Aramco and Mazda to develop more efficient engines

Mazda and Saudi Aramco have teamed up to produce more efficient egnines. (Reuters)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Aramco and Mazda to develop more efficient engines

  • Pair aim to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Aim to complete work by end of fiscal year 2020

LONDON: Saudi Aramco has teamed up with Mazda to develop more efficient engines as they seek to reduce their environmental impact.

The pair will work with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to boost engine efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Saudi Aramco said in a statement.

“This cooperative research with Mazda and AIST underscores our shared commitment to delivering advanced technology solutions that make a significant impact on real-world issues,” said Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter.

The internal combustion engine is facing increased competition from electric vehicles as automakers come under more pressure to reduce their environmental impact by making cars which burn less fuel and produce less harmful greenhouse gases.

National oil companies are also becoming part of that process as they seek to develop more efficient fuels.

Al-Khowaiter said that new engine technologies continue to prove that improving the internal combustion engine remains the most cost-effective and timely means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, with the potential to yield “dramatic” results.

The partnership will see Aramco provide low carbon-content new fuels while Mazda will focus on building a high-efficiency advanced prototype engine.

Saudi Aramco has devoted years of intensive investment to co-developing fuels and engine research, as part of its global Transport Technology program.
Mazda’s advanced prototype engine is based on a Compression Ignition engine with ultra-lean burn combustion.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 21 August 2018
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.