Chinese envoy inspects holy sites metro

Updated 16 October 2012

Chinese envoy inspects holy sites metro

MAKKAH: As the movement of the holy sites metro in Makkah was modified this year to meet the requirement of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Chinese Ambassador Li Chengwen inspected the project Sunday to review the changes.
Li said he met with the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) to ensure a safe, accurate operation for Haj.
“This project is clearly facilitating Haj and is considered a monument to the Saudi-Chinese cooperation that we must sustain and keep it running perfectly. We also must continue providing better services to pilgrims,” Li said.
The ambassador said the holy sites railway has broken some international records. The time between each train station is 17 seconds and each train is 300 meters long. Added to that is the fact that the railway is 18 km long, is not straight but rather consists of curves, upslopes and downslopes. It is very difficult to drive the train, but with joint efforts by both sides, the crews managed to overcome these difficulties, according to officials.
The ambassador said other projects under construction in Saudi Arabia by Chinese companies include King Khalid University in Abha, a cement factory and an oil refinery with annual capacity of 20 million tons.
“This increased cooperation between the two countries is a normal result of the developed relations,” Li said. “China is the second largest economy in the world and is keen to increase its cooperation with all countries especially the friends, not only in economic relations but also in technology. Saudi Arabia is also keen to increase the cooperation with China.”
Li said his country is encouraging Chinese companies to help the Kingdom in achieving its ambition of diversifying industry.
According to CRCC, holy sites Metro is the first engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance project as well as the first mega project executed by a Chinese enterprise in the world as the general contractor to have obtained the safety certificate issued by European Railway Verification Authority.
Makkah Metro is designed to be the most intensely used in capacity and the most complex operation mode, also regarded to be the fastest to build and operate in the highest outdoor temperature in the world.
It was on Feb. 10, 2009, when the contract was signed by China Railway Construction Corporation Limited and Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs in the presences of both Chinese President Hu Jintao and King Abdullah.

Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

Updated 15 September 2019

Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

  • Saudi Aramco says no staff have been injured in attacks
  • The oil giant is working on restoring the lost quantities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said drones that attacked Saudi Aramco installations had caused an interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies and threaten the world economy.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said as a result of the terrorist acts, oil production in Abqaiq and Khurais was knocked out temporarily and that estimates show that 50 percent of the company’s production had been interrupted.

Part of the decrease will be compensated to clients through reserves, Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency.

The newly appointed minister confirmed there were no injuries to staff at the locations targeted, adding that the company is still assessing the resulting damage.

The attacks not only target the Kingdom’s vital installations, but also target the international oil supply and threaten its security, he said, and are a threat to the world economy. 

The blasts took place at 3:31am and 3:42am at the two locations, both in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, causing fires that were brought under control by emergency services.

The drone attacks, at the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq and at an oilfield in Khurais, highlight the importance of the international community to protect energy supply against “all terrorist sides that carry out, support and finance such cowardly disruptive acts,” the statement said.

He said that these blasts also knocked out the production of 2bn cubic feet of associated gas daily, used to produce 700,000 barrels of natural gas liquids, which will lead to an approximate 50 percent decrease of Ethane and natural gas liquids supply.

The statement said the company is currently working on restoring the lost quantities, and will present updated information within the next 48 hours.

World leaders condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia on Saturday and those behind the terrorist acts. 

Donald Trump called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reassert his country's “readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom, by all means conducive to maintain its security and stability.”

The Crown Prince "underscored the Kingdom’s willingness and strength to thwart such a terrorist aggression and deal with its consequences,” SPA reported on Saturday.

The UAE said it “condemns this act of terrorism and sabotage and considers it as a new evidence of the terrorist groups’ attempts to undermine the security and stability of the region as a whole.”

“The Houthis must stop undermining Saudi Arabia’s security by threatening civilian areas and commercial infrastructure,” said the British government.

“The US strongly condemns today’s drone attacks. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost,” said the US envoy in Riyadh John Abizaid.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was emphatic about the need to condemn Iranian aggression, specifically on Saudi Arabia, and the need to ensure the security of world energy supplies.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” he tweeted, “We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression”

The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, said they had carried out the attacks and that 10 drones had been used.