We are increasing our local capabilities in Kingdom to help Saudization

Dr. Peter Feldhaus
Updated 18 October 2017
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We are increasing our local capabilities in Kingdom to help Saudization

RIYADH: Dr. Peter Feldhaus is the new CEO of the thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, which is currently building the largest cement plant in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Feldhaus has outstanding strategic skills in various sectors.
On the occasion of the German National Day, Dr. Feldhaus spoke with Arab News, on a range of subjects, mainly the growing presence of thyssenkrupp in Saudi Arabia in particular and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in general. He also focused on the Saudization of the workforce, thyssenkrupp’s plans to support the country’s Vision 2030 and the thyssenkrupp’s internal transformation program called “planets,” which is designed to make this giant German company more efficient, innovative and far ahead of its peers in the world.
Underlining the significance of German ties with Saudi Arabia, Dr. Feldhaus said: “The Kingdom is specifically a key growth country for us, and hence my current visit is to acquaint myself with the Saudi business environment, talk to customers and also to government officials.”
On the SR4.2 billion ($1.12 billion) Yamama Cement Project, he said it is the largest cement plant ever to be built here. “We are making very good progress on the implementation of the project. Yamama Saudi Cement Company has appointed thyssenkrupp to build two turnkey cement production lines with a total capacity of 20 000 tpd. The plants are being built at a new site about 80 km east of Riyadh,” he said.
“Our partnership with Yamama is built on a longstanding tradition and dates back many decades… We are delighted that Yamama is once again putting its faith in our comprehensive experience in the turnkey construction of complete cement plants worldwide. With our reliable, highly efficient technologies, we are profiting from infrastructure expansion in many growth regions and at the same time contributing to the conservation of valuable resources. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is carrying out the contract on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) basis. Its scope of supply includes all components for the new lines, from raw material preparation to clinker manufacture to cement loading. The main components include two mobile primary crushers for limestone, three crushers for additives, two crushers for correctives, as well as two circular blending beds for limestone, and various additive storage facilities. The new lines are scheduled to start operation in 2018,” he said.

Vision 2030
On plans to visualize cooperation within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030, Feldhaus said: “The Vision 2030 is an interesting and fascinating set of framework. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions can play a major role in it. We are much broader in terms of our product spectrum. Saudi Arabia has put more focus on mining, which is also an important specific part of the Vision 2030. Our experience in mining is unmatched and unparalleled. As one of the few full-line suppliers worldwide, we are reliable partners to demanding customers, offering them tailored, cost-efficient and responsible solutions for mining, processing, handling raw materials.
“Our services include designing and building individual machines and complete installations as well as modernizing and upgrading existing systems. From low-cost standard machines to custom systems for extreme conditions — our solutions satisfy all requirements and create lasting value for our customers. To optimize our mining solutions, we use the high-precision, extremely robust radar technology, e.g. for positioning or for volumetric scans.”
Giving a detailed report of the mega projects currently being executed by his company in the MENA region and in the extended neighborhood including GCC countries, the thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions CEO said: “We have had several projects in the region. We have supplied mining equipment to the Ma’aden.”
The company, he said, has completed the Safwa project in Eastern Province of the Kingdom. In Egypt, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions will be building a nitric acid plant as well as an ammonium nitrate plant for Abu Qir Fertilizers. The project will start by the beginning of next year, and the contracts will be concluded soon.
In fact, MENA is a very diverse region and offers many opportunities for thyssenkrupp. It covers 70 countries with different cultures, political and economic maturity. Young populations and dynamic societies create the need for industrial products and services that offer sustainable solutions. This is where thyssenkrupp as a diversified industrial company comes in. “In the region we are particularly strong in Elevator Technology and Industrial Solutions businesses, but present also with Components Technology & Materials Services. In the 2015/16 fiscal year, sales in the region amounted to around €2.4 billion. That’s something our approximately 4,300 Thyssenkrupp employees in the region can be proud of. Our regional headquarters are in Istanbul, Turkey.”
Feldhaus thinks his new technology and services are designed to drive efficiency and competitiveness especially in downstream industry in the Middle East region.
Giving a broad view of it, he said thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has a line of new technologies and services, which are designed to drive efficiency and competitiveness in the downstream industry in the Middle East. Most of the operation and maintenance programs for the existing plants until now are focused on supervising and executing linear updates and technological exchanges. However, asset management has to go even further and be integrated into the plants’ management and engineering processes, to be able to boost a plant’s efficiency. Combined, engineering competence, plant building experience and integrated asset management help unlock unutilized capabilities and improve the overall performance and efficiency to achieve higher performance and profit margins. “We have been in this region for more than 150 years. We are developing solutions that enable the energy and industrial sectors to operate at their full potential. We are heavily investing in our electro chemical technologies, which will help energy storage,” he said.
“We are in general working on optimizing the energy efficiency and ecology of our plants and technologies. For example for our cement plants, where we are reducing the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”
On reorganizing the company as part of the transformation program “planets,” Feldhaus explained the changes after reorganization and culture change within the business area, saying “With planets we strategically transform our business area Industrial Solutions. We are setting Industrial Solutions up for future success.” The aim, he said, is to secure growth by increasing competitiveness, focusing more strongly on customers and markets — including a strengthened regional footprint — as well as on expanding our service business. One key element of this is driving cultural change within the business area.
On working for the nationalization (Saudization) of workforce in his Saudi operations and the initiatives that thyssenkrupp has taken to train and employ young Saudis, the CEO said: “We are generally increasing our local capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
To achieve this, the company supports the Saudi Arabian engineers program, as part of which Saudis study at German universities, he said.
“Until today, we have already trained 15 of those highly qualified engineers on the job at our technology centers in Germany after their studies. All of them are now working for thyssenkrupp in Riyadh. We encourage and welcome Saudi graduates to apply at our company as we are looking to hire more Saudis in the months and years to come.”


