KACST gears up for KSA’s first solar power station

Updated 31 July 2015
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KACST gears up for KSA’s first solar power station

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) and Taqnia Energy to launch the first standalone 50MW solar power station at Al-Aflaj.

KACST also inked another memorandum to establish a joint research and development center at the SEC distribution sector.
KACST President Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al-Saud, SEC CEO Ziad Mohammad Al-Sheeha and Taqnia Energy CEO Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Muhanna signed the two memorandums.
Al-Saud said the memorandum aims to provide alternative and safe sources of energy that would ensure providing fuel and help building a sustainable future through engaging science, research and energy-related industries in reducing the cost of generating electricity through solar energy.
It also aims to increase the contribution of the national components in the sector, indigenizing technology and creating new job opportunities.
It is projected to help save over 4 million barrels of high-cost diesel fuel and limit CO2 emissions by 1.7 million tons. Thus, the project will complement KACST’s efforts to indigenize solar power technology and invest in industrial research, he added.
Following the signing of the memorandum, KACST will cooperate with Taqnia Energy to build the first 50MW standalone solar power station in the Kingdom.
Taqnia Energy will design, build, operate and maintain the station in collaboration with SEC. The latter will be committed to buying all power generated at an unsubsidized tariff (non-feed-in tariff) starting with 18.75 halala per Kw/H.
The land area for the solar station, called Layla, will be made available by Energy Technology at Al-Aflaj Governorate where the solar field equipment is to be installed.
KACST is currently engaged with the Advanced Water Taqnia by solar power at Al-Khafji with a capacity of 60,000 cubic meters/day, with an auxiliary solar power station of 40MW capacity.


Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.