Spanish company leads bidding for Aramco gas projects

A view shows Saudi Aramco's Wasit Gas Plant, Saudi Arabia, December 8, 2014. Picture taken December 8, 2014. Saudi Aramco/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Updated 24 October 2017
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Spanish company leads bidding for Aramco gas projects

ALKHOBAR: Tecnicas Reunidas has offered the lowest bids to build two gas projects which are planned by Saudi Aramco, sources familiar with the plans said on Monday.
While the Spanish engineering firm has made the lowest bids on the Haradh and Hawiyah gas compression stations and the Hawiyah gas plant, Italy’s Saipem and Samsung E&C are also well placed to win the Hawiyah gas plant work, they said.
The new gas compression plants and the expansion of the Hawiyah gas plant are expected to cost more than $4 billion, industry sources have estimated.
Saudi Aramco does not comment on its business transactions, it said in response to an emailed request for comment.
Tecnicas Reunidas declined to comment, while Saipem had no comment and a spokesman for Samsung Engineering said it had no new information on the
bidding progress.
“We expect results to be announced (at the) beginning of November,” he said.
Hawiyah and Haradh are part of Ghawar, the world’s largest onshore oilfield.
Gas will play a key role in the diversified energy mix which Saudi Arabia is keen to achieve by cutting the use of crude oil and liquids for power generation, while allocating more gas to fuel economic growth and industrialization.
The Kingdom is targeting raising the use of gas in its energy mix to 70 percent, officials have said.
Despite falling oil prices, Saudi Aramco is pushing ahead with oil and gas projects that it has highlighted as a priority for the long term to keep the world well supplied with oil, while meeting domestic gas demand.
It plans to nearly double gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet a day in the next decade.
 


Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

Updated 23 January 2019
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Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

  • Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi minister of economy and planning, said a move to ease movement of traffic across the border could be followed elsewhere
  • Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani: Now there’s this seriousness between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I hope it gets to frictionless trade

DAVOS: Amid global trade wars and the rise of protectionism, Middle East economic and business leaders on Tuesday issued a clarion call for the exact opposite: To ease customs restrictions in the region.
A panel at Davos heard how an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the UAE to boost cooperation — including the reduction of obstacles to trade across the shared border — could be a blueprint for the wider region.
Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi minister of economy and planning, said a move to ease movement of traffic across the border — partly through the use of technology — could be followed elsewhere. “We want to establish a reference for others to follow,” he said.
Alain Bejjani, CEO of retail and leisure group Majid Al Futtaim, said “frictionless trade” would give the region a boost.
“Now there’s this seriousness between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I hope it gets to frictionless trade,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Davos forum.
Bejjani declined to say whether that would involve a customs union, a common market or a common currency. Given the imposition of trade tariffs between the US and China, and the rise of Brexit, globalization — something espoused by many Davos delegates — is seen as on the wane.
But Bejjani said breaking down barriers in the Middle East could help it better compete with Western Europe and the US.
“For the past almost century now… we’ve been ingeniously working on making sure we put barriers across the Arab world. The reality is we have a market that’s as big as most of the largest markets in the world… if we’re smart enough to work together,” he told the Davos panel.
Khalid Al-Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, agreed that Saudi-UAE cooperation was “a great template” for others to follow.
Aside from “opening up” Middle East markets, Al-Rumaihi said harmonizing regulation in the region would also be beneficial to businesses and entrepreneurs.
“If the rules are changing in each country, if they’re not harmonized, it’s very difficult… for an entrepreneur (to understand) the regulatory environment. So they don’t scale very quickly, and that’s something we need to solve,” he said. Talk of freer trade within the Middle East is especially relevant when it comes to the Palestinian territories, which are subject to Israeli occupation and blockade.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said freer movement and a reduction of duties would help the economy grow.
“We need to see our products being waived (of) customs,” he said. “We need mobility — we’re under occupation.”