Saudi Arabia to set up SR188m solar plant in Bangladesh

Updated 14 December 2017
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Saudi Arabia to set up SR188m solar plant in Bangladesh

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement in Dhaka to set up an SR188 million solar plant in Bangladesh.
The agreement was signed between the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Riyadh-based Alfanar Energy, which is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Alfanar company.
FBCCI Secretary General Hussein Jameel and Alfanar Energy Project Coordinator Mohammed Irfan inked the accord in the presence of Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi and Mushabab bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, who was heading the Council of Saudi Chambers team.
Bangladesh Embassy Commercial Counselor Mohammed Abdul Hassan, who returned from Dhaka on Tuesday, told Arab News that the plant, which will be located in the port city of Chittagong, is expected to produce 40MW to 100 MW of power in Bangladesh. He said the project will be completed within six months.
He said that the visiting Saudi and Bangladeshi officials also discussed details of other big projects including a paper mill, a cement factory and a factory for Diammonium Phosphate (DAP).
The counselor said the two-way trade between the two countries is estimated at $1 billion, which is in favor of the Kingdom, whose exports had reached $750 million.
In a statement to Arab News, Mushabab Al-Qahtani stressed the keenness of the Saudi business sector to strengthen trade and investment ties with the Bangladeshi business sector and build partnerships that boost economic relations between the two countries.
During the Bangladeshi-Saudi Economic Forum, organized by the FBCCI in Dhaka, Bangladeshi Trade Minister Tufail Ahmed called on Saudi investors to establish a “special economic zone” in his country to boost trade and investment between the two countries and benefit from the safe investment climate there.
Alfanar Energy is a developer and IPP in the renewable field across the technologies including PV, CSP, wind, biomass, geothermal, waste to energy and IWP in the water sector. It has a current pipeline of 800 MW investment projects spread across Europe, East Africa and South Asia. Established in 1976, it is currently the region’s leading player in the energy sector, EPC business, design and development, and has built facilities in the Middle East and 17 other countries. Its turnover in 2016 exceeded $2.15 billion.
 


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”