1st phase of Aramco’s industrial city to be completed in 2021

Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih
Updated 17 July 2017
0

1st phase of Aramco’s industrial city to be completed in 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the newly approved industrial energy city project will help localize industries supportive to the energy sector.
He said the decision to establish a new energy city aligns with the Vision 2030 and supports vital infrastructure in the Kingdom.
In a statement issued late on Saturday, Saudi Aramco said that the first phase of the energy city would be completed in 2021.
The city, which will be developed over 50 square kilometers of land allocated for energy-related industries, will complete its first phase that covers almost 12 square kilometers by that date.
The Cabinet approved a proposal put forward by Saudi Aramco for the establishment of a company in the Eastern Province to undertake infrastructure development for the industrial energy city and another company to operate and maintain the city. The new project will generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs and annually add SR22.5 billion ($6 billion) to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said the new energy city would be a milestone in efforts to localize industries and services related to energy.
The city will create an ideal and integrated environment to attract global investments; establish and develop a large number of small- and medium- enterprises (SMEs); and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, the Aramco chief executive said.
The city will be located between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, at the heart of energy operations. Ghawar, the world’s largest onshore oil field is near Al-Ahsa.
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), which develops industrial cities in Saudi Arabia, has started to chalk out plans and programs with Saudi Aramco to develop and operate the city, the statement added.
Khalid Al-Salim, acting director-general of MODON, said the management of the new energy city will be jointly carried out by Saudi Aramco and Modon.
The project will support Saudi Aramco’s operations, will cut costs of products and services, and meet the needs of the oil giant’s operations, the statement said.
It will also provide drilling, exploration, production services and pipe manufacturing.
Saudi Arabia is trying to lower dependence on oil and establish new industries to expedite job creation for a rapidly rising young population.
It plans to list in stock markets up to 5 percent of its shares in Aramco, which will help it invest in other sectors to generate more revenue streams.
— With input from Reuters


GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

Updated 13 min 1 sec ago
0

GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

DUBAI: Dubai’s GITEX Technology week showcased the region’s ability to take the lead in innovation technology, with Saudi Arabia on its way to take the driver’s seat, according to consulting firm Accenture’s country managing director in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia will be a leader in supporting innovation and the development of new technology in the region,” Khaled Al-Dhaher told Arab News.
“I think we (Arab countries) can always complement each other in the region to make sure we have the best innovation that is relevant for us and focused on the needs of our markets,” he added.
Among the main drivers behind the Kingdom’s surge into innovation and incubation is the Center of Initiatives at Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which is an exclusive partner at GITEX Future Stars 2018.
Misk Innovation showcased 20 Saudi-based start-ups and incubators, ranging from 3D printing technology (SHAKL) to e-commerce (Zid) to online grocery shopping (ZADFresh).
Another prominent player from the Kingdom was the Badir Program, which helps to sustain and develop pioneering environments within the Kingdom and stays in line with following the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan.
The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy and clear targets to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“We see a big support toward start-ups in terms of seed funding, arranging funding rounds, investment funding rounds, which actually is very important to accelerate the growth of these start-ups,” Badir Program’s CEO Nawaf Al-Sahhaf told Arab News, adding: “They (start-ups) created more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years.”
The 38th annual exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, centered around the rise of smart cities. Dubai’s government featured high-tech stands promoting the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of a totally smart Dubai.
While Dubai is ahead of Saudi Arabia in this respect, the latter is not far behind.
“Saudi Arabia is building new cities now, and one of them is NEOM. Smart cities needs smart solutions and smart products, so Saudi Arabia is a big supporter of entrepreneurs and the private sector in order to come up with these smart solutions,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“Saudi Arabia is moving in this [Smart] direction and we are in good hands,” he added.
The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, Taqania, was also featured at the exhibition. Owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Taqania is one of Saudi Arabia’s main proponents in a non-oil dependent Kingdom aligned with Vision 2030, and invests in technology that contributes to the country’s economic diversification.
The exhibition is split among several categories including Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value-Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 to 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from Oct. 14 to 17.