Shoura Council: We are the ears of Saudi society

Updated 56 min 30 sec ago
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Shoura Council: We are the ears of Saudi society

  • The Shoura Council that the King is addressing today has a vital role to play in government
  • Female Shoura Council members have played a major role in raising their voices over many issues concerning social development in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: When King Salman gives his annual speech that will open the third year of the Shoura Council’s seventh session today, it will set the tone for what lies ahead for the Kingdom, laying the groundwork for the consultative assembly to help to move the country forward.
“The King’s speech in the Shoura Council lays the road map to achieving Vision 2030,” said Lina Almaeena, one of its 30 female members. Women make up of 20 percent of the council, the same percentage of women who now hold seats in the US Congress.
While only midway through its seventh session, the roots of the Shoura Council date back to before Saudi Arabia’s founding. After entering the city of Makkah in 1924, King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud entrusted the council with drafting the basic laws for the administration of what was to become the future unified Kingdom.
In 1928, amendments were made as public interest grew. A new law consisting of 24 articles, which included the permanent appointment of a vice-president by the King, was issued to facilitate the council’s work.
In 1953, the council’s jurisdictions were distributed between the Council of Ministers and other government entities, reducing the Shoura Council’s power, although it continued to hold sessions until its mandate was once again broadened this century.
Its current format consists of a Speaker and 150 council members, among them scholars, educators, specialists and prominent members of society with expertise in their respective fields, chosen by the King and serving a four-year term.
The council convenes its sessions in the capital of Riyadh, as well as in other locations in the Kingdom as the King deems appropriate. Known as Majlis Al-Shoura inside the Kingdom, its basic function is to draft and issue laws approved by the King, as the cabinet cannot pass or enforce laws, a power reserved for the King to this day.
The Shoura can be defined as an exchange of opinions, and so another of its functions is to express views on matters of public interest and investigate these issues with people of authority and expertise, hence the 14 specialized committees that cover several aspects of social and governmental entities. From education, to foreign affairs, members assigned to committees review proposed draft laws prior to submitting them to the King, as they are able to exercise power within its jurisdiction and seek expertise from non-Majlis members. All requested documents and data in possession of government ministries and agencies must go through a request process from the Speaker to facilitate the Shoura Council committees’ work.
Female members are a fairly recent phenomenon. In September 2011, the late King Abdullah stated that women would become members of the council. In 2013, two royal decrees reconstituted the council, mandating that women should always hold at least a fifth of its 150 seats and appointed the first group of 30 female Shoura members.
Five years on, female Shoura Council members have played a major role in raising their voices over many issues concerning social development in Saudi Arabia. “It’s a golden age for Saudis and, as women, we’ve come a long way,” said Almaeena. “We’re living an era of historical change, and we’re making up for lost time.”
As part of their roles, members of the council have the right to discuss general plans for economic and social development, particularly now with the Vision 2030 blueprint. Annual reports forwarded by ministries and governmental institutes, international treaties and concessions are also within the council members’ remit, to discuss and make suggestions that are deemed appropriate.
“Many positive changes have taken place in the past few years, and the Shoura Council’s role has always put social developments first and foremost,” said Dr. Sami Zaidan, a council member of two terms. “The appointment of women diversified and expanded the discussions and has added value.”
Major achievements were chalked up in this term’s second year. Many of the draft proposals discussed received approval votes. On Nov. 8, a proposal with 39 articles to protect informants from attacks, threats and material harm was approved by the majority of the council. The draft law, suggested by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Planning, would provide whistle-blowers with protection.
In May, the Shoura Council also approved legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in the Kingdom. The Cabinet, chaired by King Salman, backed the legislation, which required a royal decree to become law. Under it, perpetrators may face a jail sentence of up to five years and a SR 300,000 fine.
Draft regulations must go through a two-step process. The first, a chairman of a committee reads a draft of a proposal on the floor, and council members vote on referring the proposal to the designated committee. If members agree to the referral, each article is discussed thoroughly, studies are conducted on the aspects of the proposal, and after completing all the necessary checks, it reaches the second stage. The council then discusses the committee’s recommendations and a vote is set for each article proposed in an earlier session by the committee’s chairman.
Other proposals on the discussion table for this session include one that recognizes the importance of voluntary work in the community, in compliance with Vision 2030, which talks about one million volunteers in the Kingdom by 2030. The council has also asked the General Sports Authority to speed up the development of sports cities and to diversify its functions in different parts of the Kingdom to help the organizational level of women’s sports become an independent agency affiliated to the GSA chairman.
The council has also discussed a recommendation for women to hold leadership positions in Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic missions abroad, from a report by the council’s Foreign Affairs Committee. With approximately 130 women working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the report recommended the necessity of an appointment as an affirmation that Saudi women are able to take over leadership positions as ministers, ambassadors and Saudi representatives in international forums.
Almaeena pointed out that Shoura Council members are the ears of society, playing an important role in relaying the public’s message to the designated committees. “The Shoura Council’s doors are always open, although not many know this,” she said. “The public is always welcome and can attend sessions, scheduling ahead of time. The doors to the council have always been and will always be open to all.”