Saudi Arabia participates in China Belt and Road forum

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Transport Minister Nabeel Al-Amoudi visits the Port of Shanghai. (SPA)
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A Saudi delegation participates in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. (SPA)
Updated 28 April 2019

Saudi Arabia participates in China Belt and Road forum

  • Ancient China had close maritime communication with Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea, says Chinese official

RIYADH: The Kingdom participated in a Belt and Road forum held in Beijing, the Saudi Press Agency reported, with officials from both sides discussing cooperation, experiences and shared interests in the fields of archaeology and transport.
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is a chance for countries to pitch for investment in a massive infrastructure project aimed at connecting China with the rest of the world.
The Department of Antiquities and Museums at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) was part of the Kingdom’s delegation.
It reviewed the outcome of excavation work at the Sarin archaeological site south of Al-Lith through a workshop hosted by the China National Center of Underwater Cultural Heritage, with the participation of Abdullah Al-Zahrani, general director of archaeological researches and studies at SCTH.
Al-Zahrani highlighted the most prominent excavation works carried out in the past three years at the Sarin site, which houses ancient hills that are completely covered by sand and buildings. “Parts of pots made of different materials in various shapes are scattered on those hills, in addition to metal pieces, mainly coins and jewelry.”
Jiang Bong, head of the Chinese expedition team, talked about the most important findings of the excavation works.
“We have found pieces of broken Chinese porcelain that date back to different eras, which indicates that the site is an important commercial site on the Maritime Silk Road and confirms that ancient China had close maritime communication with the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea,” he said at the workshop.
President of the China National Center of Underwater Cultural Heritage, Waing Daimen, said that the Saudi-Chinese expedition had contributed to an exchange between the two countries in the field of archaeological excavation. He described the Sarin project as one of the most important international cooperative research projects carried out by China.
The workshop also touched on the most important Arab sources documenting the arrival of Chinese trade and pilgrimage ships to Arab ports on the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Another part of the Saudi delegation at the forum represented the Kingdom’s transport and logistics interests.
Nabeel Al-Amoudi, the Saudi minister of transport, visited the Port of Shanghai along with the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih.
Al-Amoudi examined the latest container-handling technologies and discussed the possibility of transferring these operational experiences to Saudi ports, which could promote the Kingdom’s shipping industry.
Al-Amoudi stressed Saudi Arabia’s desire to promote cooperation with China.


Startup of the Week: Revolutionary solutions for Saudi Arabia’s clean energy sector

Updated 4 min 39 sec ago

Startup of the Week: Revolutionary solutions for Saudi Arabia’s clean energy sector

  • The NOMADD robots are equipped with specially designed brushes with drive motors and sophisticated control systems

JEDDAH: NOMADD is a King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) startup that aspires to contribute to the growing clean energy sector with its leading photovoltaics cleaning system based in Saudi Arabia.
According to Georg Eitelhuber, chief technical officer and cofounder of NOMADD, the company will enable more widespread use of solar photovoltaics in the country while conserving water resources and utilizing the full potential of solar energy.
NOMADD is a system designed, developed and tested in the Kingdom to suit local and regional conditions. “Wherever there is sun and wherever there is a desert, that is where NOMADD is and wills to be,” Eitelhuber told Arab News.
In desert climates, solar panels are often exposed to harsh weather conditions that may affect their function and require constant maintenance.
According to Eitelhuber, dust can prevent sunlight from reaching solar cells. Consequently, the panel may lose up to 60 percent of its capability to produce power during and after sandstorms.
Therefore, panels should be cleaned daily because if the dust is left for more than a day, dust particles from organics, dew, and sulfur adhere to the panels and damage them.
After extensive research, NOMADD founders concluded whatever they created to clean solar panels needed to be a waterless, automatic mechanical device. From those characteristics, they came up with the name NOMADD, which stands for: NO water, Mechanical Automated Dusting Device.
The name is also a tribute to nomadic peoples living in the desert. “In this part of the world, the very harsh environment makes moving through the desert constantly and regularly not easy, and the people who were able to do that for thousands of years are extremely tough. We believe that our product is part of that spirit of toughness in the desert,” said Eitelhuber.
The first idea of NOMADD goes back to 2010. “I was out in the field where they had a small solar area back then, and there was an official inauguration for this solar field … the panels were so dirty so we called the housekeeping department to come and clean them.”
Solar energy was still new in the region at that time. Eitelhuber found that no accurate solution had ever been thought about before. “I had the vision that there will be a large scale of solar panels in the Middle East, and it would be great to have a solution ready for it,” he said.
The NOMADD robots are equipped with specially designed brushes with drive motors and sophisticated control systems. The robots communicate wirelessly with a central hub that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, via any mobile device, which allows the client to monitor the robots and collect and analyze data.
NOMADD has six founders, and 15 people working full time for them worldwide, eight based at KAUST. The team is growing fast, and they hope to have 20 to 25 people by the end of the year.
Reliability of the product is everything for NOMADD’s team. Constant evaluation of the quality and expansion of the service is key to their success. Their biggest goal is to be recognized as the world’s leader in desert solar cleaning solutions.