Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

From left, minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, former minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, and president and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, in Thuwal, on Friday.
Updated 19 December 2016

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

Saudi Aramco broke ground on the construction of a brand new, state-of-the-art research center, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with an expected completion date of mid-2019.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Vice-Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, KAUST President Prof. Jean-Lou Chameau, and several government, academic and business dignitaries.
Al-Falih said: “Saudi Aramco and KAUST are leaders in technology development domestically and internationally. Their unique roles in developing innovative and original research is essential to the future success of the energy industry in Saudi Arabia.
“Their future joint research and development efforts, through collaboration and partnership, will help achieve the Kingdom’s strategic energy objectives and create business value in pursuit of the national objective of transition to a knowledge society, as enunciated in Vision 2030.”
“The groundbreaking (research center) marks a major milestone in the successful partnership between Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, for the benefit of the nation as a whole,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser.
“Our relationship started when KAUST was just an idea and today, it has grown, literally from the ground up.
A number of highly promising technologies have been produced here, such as the Saudi Aramco inspection robots, and research here has contributed to many patents.”
The facility will allow Saudi Aramco to leverage its unique position within the R&D ecosystem at KAUST to accelerate the implementation of the company’s Technology Strategy. The facility will include laboratories and offices to support research in the areas of chemicals, intelligent systems, solar energy, reservoir engineering, computational modeling, and environmental protection.
“At KAUST, we are committed to advancing science, innovation and technology through distinctive and collaborative research, which relies upon the nurturing of ideas and talent,” said KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau. “Partnering with Saudi Aramco on this new center is the latest of a series of shared successes to foster the transition to an innovation-driven economy sustained by intellectual capital and scientific discovery.”
The new center will be an 11,300 square-meter research facility, housing 132 scientists and researchers, aimed at supporting Saudi Aramco’s upstream and downstream research domains as well as environmental protection research efforts.
“This new facility is about expanding our research needs as a business. As part of our new technology strategy we are looking to enable our research domains through capitalizing on the world-renowned scientists, exceptional facilities, and international network of academic institutions affiliated with KAUST,” said Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Khowaiter.
The facility is intended to integrate with the University community and foster strong networks with other leading R&D organizations focused on solar energy, chemicals, fuel technology, robotics, hydrocarbon recovery, computational modeling and the marine environment.


Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Updated 14 min 38 sec ago

Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Hyundai Motors has increased its presence in South Africa by launching its first mass-produced high-performance car — i30 N — last week in Cape Town. 

The first model of the N brand, the i30 N is Hyundai’s first high-performance car, which has been developed with a key focus on its race-track capability and its ability to be a fun-to-drive everyday sports car. 

“Advanced technology and a high level of driver customization has been built into the i30 N, which means it can play the role of a comfort-oriented commuter as well as a race-track ready performance car,” the automaker said.

The i30 N has a 1,998 cc, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with its maximum power output of 202 kW reached at 6,000 r/minute, while maximum torque is achieved from 1,500 to 4 700 r/minute. 

The power is delivered to the front wheels of the i30 N through a six-speed manual gearbox and has five different drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom, which can be accessed through two dedicated buttons on the car’s steering wheel. 

The i30 N has a rev matching function built-in to adjust the engine revolutions when the driver shifts from a higher to a lower gear, thereby ensuring smooth gear shifting. The dual muffler exhaust sounds add to the pleasure of commanding a high-performance vehicle.

Speaking at the launch, Niall Lynch, CEO of Hyundai Automotive South, said: “The i30 N is one of the most exciting cars Hyundai has made in the recent years highlighting Hyundai’s talented designers and engineers who are always setting new standards.

“It is a high-performance car meant to deliver a fun driving experience and I have no doubt there’s a bright future in store for the Hyundai i30 N in South Africa. It has already been described as a ‘game changer’ with more than 20,000 units sold across Europe since we started trading in 2017.”

The i30 N has stylish 19-inch wheels with 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tires and red brake callipers featuring the N-logo. Aggressive bumpers with larger air intakes and a red character line, an aerodynamic rear spoiler with a triangular brake light, and a dual muffler exhaust complete the sleek, sporty look.

The i30 N also features the electronically controlled suspension (ECS) and electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which ensures an exhilarating drive with cornering capabilities that befits the i30 N’s hot-hatch character.

Customers can choose from five color options — Polar White, Performance Blue, Micron Grey, Phantom Black and Engine Red.

Hyundai plans to launch the i30 N model in the Middle East toward the end of 2020.