Terrorist bomb attack targets gasoline tanker in Jeddah port

The Singapore-flagged BW Rhine was attacked by an explosives-laden boat while unloading its cargo in Jeddah port. (Supplied: Hafnia)
The Singapore-flagged BW Rhine was attacked by an explosives-laden boat while unloading its cargo in Jeddah port. (Supplied: Hafnia)
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Updated 14 December 2020

Terrorist bomb attack targets gasoline tanker in Jeddah port

The Singapore-flagged BW Rhine was attacked by an explosives-laden boat while unloading its cargo in Jeddah port. (Supplied: Hafnia)
  • Explosion caused small fire which was extinguished by crew on board Hafnia-owned vessel
  • Saudi Arabia condemns threat to security and stability of global energy supplies

JEDDAH: Terrorists using a small boat laden with explosives attacked an oil tanker on Monday as it unloaded fuel at Jeddah port.

The attack caused an explosion and a fire on board the Singapore-flagged BW Rhine, which was carrying 60,000 tons of gasoline. The ship’s crew put out the fire and there were no casualties, but parts of the vessel’s hull were damaged.

“BW Rhine has been hit from an external source whilst discharging at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at approximately 00:40 local time on 14 December 2020, causing an explosion and subsequent fire onboard,” a Hafnia statement said.

“It is possible that some oil has escaped from the vessel, but this has not been confirmed and instrumentation currently indicates that oil levels on board are at the same level as before the incident,” Hafnia said.

It was the fourth attack on Saudi energy infrastructure in the past month, all blamed on Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen. Explosive-laden boats targeted a floating platform in Jazan on Nov. 13, a Saudi Aramco distribution station in Jeddah was attacked on Nov. 23, and two days later an explosion damaged a tanker at the Shuqaiq terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border.

“These acts of terrorism and vandalism, directed against vital installations, go beyond the Kingdom and its vital facilities, to the security and stability of energy supplies to the world and the global economy,” the Saudi Energy Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry urged the world to “stand together against such subversive terrorist acts, and take practical deterrent measures against the perpetrators and those who enable them.”

Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, said Monday’s explosion was a continuation of attacks on other oil facilities in the Kingdom, including Abqaiq and Khurais last year.

“Those attacks were initially claimed by the Houthis, although substantiated evidence proved the direct involvement of the Iranian regime using Iranian-made advanced conventional weapons, such as explosive-laden drones and cruise missiles,” he said.

Monday’s attack was also condemned by the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yusuf bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen. “These terrorist and criminal acts not only target the Kingdom, but also affect the security and stability of energy supplies in the world, as they threaten maritime traffic and the freedom of global trade, as well as coasts and regional waters with exposure to environmental disasters,” he said.

Before Monday’s explosion, the UN Security Council condemned the Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities in Jeddah last month, and restated their commitment to an inclusive, Yemeni-led and comprehensive political process.

But the Saudi political analyst Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News the attacks showed the Houthis were not interested in a political solution. “These targets make it clear that the Houthis are determined to represent a danger to the security of international navigation, in addition to the global economy,” he said.


Saudi women making their mark in science

Saudi women making their mark in science
Updated 19 January 2021

Saudi women making their mark in science

Saudi women making their mark in science

JEDDAH: Just 30 percent of women worldwide work in science, but Saudis are challenging this long-standing trend.
Women represent 58 percent of university students in Saudi Arabia, with many studying in science, technology and engineering and furthering their careers with studies overseas.
In a report by the Saudi Education Ministry, women outnumbered men in graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, information technology, mathematics, statistics, and physics.
Universities and research centers have adopted measures to support the inclusion of female scientists.
Ambitious, driven and facing challenges along the way to their success, here are the Saudi women scientists who have made a mark in the field for their extraordinary work.
Suha Kayum
Research engineer

With a career spanning 10 years, Kayum — a research engineer with Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center — was tasked with accelerating the evolution of software algorithms to enhance Aramco’s reservoir simulator, which helped the company cut costs.
Kayum was a developer for the company’s in-house basin and seismic simulators. In 2016, she designed and received a patent for an algorithm that enabled the first 1-billion cell basin simulation run.

Dr. Elaf Ahmed
Lab scientist

With a keen research interest in nano-organisms, Ahmed’s main focus while conducting postdoctoral work at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology was synthesis of environmental nano materials using electrochemically active biofilms.
She later joined the company’s Oil and Gas Treatment Division at Aramco’s Research and Development Center.
Her main focus at the division is to conduct research projects for water treatment technologies and find new ways to treat water found in oil and gas reservoirs.

Dr. Ilham Abuljadayel
Immunologist

In what could be one of the most profound achievements by a Saudi scientist, Dr. Ilham discovered the process of retrodifferentiation, a method also known as retrograde differentiation that treats blood diseases.
A common process for the maintenance of cell integrity against damaging agents, Dr. Ilham applied her findings in the first preclinical study in 2000 in collaboration with George Washington Medical Center, US, in two animal models of human diseases to study the utility of retrodifferentiated stem cells.
Her research has helped treat 390 patients with diseases ranging from sickle cell anaemia, multiple sclerosis, thalassaemia, and hepatitis C among others.
Dr. Abeer Al-Olayan
Petroleum scientist

With an academic and industrial background in various fields of chemistry spanning over 20 years, Dr. Abeer is a research scientist at Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center and is responsible for leading its chemicals development initiative.
As a fellow at MIT, she submitted a fellowship research abstract that focuses on reducing dependency on food-based chemicals to tackle drilling and subsurface challenges. She has 10 registered patents with the US Patent Office for the development of methods, materials and compositions in drilling and fluid transfer.

Dr. Malak Abed Althagafi
Physician-scientist

Diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at a young age, Althagafi got a first glimpse of what her future could be during her treatment. Her educational path started with the study of genetic diseases in children and led to molecular pathology before she focused on surgical oncology, molecular genetics and neuropathology.
Dr. Malak is one of the few American board-certified molecular neuropathologists in the world and has conducted research that focuses on decoding genetic mutations in tumors, specifically brain tumors in children.
She became part of the Saudi Human Genome Program in 2014. Her clinical and research interests are mainly in surgical oncology, pathology, molecular genetics pathology and neuropathology, especially its application for treating brain cancers.

Dr. Hind Al-Johani
Scientist of physical chemistry

Her research interest is in nano-catalysis. In 2017, this Saudi scientist discovered that by using the simple molecule of citrate ions (from citric acid) you could stabilize and control the structure of gold nanoparticles.
Using this new discovery, the findings showed that gold can carry drugs through the body without chemical side effects. Attaching antibodies can guide the nanoparticles to specific cells that need treatment. Her findings have had an impact on environmental chemistry where it may also be used for water purification or methods for capturing CO2 emissions.

Dr. Nouf Al-Numair
Molecular bioinformatics scientist
Dubbed the DNA decoder, her research focuses on predicting the early emergence of diseases through genetic mutations.
She has achieved this by merging molecular genetics and computer programming to predict the effects of mutations and provide patients with a personalized medical approach to treatment.
Using more than seven programming languages to analyze human genes, she has successfully published a number of papers with the findings.
Dr. Nouf pursued her career in STEM and is the first Saudi scientist to major in molecular genetics and programming biological information.