Energy minister: Aramco IPO timing will be ‘a Saudi decision’

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Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman speaks at the FII in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman gestures as he speaks to members of the media on the sideline of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 30, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 31 October 2019

Energy minister: Aramco IPO timing will be ‘a Saudi decision’

  • Banking sources at the FII believe that the IPO could be launched within days, ahead of a listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in early December
  • The Kingdom currently operates the largest carbon capture and utilization plant in the world

RIYADH: The imminent initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco will come at a time of the Kingdom’s choosing, Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman told delegates at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.
“The Aramco IPO will come soon, at the right time, the right opportunity and the right decision, but it will be a Saudi decision, and specifically Prince Mohammed’s decision,” he said, referring to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Banking sources at the FII believe that the IPO could be launched within days, ahead of a listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in early December.
The minister’s comments came at an FII session on the future of energy, at which he also launched a campaign to develop a “circular carbon economy” for sustainable growth in the Kingdom and the world.
He told delegates at the FII that Saudi Arabia, because of its prominent role in the global energy industry, has an important role to play in finding a solution to the issue of sustainable economic growth, which has come to the fore due to the climate change debate.
“Considering our pivotal role, it’s our responsibility to find solutions through innovation and collaboration to create a sustainable framework for growth,” he said.
“A holistic and pragmatic approach is needed to achieve more sustainability in the economic system.”
The circular carbon economy that the world should adopt was based on a new approach to fossil fuel emissions and greenhouse gasses in which the rules of the “4Rs” would apply: Reduce, reuse, recycle and remove.
“Such a closed-loop system, much like what happens in nature, will help restore the balance of the carbon cycle,” the minister said.
“It offers a new way of addressing the challenges of sustainable development that implicitly values all options and encourages all efforts to mitigate carbon accumulation in the atmosphere, while also facilitating global economic growth,” he added.
“Adoption of this holistic model is vital because, as important as renewables are, and as much progress as they’ve made in recent years, most analyzes suggest the world can’t achieve a balance between ‘sources and sinks’ through renewables and reduction alone,” he said.
“Much of the world’s energy is consumed in sectors that are hard to decarbonize, such as heat, industrial processes and transport. So achieving a carbon balance will inevitably include fossil fuels. However, their carbon emissions must be managed.”
Several energy initiatives in the Kingdom are underway as part of the circular carbon economy, the minister said.
The energy efficiency program in buildings and the petrochemicals industry, as well as improving vehicle efficiency and energy pricing reforms, are examples of the Kingdom’s new approach to energy.
There are also plans to advance Saudi carbon capture plans. The Kingdom currently operates the largest carbon capture and utilization plant in the world, turning half a million tons of CO2 annually into products such as fertilizers and methanol.
“We believe that nature-based solutions will play an important role in removing carbon as part of the circular carbon economy,” the minister said.
“Recognizing this, we’re taking actions to achieve these goals, including expanding our mangrove forests and plantations, seagrass meadows and coral reefs in both the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.”
The Saudi initiative won the support of several of the high-profile panelists at the FII, including US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Andrew Liveris, an adviser to the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.
Perry said his home state of Texas had made big investments in wind power and natural gas as ways to reduce carbon emissions.
Liveris said: “We should see sustainability and the circular economy as a business opportunity.”


Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

Updated 29 min 2 sec ago

Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

  • Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels
  • Trudeau is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil on Wednesday what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.
Trudeau, who has consistently vowed to do more to combat climate change, is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels as Canada faces a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“The three prongs of what we are doing are fighting COVID-19, supporting Canadians, and a resilient recovery,” said a government source who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.
The so-called Speech from the Throne outlining government plans is a confidence measure and given that Trudeau’s Liberals only have a minority in the House of Commons, they will need the support of opposition legislators to avoid being toppled and plunging the country into an election.
The left-leaning New Democrats have made clear they are likely to vote in favor. Trudeau’s popularity initially soared over his handling of the pandemic, but polls suggest he and the Liberals were damaged by a scandal over his close ties to a charity chosen to run a student grant program.
Parliament is usually packed for the occasion but COVID-19 means few legislators will be present when Governor General Julie Payette — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — delivers the speech at around 3 p.m. (1900 GMT).
Later on Wednesday, Trudeau plans to make a national address to address the urgency of fighting COVID-19, a spokesman said.
Officials say the throne speech will contain policy proposals such as childcare and an expanded employment insurance program rather than specific spending commitments, some of which will be disclosed in a fiscal update later in the year.
But Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels, aides say.