editor of the Bangalore Aviation website, told AFP.

"The only solution is equity expansion by diluting its stakes but Jet is just trying to cut losses and running out of options," Agarwal said.

Shares in Jet Airways were down more than five percent on Wednesday.