Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

Updated 28 October 2014

Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

A Canadian trade delegation, headed by Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade Simon Kennedy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet several Saudi officials and major firms with a special focus on renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.
Canadian Ambassador Thomas MacDonald said Canada’s first renewable energy mission, which is focused on solar technology, will visit the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), ACWA Power and other industry leaders.
The envoy said Kennedy and the chairman of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) will host a business seminar for the mission Wednesday at the Al Mashreq Boutique Hotel to introduce Canadian companies to Saudi partners for renewable energy projects in the Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to him, the visit comes amid recent reports that KACARE received a request from SEC for the establishment of solar energy plants in Qaisumah, Rafha, Wadi Al-Duwasir, Mahd Al-Dhahab and Shororah, and a report that ACWA Power is seeking to secure or arranging financing for $7.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects.
He stated that there will be a commercial signing ceremony during this visit. The Canadian delegation includes SkyPower, which concluded a joint venture — Fawaz Alhokair (FAS) Energy. In May 2014, the joint venture announced a five-year, $5-billion deal to build solar projects in Nigeria.
Canadian Solar, a supplier of 1.78 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels to Saudi Aramco for the Kingdom’s largest ground-mounted solar installation at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Center also is part of the delegation. In addition, QD Solar, Silfab, Morgan Solar and Jeco Power and AESP-Green Energy are manufacturers and developers of leading energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems.
MacDonald said renewable sources generate up to 65 percent of Canada’s electricity. Solar and wind are the country’s two fastest growing sources.
According to him, Solar photovoltaic capacity reached 1,210 megawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 2013. The Canadian Solar Industry Association forecasts that annual capacity will increase three folds by 2025. By then, the Canadian solar industry will support more than 35,000 jobs, displacing 15 to 31 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Canada has two of the largest solar farms in the world — the Arnprior and Enbridge solar farms, both located in Ontario, Canada’s largest province. Total private investment in Ontario’s photovoltaic installations is $12.9 billion.
Ontario phased out coal-fired generators in April 2014 — North America’s largest single climate change initiative.
Between 2003 and 2012, Canada registered an estimated 233 patents in photovoltaic technology with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Thanks to Canada's generous R&D tax credits, the after tax cost of $100 in R&D expenditure is closer to $50, making Canada a partner of choice for developing renewable energy products,” he added.


HSBC France to leave its Champs Elysees headquarters

Updated 18 min 43 sec ago

HSBC France to leave its Champs Elysees headquarters

  • HSBC France has a project of moving its headquarters by 2020
  • The building would be fit for 1,200 employees working mostly in corporate and investment banking and wealth management

PARIS/LONDON: HSBC France said on Wednesday its teams will leave a prestigious headquarters on Paris' Champs Elysees avenue by 2020 in an emblematic move ahead of the planned sale of its retail business in the country.
The exit and planned sale, following a strategic review of the group's French retail activities, are part of a broader cost-cutting effort under interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn.
"HSBC France has a project of moving its headquarters by 2020 to 38 av Kleber, 500 meters away from its actual headquarters that was sold in 2010," the bank said in a statement.
The building would be fit for 1,200 employees working mostly in corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
Another 500 employees will be moved to HSBC's hub in La Defense business district which now houses 4,000 of the bank's employees and to branches close to the Champs Elysees building.
HSBC France sold its headquarters at 103 avenue Champs Elysees, and a building in front of it at 15 rue Vernet, to Qatari investors and has rented them since then.
The move is necessitated because the owner wants to regain control of the buildings and also because HSBC needs to save money, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Office rents in Paris are rising to levels not seen since at least 2003, according to Immostat data, as vacancy rates are at record lows.
HSBC inherited the historic headquarters when it bought the French retail operations of Crédit Commercial de France (CCF) in 2000.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the building was a hotel where World War One spy and exotic dancer Mata Hari was arrested.
HSBC Holdings has hired U.S. investment bank Lazard Ltd to sell its French retail business, a source close to the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
Quinn is expected to unveil the first details of his strategic overhaul of the bank when it reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 28.
Quinn is auditioning for the full-time CEO job and insiders said he is under pressure to take decisive action after Chairman Mark Tucker indicated his predecessor John Flint had not moved quickly enough to turn around the lender's performance.