Kingdom aims to quadruple mining, renewables and logistics says Al-Falih

Saudi Arabia' oil minister Khalid Al-Falih and foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir on their way to meet Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street. (Reuters)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Kingdom aims to quadruple mining, renewables and logistics says Al-Falih

LONDON: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has revealed the Kingdom aims to quadruple the size of its mining, renewables and logistics sectors.
He was speaking at the Saudi-UK CEO Forum in London to mark the state visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to London.
“One of our programs is the development of the Kingdom’s industrial energy and logistics. These are right at the heart of creating investment opportunities. We have $1.3 trillion of mining endowment. We want to quadruple our mining statistics and supply chains. As we quadruple some of these sectors, the focus is on quality not quantity. This will require the best collaboration between us,” Al-Falih said.
“The chemicals sector, which has grown fantastically in the last few decades, now needs to grow in terms of technology content and value added projects.”
Earlier, Liam Fox, the UK trade secretary said Britain was committed to helping Saudi Arabia become a “global investment powerhouse.”
Fox said he hoped Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) would find Britain a key investment opportunity that could work for both countries, and that would boost London’s status as a world financial center.
Fox also said the first Saudi/UK education dialogue will take place, to “establish a government to government policy exchange.”
Peter Mandelson, former EU trade minister, said the key to understanding KSA investment opportunities for Britain was the realization that Saudi Arabia was a staging post between and East and West, and “a jumping off point to Africa,” said Mandelson, former minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government.


India court allows Vedanta to reopen controversial plant

Updated 16 December 2018
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India court allows Vedanta to reopen controversial plant

  • The city of Thoothukudi had been rocked by long-running protests over the plant
  • Protesters say it harms the environment and the health of those living near it, claims the company has long denied

NEW DELHI: An Indian copper smelter at the centre of a police shooting that left 13 protesters dead has been granted permission to reopen by the country's environmental court.
The Sterlite plant, owned by British mining giant Vedanta Resources, was closed after the bloody police crackdown in May on protesters who say the smelter is poisoning the air and water.
Vedanta Resources, owned by Indian-born billionaire tycoon Anil Agarwal, had appealed against the plant's closure by the state government of Tamil Nadu where it is located.
The National Green Tribunal, a federal authority which rules on environmental matters, ordered Saturday that the plant in Thoothukudi city could resume operation.
Sterlite CEO P. Ramnath on Sunday welcomed the decision.
"We are happy that all those affected by the closure will get back their source of livelihood and the town of Thoothukudi will revert to normalcy," he said in a statement on Twitter.
The Tamil Nadu state government has said it will appeal the decision in India's highest court.
The city of Thoothukudi, previously known as Tuticorin, had been rocked by long-running protests over the plant, one of the largest in India.
Protesters say it harms the environment and the health of those living near it, claims the company has long denied.
The demonstrations intensified in May after Vedanta sought to double the annual capacity of the plant.
On May 22, police opened fire on thousands of protesters, killing 13 people.
The plant was shuttered by the state government in the aftermath of the shooting.
The company denies all charges and maintains that it adheres to the best environmental standards.
The federal green court ordered Vedanta to spend one billion rupees ($13.9 million) over three years to assist local communities.
But it criticised the pollution regulators in Tamil Nadu, saying they stalled the case by tying up the company in paperwork.