New company to carry out 20 projects with SR7.45bn investments

Updated 26 March 2014
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New company to carry out 20 projects with SR7.45bn investments

The newly established Saudi Arabian Industrial Development Company will carry out 20 projects in the next five years involving a capital investment of SR7.45 billion, said Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.
“This company will have a tremendous impact on the Kingdom’s industrial sector, making it more competitive in world markets,” he added.
“The government will invest about SR5.6 billion on infrastructure required by these projects, including wharfs at ports.”
Al-Assaf, who is chairman of the board of director of Public Investment Fund, thanked the Council of Ministers for its decision to license the new company with a capital of SR2 billion. PIF will contribute 50 percent of the capital while Saudi Aramco and SABIC will give 25 percent each.
He said the new company would exploit its basic products as well as the products of strategic industries in the Kingdom to use them for downstream and support industries. “It will invest in petrochemicals, plastics, iron and steel, aluminum and fertilizers as well as other basic industries,” he explained.
Al-Assaf expressed his hope that the new company would attract more industrial investment in the Kingdom. He praised PIF officials for their efforts to establish the new company and study its investment projects.
Abdul Rahman Al-Mufdhi, secretary-general of PIF, said the company would implement a number of downstream industries without competing with the private sector. “The new company’s projects will cover strategic sectors.”
He said the company would also focus on shipping, equipment required for energy, water and electricity, oil and gas industry and automobile industry.
Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco said: “The new company comes in line with Saudi Aramco’s strategic initiatives to establish service and energy industries that are capable to compete at international level.”
Al-Falih said the new company would help export a substantial portion of Saudi Aramco’s products and services to world markets.
“This will benefit the national economy through the establishment of energy-related downstream industries, creating more jobs for Saudis and strengthening the Kingdom’s global competitive position in the sector,” he explained.
Mohamed Al-Mady, vice president and CEO of SABIC, was also happy over the Cabinet decision to license the new investment company, saying it would play a strategic role in optimum utilization of basic industries. “The new company will also strengthen the Kingdom’s downstream industries.”


Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

Updated 37 min 37 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.