NWC’s storage project in western Riyadh gathers pace

Updated 14 October 2014

NWC’s storage project in western Riyadh gathers pace

National Water Company (NWC) said that the first and largest phase of its project that seeks to achieve a sustainable and secure water supply and meet the needs of the consumers in Riyadh has been implemented.
The project is part of NWC’s strategic plan to supply 4.6 million cubic meter capacity in its first phase at a cost SR1.8 billion.
Currently, the NWC is completing the initial stages of the first phase of the project in western Riyadh to supply 600,000 cubic meters of storage capacity at a cost of SR250 million.
Specialized companies were awarded contracts for this phase of the project in a previous tender. The work will come online gradually and is expected to reach maximum capacity by summer 2015, serving the west Riyadh neighborhoods of Laban, Aeryjae and Tuwaiq.
The source said that NWC has finalized contracts for the remaining part of the first-phase of the water storage project, providing an additional four million cubic meter capacity at a cost of approximately SR1.6 billion.
These projects are designed to cover any shortfall in the water supply caused by maintenance procedures, production problems or network failure, as part of NWC’s secure supply strategy. Work has already begun at four locations in Riyadh, and is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.
The statement said the first-phase projects were distributed at separate locations throughout the city to ensure continuity of supply, streamlined connectivity with networks and to avoid any failures in transmission lines, as the NWC implements its strategic plan for a secure and sustainable water supply to keep up with Riyadh’s construction boom.
The second phase of NWC’s strategy to build a sustainable and secure water supply for Riyadh will entail developing further storage capacity of 6 million cubic meters at a cost of SR2.6 billion.
The storage project includes the construction of main transmission lines with diameters of 300 mm to 2,000 mm and the provision of operational water tanks with capacities of 5,000 and 50,000 cubic meters, costing more than SR3 billion.

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

Updated 4 min 51 sec ago

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

  • Others have also reduced headcount amid economic downturn and property market weakness

DUBAI: HSBC Holdings has laid off about 40 bankers in the UAE and Emirates NBD is cutting around 100 jobs, as banks in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy reduce costs.

The cuts come amid weak economic growth, especially in Dubai, which is suffering from a property downturn.

HSBC’s redundancies came after the London-based bank reported a sharp fall in earnings and warned of a costly restructuring, as interim CEO Noel Quinn seeks to tackle its problems head-on.

HSBC has about 3,000 staff in the UAE, part of a nearly 10,000-strong workforce in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The cuts at Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD came in consumer sales and liabilities, one source said, while a second played down the significance of the move.

HSBC and Emirates NBD declined to comment.

“The cuts are part of cost cutting and rationalizing to drive efficiencies in a challenging market,” the second source said.

Other banks have also reduced staff this year. UAE central bank data shows local banks laid off 446 people in the 12 months until the end of September. Foreign banks added staff in the same period.

Staff at local banks account for over 80 percent of the 35,518 banking employees in the country.

The merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union Commercial Bank and Al Hilal Bank saw hundreds of redundancies.

Commercial Bank International (CBI) said it would offer voluntary retirement to employees in September, which sources said saw over 100 departures. Standard Chartered, too, cut over 100 jobs in the UAE in September.

Rating agency Fitch warned in September a weakening property market would put more pressure on the UAE’s banking sector.