Dubai completes funding for Dubai Metro’s Route 2020 extension project

The Roads and Transport Authority said that tunneling on the Route 2020 Project is progressing at a steady pace with more than 50 percent of the excavation work already completed. (Roads and Transport Authority)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Dubai completes funding for Dubai Metro’s Route 2020 extension project

DUBAI: The government has completed the 9 billion-dirham financing exercise to complete the construction of the Dubai Metro’s Route 2020 extension project, the emirate’s Department of Finance said on Thursday.
The transaction consists of a 17-year billion dirham loan guaranteed by the French export credit agency Bpifrance Assurance Export and the Spanish export credit agency Compañía Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación, with 14-year amortizations to start in 2020, and a 10-year conventional facility of 4 billion dirhams, with payments over six years to start in 2022.
The five-stage Route 2020 project, which will cost 10.6 billion dirhams, will extend the existing Dubai Metro Red Line to the Expo 2020 site and will have seven stations in between.
“The encouraging response received for this financing, illustrates the strong confidence of international banks in Dubai’s economy … we have been able to achieve long-term financing at competitive rates while at the same time allowing us to manage our budget proactively and in a fiscally responsible manner,” Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, DoF director general, said in a statement.
Banco Santander, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC Middle East Limited, Intesa Sanpaolo and Standard Chartered Bank acted as mandated lead arrangers and the facility providers for the financing.
The contract for the design and build for the project was awarded by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority to a consortium of Alstom Transport, Acciona Infraestructuras and Gulermak.


Libya’s NOC declares force majeure on El Sharara oilfield

Updated 18 December 2018
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Libya’s NOC declares force majeure on El Sharara oilfield

  • El Sharara — a 315,000 barrels a day field was taken over on Dec. 8 by groups of tribesmen, armed protesters and state guards demanding salary payments
  • Some government officials favor offering quick cash to the occupiers to make them leave, but NOC officials have warned that would set a precedent

TRIPOLI: Libya’s state oil firm NOC has declared force majeure on operations at the country’s largest oilfield, El Sharara, a week after it announced a contractual waiver on exports from the field following its seizure by protesters.

The 315,000 barrels a day field, located in the south of the North African OPEC member country, was taken over on Dec. 8 by groups of tribesmen, armed protesters and state guards demanding salary payments and development funds.

Officials have been unable to persuade the groups, who have been camping on the field, to leave the vast, partly unsecured site amid disagreements how best to proceed, workers on the field said.

Some government officials favor offering quick cash to the occupiers to make them leave, but NOC officials have warned that would set a precedent and encourage more blockades, workers at the oilfield say.

NOC has described the occupiers as militia trying to get on the payroll of field guards, a recurring theme in Libya where many see seizing NOC facilities as an easy way to get heard by the weak state authorities.

Production will only restart after “alternative security arrangements are put in place,” NOC said in a statement.

Operations at the smaller El Feel oilfield continued as normal, engineers said.

“Production at Sharara was forcibly shut down by an armed group — Battalion 30 and its civilian support company — that claimed to be providing security at the field, but which threatened violence against NOC employees,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said in the statement.

His comments came after the chief of staff of the Tripoli-based government, Abdulrahman Attweel, criticized some of Sanalla’s previous comments about the protesters as “irresponsible.”

“These people (guards) were there to protect the field without salaries and without any attention to them and their daily needs, not in terms of accommodation, supply, transportation and communication,” Attweel told Al-Ahrar channel late on Monday.

Their demands were legitimate, he said, echoing comments by some southern lawmakers and mayors demanding more jobs and development for the neglected region.
The blockade has been complicated by the presence of tribesmen, who have argued against quick cash payments saying they want funds to improve hospitals and other services, which might take time to deliver.

The shutdown of the El Sharara has not affected the El Feel oilfield, also located in the south. It continued to pump around 70,000 barrels a day, field engineers said.
Its exports were being routed via the Melittah oil and gas port, which like El Feel belongs to a joint venture NOC has with Italian energy company Eni, another engineer said.

A spokesman for NOC did not respond to a request for comment.
El Sharara crude is normally transported to the Zawiya port, also home to a refinery. NOC runs the field with Spain’s Repsol , France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor, formerly known as Statoil.