Recycling plan aims to solve Riyadh rubble trouble

Authorities across the world are struggling to deal with domestic waste following moves by China and other Asian nations to stop accepting exported waste from Europe and North America. (Reuters)
Updated 16 July 2019

Recycling plan aims to solve Riyadh rubble trouble

  • City chiefs aim to slash landfill waste and make compost from rubbish

LONDON: Riyadh is set to get a citywide recycling plan to tackle more than 20 million tons of building rubble on eyesore vacant plots while turning household waste into compost.
Demolition waste will be removed from sites around the city and turned into construction aggregate while at the same time residents will be encouraged to start separating their waste for recycling into two bins instead of one.
Saudi Investment Recycling Co., a unit of the Public Investment Fund, has teamed up with the National Waste Management Center and the Riyadh Municipality to drive through the changes as city chiefs aim to recycle 81 percent of the 3.4 million tons of waste produced in the capital each year. They have also set a target to recycle almost half of the 5 million tons of construction and demolition waste.
Saudi Environment, Water and Agriculture Minister Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadli and Riyadh Mayor Tariq bin Abdul Aziz Al-Faris revealed details of the plan on Sunday.
“The main thing is convincing society that recycling is needed but that it also costs money,” Saudi Investment Recycling Co. CEO Jeroen Vincent told Arab News in an interview ahead of the official launch of the scheme.
“It is important to convince the Saudi people about the purpose of this. With all countries that introduced such schemes, it has always been with a combination of regulation and enforcement and a good awareness program.”
Currently most waste in the city ends up in landfill sites and earlier attempts to introduce the segregation of waste have not gained traction. However, Vincent said with the proper combination of financing, enforcement and infrastructure, the new recycling initiative should meet with more success.

FASTFACT

• Riyadh produces more than 3.4 million tons of waste each year.

• Civic authorities plan to recycle 81 percent of the waste produced annually in the capital city.

• 5 million tons of construction and demolition waste is produced in the Saudi capital.

He sees increased public awareness of global warming and the Kingdom’s more environmentally aware younger generation as other important factors.
“I was quite surprised that a lot of the 50-plus generation keep telling me ‘we are not in the Netherlands, we are not in Germany, we do things differently,’ but with having such a young population in Saudi Arabia, people are banging on the door to work with us because they see that ecology needs to go hand in hand with economy.”
Riyadh has already started to roll out a two-bin system of waste collection in two districts of the city and now the scheme is being rolled out through the rest of the capital and around the Kingdom.
Residents will be given two bins — a green one for recyclable and residual waste and a black one for food waste. They will be collected on alternate days.
In May, the Saudi Environment Ministry signed an agreement with the UN to boost environmental protection and safeguard natural resources in the Kingdom.
City chiefs worldwide are struggling to deal with domestic waste following moves by China and other Asian nations to stop accepting exported waste from Europe and North America.


Investment and energy experts welcome ‘sensible’ Saudi Aramco IPO valuation

Updated 18 November 2019

Investment and energy experts welcome ‘sensible’ Saudi Aramco IPO valuation

  • Price regarded as a sensible compromise and that it will sell the IPO
  • Experts said the Aramco valuation was justified by the financial metrics

DUBAI: Investment professionals and energy experts delivered a mainly enthusiastic response to the pricing of shares in Saudi Aramco and the overall valuation of the biggest oil company in the world at between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.

Al Mal Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank, said that it was positive on the Aramco initial public offering (IPO) on that kind of valuation, which it said was justified by the financial metrics.

“We believe Aramco’s IPO is a central pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. In our view, the broader privatization of state assets will likely accelerate the flow of foreign capital into the Kingdom, improve liquidity and transparency as well as continue to help diversify its economy away from its dependency on oil. While many investors were skeptical about the ability of Saudi Arabia to roll out its ambitious agenda, they seem to be right on track.”

Tarek Fadhallah, chief executive officer of Nomura Asset Management in the Middle East, said via Twitter: “My first impression is that the price is a sensible compromise and that it will sell the IPO. Aramco should easily raise the $8.5bn from retail investors but the 29 global coordinators, managers and financial advisers will need to find the other $17 billion. A few billion from China would help.”

Robin Mills, chief executive of the Qamar Energy consultancy, said; “I think it’s a reasonable compromise. The price is well above most independent valuations but well below the aspirational price. It implies dividend yields a bit lower than the super-majors (the independent oil companies), but a similar price earnings ratio (the measure of the share price rated according to profits). Retail and local investors should be sufficient. We’ll have to see about the foreign investors.”

Ellen Wald, energy markets consultant and author of the book Saudi, Inc., said American investor would still be undecided on the IPO. 

“Remember, investors don’t put money in because they think the value is accurate. Smart investors put money in because they think the value will rise. It all depends on whether they see signs the price will rise during their time frame.”

American oil finance expert David Hodson, managing director of BluePearl Management, said: “This valuation seems to be more reasonable based on the fundamentals. Potential investors in Western markets will base their decision on cold hard facts like dividends and growth prospects. From what we now know, Aramco is offering them a compelling investment proposition to consider.”