Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)
Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

  • ‘We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program’, says energy minister

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman has reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its energy sources, telling the Misk Global Forum 2019 that an expanding renewable energy program will meet the country’s domestic requirements and even allow it to export electricity.
“We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program,” the minister told the forum’s opening session.
He said the Kingdom’s renewable energy program “will get us into manufacturing and exporting electricity.”
Prince Abdul Aziz added: “We have a new program, a ‘noble’ program, to create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.”
He told the forum that renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis, saying that jobs for both are equally valuable.
“Non-Saudis are important. I was educated by non-Saudis. We should recognize that and not let our nationalism defeat us, and not be ungrateful to them,” he said.
The energy minister said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.
“We know that our women now are enabled, they have an education program,” he said. “We have equal pay for both men and women.”
Prince Abdul Aziz said that social reforms in the Kingdom have turned Riyadh into a “city of joy,” where families had access to a range of entertainment options.
He urged forum participants to learn from their mistakes and never from success. “I am an embodiment of mistakes,” said the prince.
“Even princes have dreams, because they have fathers and grandfathers who had big dreams and we could never let them down,” he said.
“Education, training and resilience are important to keep up and never be broken,” he said, adding: “If I hadn’t had that self-motivation, the notion that you don’t give up, I wouldn’t be here today.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis.

• ‘Noble’ program will create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.’

“I am humble enough, serious enough and Saudi enough to say that,” he said. A panelist at the forum, Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, urged the younger generation not to be afraid of technology, saying that Artificial Intelligence will not take over their jobs.
“There is a beautiful challenge for making it compatible,” he said.
Fellow panelist Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co., told the audience that they represented the future.
“Our job as leaders today is to make sure that we provide you with the right opportunities, enabling the youth to succeed,” he said.
“Don’t fight technology, embrace it,” said Al-Mubarak.
In her welcome speech, Shaima Hamidaddin, Misk Global Forum’s executive manager, said that 7,000 participants had registered for the event, making it the largest ever, as well as the most diverse edition with more than 120 countries taking part.
“In every edition of the forum, we look at how to prepare for the future,” she said. “This year we are focusing on work. Everybody is touched by work in some way and that’s why we must rework our work.”


LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 33 min 19 sec ago

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.