Saudi Environment Ministry launches new initiative to measure air pollution

Updated 10 August 2017

Saudi Environment Ministry launches new initiative to measure air pollution

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has launched a new initiative to monitor air quality and emissions of pollutants in a bid to improve public health, it announced recently.
The initiative requires the estimated 7,000 industrial facilities in the Kingdom with “chimneys” to install units that will measure air pollutant emissions in real time at source. These units will all be linked to a central monitoring unit that will display real-time data for all facilities — including indicators, measurements and concentration of pollutants — on an electronic map.
The project will reportedly involve legislation to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to install the measurement units and that any violators are identified. It will also help to create a national emergency plan for how to tackle critical air-pollution cases in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
According to Khalil bin Mosleh Al-Thaqafi, the president of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME), the new initiative is part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020, itself a crucial first step toward achieving Vision 2030.
He added that the initiative will also expand the existing national network, which monitors the quality of ambient air in the Kingdom’s cities, to all regions of the Kingdom by completing unfinished stages and building 30 additional stations in Jazan, Najran, the Northern Province and Jouf.


GCC chief joins condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco Shaybah gas plant 

Updated 29 min 11 sec ago

GCC chief joins condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco Shaybah gas plant 

  • Aramco said the attack caused a small fire but that there were no injuries
  • Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the attack 'threatens security and stability in the region'

JEDDAH: The head of the GCC condemned on Sunday a Houthi attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant.

The militants claimed 10 drones struck the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant near the border with the UAE.

Aramco said the attack caused a small fire but that there were no injuries and operations were uninterrupted.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the attack was a “cowardly act that threatens security and stability in the region.”

“The targeting of oil facilities in the Kingdom reveals the malicious goals harming the global energy supply,” he said.

He called on the international community to condemn the Houthi’s attacks.

The militants, who are based in Yemen and backed by Iran, have previously used crude kamikaze drones laden with explosives to target infrastructure in the Kingdom.

In May, the Houthis attacked two oil pumping stations with drones but caused no disruption to operations.

They have also repeatedly targeted Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, including a strike in June that killed a Syrian and wounded 21 others.

The attack on Saturday was widely condemned, including by the UAE. 

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih said the attack was not only aimed at Saudi Arabia “but also against the global economy.”

The Houthis sparked the conflict in Yemen when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in 2015 in support of the internationally recognized government.