Sri Lanka to restart refinery with oil cargo from Dubai

Updated 05 November 2012
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Sri Lanka to restart refinery with oil cargo from Dubai

COLOMBO: Ceylon Petroleum Corp. (Ceypetco) will resume operation of Sri Lanka’s sole refinery, a 50,000 barrels-per-day facility, after a 10-day closure, because it has received a cargo of 75,000 tons of crude from Dubai, officials said.
Sri Lanka’s decades-old refinery is configured to run on Iranian crude and has been scrambling to fill a shortfall after Western sanctions prevented it from bringing in the crude from Iran. The sanctions have hurt its economy by forcing it to spend more to import oil and oil products.
The refinery was shut on Oct. 26 after exhausting its supply of mainly Iranian crude oil, and its general manager, Susantha Silva, said it would be shut until the island nation received the Dubai cargo.
“We have received a 75,000-metric-ton crude cargo and everything is arranged to unload,” Silva said in an interview.
“If all goes well, we’ll be able to resume operations from tomorrow.”
Silva declined to comment on the origin of the cargo, but an oil ministry official said it came from Dubai.
“The cargo came from Dubai the day before yesterday and everything is now ready to unload,” the official said.
He said the island nation would receive an 80,000 ton crude cargo from Oman on Thursday, a 135,000 ton cargo from Saudi Aramco Nov. 13-15 and another 135,000 ton shipment in December.
Silva last week said the December shipment was from Abu Dhabi.
Exports from Iran, which is grappling with tough Western sanctions against its energy and petrochemical sectors, have fallen sharply as buyers struggle to pay for the oil and secure insurance cover for tankers to ship it.
Ceypetco has been having problems running the refinery at full capacity because alternative crudes such as Arabian light do not provide the proper yield, Silva said earlier.
The sanctions have so far compelled Sri Lanka’s $ 59 billion economy to spend an extra $ 1.2 billion on oil imports, Oil Minister Susil Premajayantha told parliament recently.
Sri Lanka has reduced imports of Iranian crude by a fifth this year but disagrees with Western sanctions that are punishing countries that depend on the oil, Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris has said.
The country is now in talks with Iran to find a suitable payment method, because banks dealing with Iran have also been targeted by Western sanctions. Iran has not offered any discounts on its crude, Peiris said.
Ceypetco’s Sapugaskanda refinery, on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, was shut early in September also after damage to a floating pipeline at the Colombo port.


GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

Updated 16 October 2018
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GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

DUBAI: Dubai’s GITEX Technology week showcased the region’s ability to take the lead in innovation technology, with Saudi Arabia on its way to take the driver’s seat, according to consulting firm Accenture’s country managing director in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia will be a leader in supporting innovation and the development of new technology in the region,” Khaled Al-Dhaher told Arab News.
“I think we (Arab countries) can always complement each other in the region to make sure we have the best innovation that is relevant for us and focused on the needs of our markets,” he added.
Among the main drivers behind the Kingdom’s surge into innovation and incubation is the Center of Initiatives at Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which is an exclusive partner at GITEX Future Stars 2018.
Misk Innovation showcased 20 Saudi-based start-ups and incubators, ranging from 3D printing technology (SHAKL) to e-commerce (Zid) to online grocery shopping (ZADFresh).
Another prominent player from the Kingdom was the Badir Program, which helps to sustain and develop pioneering environments within the Kingdom and stays in line with following the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan.
The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy and clear targets to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“We see a big support toward start-ups in terms of seed funding, arranging funding rounds, investment funding rounds, which actually is very important to accelerate the growth of these start-ups,” Badir Program’s CEO Nawaf Al-Sahhaf told Arab News, adding: “They (start-ups) created more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years.”
The 38th annual exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, centered around the rise of smart cities. Dubai’s government featured high-tech stands promoting the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of a totally smart Dubai.
While Dubai is ahead of Saudi Arabia in this respect, the latter is not far behind.
“Saudi Arabia is building new cities now, and one of them is NEOM. Smart cities needs smart solutions and smart products, so Saudi Arabia is a big supporter of entrepreneurs and the private sector in order to come up with these smart solutions,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“Saudi Arabia is moving in this [Smart] direction and we are in good hands,” he added.
The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, Taqania, was also featured at the exhibition. Owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Taqania is one of Saudi Arabia’s main proponents in a non-oil dependent Kingdom aligned with Vision 2030, and invests in technology that contributes to the country’s economic diversification.
The exhibition is split among several categories including Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value-Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 to 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from Oct. 14 to 17.