70,000 gas cylinders supplied to Jeddah amid shortage

Updated 06 February 2015

70,000 gas cylinders supplied to Jeddah amid shortage

Saudi Arabia’s gas company said Wednesday that it has supplied 70,000 cylinders on 121 trucks from the gas plant in Yanbu to meet gas requirements of Jeddah.
National Gas and Industrialization Company (GASCO) has stepped up production to meet growing demand and meet shortage. It urged all distributors to follow the approved price.
Iyas bin Samir Al-Hajari, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the company, said that Saudi Aramco has halted scheduled maintenance work at a refinery to help meet demand.
GASCO is in charge of transporting, filling and marketing liquefied petroleum gas and cylinders in Saudi Arabia.
“Yesterday there was an increase in production which was higher than average. I hope production will continue to rise in the coming few days to meet the shortage,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with a Gulf-based television channel.
Petrochemicals companies in the Kingdom, including Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, which uses gas as feedstock, have said the shortage has limited their expansion plans. Saudi Aramco is looking for gas to meet rising demand for electricity and water.
Meanwhile, the two-week cooking gas shortage in Jeddah has forced some restaurants to use wood and charcoal to prepare and heat meals.
Hamdi Al-Malki said he closed his eatery because he could not find any gas for several days. However, he had earlier used charcoal and wood to cook food for customers, to minimize his losses.
There are also many eateries and teashops that have closed because they do not have gas, or are unable to afford black market prices, which has seen the cost of a cylinder rise from SR15 to SR100.
Economist Farooq Al-Khateeb argued that big gas distributors have artificially created the current gas shortage because they want to monopolize the market. They reduce the supply forcing a rise in prices, he said.
“I have studied the issue and discovered that there are only shortages in winter when demand goes up.” He believes the price would go up by a further 50 percent.
Yaqoob Ghanim, a customer, said that he couldn’t find gas even though he often spends most of the day trying to find a cylinder. “The gas crisis is now in its second week and we will continue suffering because it is not available at any gas retailer.”
Ghanim said that he even asked some restaurant owners if they could spare him a cylinder, but found that they were also looking for gas. One restaurant owner told him that many shops had closed because of the shortage, he said.
Abdul Aziz Zamzami, another customer, said that he had also not been able to find gas anywhere in the city despite searching over a few days. He said someone should be held accountable for the situation.
Salem Al-Haidar, who owns a gas distribution shop, said his truck driver was sent a few days ago to get gas from a warehouse, but there has been no supply available.
“I read about GASCO sacking one of its top executives, but I don’t think that is enough,” he said.
Arab News reported on Wednesday that GASCO had appointed Al-Hajari as the company’s new chief executive officer and removed its managing director.
Al-Hajari had said that the shortage was caused by a lack of supply from Saudi Aramco plants. He denied that it was triggered by the action against workers who demanded the payment of an annual bonus.
However, Arab News discovered that three major gas-pumping stations were not operating because of the strike by workers. Some workers told Arab News that they refused to work because they did not get their annual bonus, and because some of their colleagues were sacked after asking for their “rightful payments.”


Hi-tech warehouse opens in Saudi Arabia to serve health sector

Updated 24 September 2020

Hi-tech warehouse opens in Saudi Arabia to serve health sector

JEDDAH: The Public Investment Fund’s National Unified Procurement Co. (NUPCO) has opened a new automated warehouse in King Abdullah Economic City that provides comprehensive distribution and storage for the state health sector.
This is part of NUPCO’s efforts to support the health sector and provide smart supply chains and high-quality logistical services in a partnership agreement with a pioneering private company.
The warehouse is one of NUPCO’s largest warehouses in the Kingdom, with an area covering 300,000 square meters. It is fully automated, with the latest technologies and advanced logistical services.
Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Shebel, the CEO of NUPCO, said that the warehouse represented the strategic partnership between NUPCO and private sector companies for public health facilities at its best.
It will provide advanced medical services and contribute to the health of the Saudi community.
He noted that after the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic NUPCO equipped the warehouse in record time to increase the level of support for health facilities.