SABIC to build one of the world’s biggest mega-battery factories

A man walks past the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
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Updated 06 May 2020

SABIC to build one of the world’s biggest mega-battery factories

  • SABIC unit Nusaned Investment has teamed up with SCHMID Group to develop the vanadium redox flow batteries
  • Battery storage is attracting a wave of international investment as demand increases to store the energy being produced by new renewable projects worldwide

LONDON: Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC has established a joint venture company to build one of the world’s biggest utility-scale battery factories.

SABIC unit Nusaned Investment has teamed up with SCHMID Group to develop the vanadium redox flow batteries. 

The Riwaq Industrial Development Company will also join the JV, SABIC said in a statement.

The new factory is expected to be in production in 2021. 

Battery storage is attracting a wave of international investment as demand increases to store the energy being produced by new renewable projects worldwide. Investing in such renewables projects is also a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s energy reform plans as it weans itself off reliance on oil revenues.

“The closing marks a milestone for Saudi Arabia in its quest to localize manufacturing for technologies in emerging industries,” said Fuad Mosa, CEO of Nusaned Investment 

The new company will produce energy storage systems for use alongside utility-scale renewables projects, telecom towers, mining sites, remote cities and off-grid locations, SABIC said. 

Saudi Arabia is aiming to install 57.5 GW of renewable capacity by 2030, spurring demand for new battery storage capacity in the Kingdom.

The project will be developed in Dammam 3rd Industrial City and will have an annual production capacity of 3 GWh — making it among the biggest Flow Battery production facilities worldwide.

Nusaned Investment is an investment company based in Riyadh with a mandate to increase local content in the Kingdom. 


Oil surges on hopes of new deal on output cuts

Updated 02 June 2020

Oil surges on hopes of new deal on output cuts

  • Brent price has doubled in five weeks
  • OPEC talks may be brought forward

DUBAI: Oil prices surged toward $40 a barrel on Monday as hopes rose for an early agreement to extend the big production cuts agreed by Saudi Arabia and Russia under the OPEC+ alliance.

Brent, the global benchmark, jumped by more 9 percent to nearly $39, continuing the surge that has doubled the price in five weeks — the best performance in its history. It recovered after record supply cuts agreed between the 23 countries of the OPEC+ partnership, and enforced cuts in US shale oil.

DME Oman crude, the regional benchmark in which a lot of Saudi Aramco exports are priced, rose above $40 a barrel for the first time since early March.

Market sentiment was buoyed by the possibility that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would agree with non-OPEC members to extend the cuts for a longer period than was agreed in April.

Oil analysts expect OPEC to fast track a “virtual” meeting to formally agree to maintaining cuts at the record 9.7 million barrels a day level. The meeting was scheduled for June 9, but bringing it forward would allow producers more time to set pricing levels.

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An official with one OPEC delegation told Arab News there was consensus among the 23 OPEC+ members for the new date, which could be as early as June 4. The meeting will also consider how long the current level of cuts would be maintained. Some OPEC members want it to run to the end of the year, other producers would prefer a two-month extension.

Omar Najia, global head of derivatives with trader BB Energy, told a forum run by Gulf Intelligence consultancy: “I’d be amazed if OPEC did not extend the higher level of cuts. As long as Saudi Arabia and Russia continue saying nice things to each other I’d expect the rally to continue.”

A Moscow source close to the oil industry said energy officials there had come to the conclusion that “the deal is working” and it was important to keep prices at an “acceptable” level.

Sentiment was also affected by a comparatively high level of compliance with the new cuts, running at about 75 percent among OPEC+ members, with only Iraq and Nigeria noticeable under-compliers.

Robin Mills, chief executive of Qamar Energy, said: “That’s where I’d expect it to be after two months in such a fluid situation. It will be even better in June.”