ENGIE’s Saudi expansion ‘firmly on track’

French company ENGIE established a dedicated holding company in Saudi Arabia in 2019 as part of a bid to bring all the group’s assets in the Kingdom under one entity. (ENGIE)
French company ENGIE established a dedicated holding company in Saudi Arabia in 2019 as part of a bid to bring all the group’s assets in the Kingdom under one entity. (ENGIE)
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Updated 07 January 2021

ENGIE’s Saudi expansion ‘firmly on track’

French company ENGIE established a dedicated holding company in Saudi Arabia in 2019 as part of a bid to bring all the group’s assets in the Kingdom under one entity. (ENGIE)
  • The company has hired 62 additional employees, bringing the total number of staff in the Kingdom to 2,000

RIYADH: ENGIE, the France-headquartered energy and services conglomerate, said this week that its expansion in Saudi Arabia is firmly on track, with its asset and project value in the Kingdom valued at over $8 billion, and plans to invest in assets worth an additional $6.34 billion by 2025.

The French company established a dedicated holding company in Saudi Arabia in 2019 as part of a bid to bring all the group’s assets in the Kingdom under one entity.

ENGIE is now a major player in the development of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy, co-generation, energy efficiency and other green initiatives. In the past 12 months, it has secured nine new contracts for projects in facilities management, a seawater reverse osmosis plant and projects for the provision of energy services through its service providers and in partnership with Saudi actors.

In February, the company was awarded the Yanbu-4 independent water producer desalination plant by the Saudi Water Partnership Company , projected to supply 450,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated seawater using clean energy.

ENGIE operations now provide 10 percent of the Kingdom’s electricity and 11 percent of its potable water.

The company has hired 62 additional employees, bringing the total number of staff in the Kingdom to 2,000. ENGIE plans to expand its workforce to over 5,000 employees by 2025.


Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
Updated 33 min 2 sec ago

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
  • They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million

JAKARTA: Indonesia has launched a campaign to help small firms in the country compete for millions of dollars-worth of food trade in Saudi Arabia.

The government aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve the quality and competitiveness of their products to meet the Kingdom’s required standards, Indonesian trade and commerce officials have said.

Under normal circumstances, before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, around 1.5 million Indonesians a year make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah and hundreds of thousands work in the Kingdom.

They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million.

To meet the Saudi food regulator’s standards, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), the Ministry of Trade, and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small-Medium Enterprises have teamed up to assist SMEs in improving products such as bottled chili sauce, soya sauce, coffee, tea, and sugar that are in highest demand among Indonesians in Saudi Arabia.

Kadin chairman, Rosan Roeslani, told Arab News: “We have facilitated five small-medium enterprises that produce soya sauce to obtain Saudi Food and Drug Authority approval for distribution, while nine tea and coffee producers are in the pipeline to also obtain a license. We have also submitted the application for four bottled chili sauce producers.”

While travel and pilgrimage restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he said that the time before things get back to normal will be used to prepare the SMEs — which contribute 60 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and employ up to 90 percent of its workforce — for expansion into the Saudi market as soon as the pilgrimage sector resumes.

“We still have time to groom them as there are many aspects such as hygiene, and consistency in their product quality and quantity that they need to improve,” Roeslani added.

In 2014, the Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a regulation obliging catering companies that provided food and drink to Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to source their products from Indonesian producers whenever possible.

Indonesia’s vice religious affairs minister, Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi, said that as each Indonesian pilgrim received food from caterers an average 75 times during his or her pilgrimage, demand was high but supply in Saudi Arabia remained limited and similar products from India and Thailand had been used instead.

Kasan Muhri, director general for export development at the Ministry of Trade, told Arab News that the program to prepare the SMEs had been in the making since 2017 and officials eventually decided to launch it this year despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Just because there are few Umrah pilgrims now and this year’s Hajj remains uncertain, it does not mean that the market is gone.

“People from around the world would still go to Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage, not just Indonesians, so we are doing this to anticipate the market when the economy revives, and things are recovered. We don’t want to be left behind,” Muhri said.

Besides food and beverage products, officials say they are also looking into the possibility of exporting items such as goodie bags, prayer beads, and other pilgrimage accessories made by Indonesian SMEs.