Saudi Arabia to become ‘major exporter’ of renewable energy

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. (REUTERS/Ruben Sprich)
Updated 20 January 2017

Saudi Arabia to become ‘major exporter’ of renewable energy

DAVOS, Switzerland: Saudi Arabia aims to become a “major exporter” of renewable energy, its energy minister has revealed. 
Khalid Al-Falih said there are plans to allow for the export of cleanly produced electricity to Europe.
“If the region gets connected to Europe for example, then solar (power) that is produced in Saudi Arabia can be exported all the way to Europe through a network,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
“When it’s sunny in the region, it’s dark and cloudy sometimes in Europe… So we can be a major exporter.”
Such an electricity supply could be routed through Egypt, and there were “projects underway” to support this, Al-Falih said.
Al-Falih said on Monday that Saudi Arabia is to launch a renewable energy program that is expected to involve investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023.
Riyadh plans to start the first round of bidding for projects under the program, which would produce 10 gigawatts of power.
Aside from the domestic consumption of electricity, Al-Falih said there was an opportunity to sell both power derived from “green” methods and the materials used to produce renewable energy, like solar panels or wind turbines.
“We will export the power itself, we will export the components and services,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is attempting to diversify its economy after it was hit hard by the oil-price crash.
An OPEC deal saw an oil production cut come into force at the beginning of this year, something Al-Falih indicated was being adhered to.
“Everybody I talk to is not only committing, some of them have actually told me that they have exceeded their commitments,” he said.
He would not speculate on how the oil price would look later this year, but said the current figure includes “an element of uncertainty” about compliance with the Opec production cut deal.
“I tend to think that uncertainty is misplaced,” Al-Falih said. “Once you remove that, with data coming in the weeks to come, you can only imagine where the price will go.”  


Creditors take action against Al Jaber in decade-long saga

Updated 13 min ago

Creditors take action against Al Jaber in decade-long saga

  • The downturn in the Gulf construction sector has triggered a number of corporate restructurings as companies are forced to reschedule debt, raise fresh borrowing or enter insolvency protection

DUBAI:Creditors have started to enforce claims against Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group, in a dispute triggered by a construction downturn in the UAE more than a decade ago.

Al Jaber, a contractor with interests across a range of sectors, has struggled since building up debt in the wake of a UAE real estate crisis and began talks with creditors in 2011.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which is working as restructuring and security agent, said in a document dated Sept. 21 which was seen by Reuters, that it had instructions from the majority of creditors to proceed with claims against Al Jaber.

A representative for Al Jaber did not immediately respond to a request or comment. ADCB declined to comment.

The move follows delays in restructuring agreements, under which Al Jaber was to appoint a new board and sell companies and assets such as the Shangri-La hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In exchange, creditors had agreed to extend the maturity of a 5.9 billion dirhams ($1.61 billion) loan, cut interest rates, and provide additional revolving debt.

The initial enforcement action now being pursued by creditors includes the “acceleration and demand for payment of amounts outstanding” under the previously agreed debt restructuring, a source familiar with the matter said.

Enforcement will also allow creditors to claim against Al Jaber’s chairman under a 4.5 billion dirham loan to the company.

Several UAE companies have sought to extend debt maturities or agree better terms in recent years to avoid defaults, after an oil price crash hit energy services and construction.

The coronavirus crisis has added to the strain and Arabtec Holding, the UAE’s biggest listed contractor, this week will discuss options including dissolution after the pandemic hit projects and led to additional costs.

Meanwhile, Dubai-listed construction firm Drake & Scull is working to reach an agreement with its creditors in an out-of-court process.

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