Delek may sell Israeli gas field stake to UAE’s Mubadala for $1.1bn

Delek may sell Israeli gas field stake to UAE’s Mubadala for $1.1bn
Delek is selling its Tamar stake to comply with government moves to open the market to more competition. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 26 April 2021

Delek may sell Israeli gas field stake to UAE’s Mubadala for $1.1bn

Delek may sell Israeli gas field stake to UAE’s Mubadala for $1.1bn
  • The deal, if finalized, would be one of the most significant developments since Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize ties last year

JERUSALEM: Delek Drilling said on Monday it had signed a non-binding deal to sell its stake in the east Mediterranean natural gas field Tamar to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum for $1.1 billion.
The deal, if finalized, would be one of the most significant developments since Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize ties last year.
The Tamar gas field is one of Israel’s primary energy sources and is able to produce 11 billion cubic meters of gas each year. That is enough to cover much of the Israeli market as well as exports to Egypt and Jordan. Delek holds a 22% stake in the field, which is operated by Chevron.
Delek, which also holds a major stake in the even larger Leviathan gas field nearby, is selling its Tamar stake to comply with government moves to open the market to more competition.
Delek said the aim was to try to complete the deal, which would require approval by Israel’s Energy Ministry, by the end of May.


Saudi Arabia targets energy reduction worth $6.6bn by 2030, says CEO

Saudi Arabia targets energy reduction worth $6.6bn by 2030, says CEO
Updated 3 min 6 sec ago

Saudi Arabia targets energy reduction worth $6.6bn by 2030, says CEO

Saudi Arabia targets energy reduction worth $6.6bn by 2030, says CEO
  • Its services include retrofitting buildings and streetlighting and promotes the use of renewable energy, including rooftop solar PV

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Energy Services Company (Tarshid) said it plans to reduce energy consumption in the Kingdom by SR25 billion ($6.6 billion) by 2030.

“We are targeting integrated savings through the Saudi Energy Efficiency Program (SEEP), and in the public sector alone, we will be saving 8 terawatts and SR2.5 billion annually,” Tarshid CEO Waled Alghreri told CNBC Arabia in an interview.

Tarshid was established by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to pioneer energy efficiency in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy.

Its services include retrofitting buildings and streetlighting and promotes the use of renewable energy, including rooftop solar PV.

Its Energy Efficiency Program is a rare example of a country creating a dedicating, integrated initiative to target energy efficiency, said Alghreri.

Most such programs are scattered and decentralized and do not produce encouraging results, he said.


Amazon to rebrand Souq.com Egypt site this year

Amazon to rebrand Souq.com Egypt site this year
Updated 46 min 8 sec ago

Amazon to rebrand Souq.com Egypt site this year

Amazon to rebrand Souq.com Egypt site this year
  • Souq.com sellers in Egypt encouraged to set up on Amazon.eg

CAIRO: Amazon said it plans to rebrand the Egyptian version of Souq.com as Amazon.eg this year, following similar moves in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Sales partners previously registered on Amazon’s Souq.com affiliate can access their accounts through the Amazon Seller Center in preparation for selling their products on the Amazon Egypt website immediately after its launch.

Amazon acquired Middle East etailer Souq.com in 2017 from Syrian entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar.

On May 1, 2019, Souq.com UAE became known as Amazon.ae. On June 17 last year, Amazon launched its dedicated Saudi website Amazon.sa, rebranding the old Souq.com website.

Amazon announced plans in March to hire 1,500 new employees in Saudi Arabia and add 11 buildings to its network. The expansion will boost storage capacity in the Kingdom by 89 percent and its geographical delivery network by 58 percent.

The company operates an extensive logistics network and local operations across Egypt, which includes the main warehouse supported by 15 delivery stations across the country.


Sawiris creates $1.4 billion fund for gold mining assets, seeks outside investors

Sawiris creates $1.4 billion fund for gold mining assets, seeks outside investors
Updated 27 July 2021

Sawiris creates $1.4 billion fund for gold mining assets, seeks outside investors

Sawiris creates $1.4 billion fund for gold mining assets, seeks outside investors
  • Fund took $100 million from an unnamed strategic partner
  • Fund will be open to outside investors

LUXEMBOURG: La Mancha Holdings, owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, has launched a $1.4 billion fund to hold his gold mining assets and pursue new opportunities in precious and electric-vehicle metals.

The fund, La Mancha Fund SCSp, took on $100 million from an unnamed “strategic partner” and will soon be open to outside investors, Luxembourg-based La Mancha said in an emailed statement.

“Creating a fund is the natural consequence of what we have been doing since we vended-in our operational assets into Evolution and Endeavour in 2015,” Sawiris said in the statement. “Transitioning to a fund structure and welcoming new investors is timely when we are seeing opportunities in a gold mining sector which is fragmented and needs further consolidation.”

The fund will mainly be focused on gold and precious metals miners, but may also invest in EV battery metals. It will seek to acquire significant stakes in listed junior mineral resource companies with the goal of creating value over a three-to-five-year horizon.

As part of its mandate, the fund will seek to improve ESG metrics within its portfolio
companies during its investment tenure, it said in the statement.


Saudi Central Bank steps up efforts to increase locals in financial sector

Saudi Central Bank steps up efforts to increase locals in financial sector
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi Central Bank steps up efforts to increase locals in financial sector

Saudi Central Bank steps up efforts to increase locals in financial sector
  • SAMA working with Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Human Resources Development Fund
  • Initiative could create 200,000 jobs - economist

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has signed an agreement with other government entities to increase the number of locals in the financial sector, a move that might lead to the creation of more than 200,000 jobs for nationals.

SAMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), in partnership with the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf), SPA reported on Monday.

“This MoU aims to increase localization, provide human competencies capable of meeting the requirements of the financial sector, and create more than 203,000 jobs in the sector,” independent economist Fadhel Al Buainain told Arab News.

The measures will establish sustainable strategic steps to ensure the creation of more jobs and prepare young people to fill them, he said.

For decades, the Saudi financial sector was made up only of banks, but since the entry of new financial entities such as investment institutions, financial companies and the insurance sector, localization of jobs has become more important, to achieve sufficiency, strategic security and address unemployment, said Al Buainain.

Supporting specialized financial colleges and creating a college for banking sciences are among the tools that will help achieve the sector’s localization goals, he said.


Global interest in clean hydrogen surges as Mideast works to boost supply

Global interest in clean hydrogen surges as Mideast works to boost supply
Updated 27 July 2021

Global interest in clean hydrogen surges as Mideast works to boost supply

Global interest in clean hydrogen surges as Mideast works to boost supply
  • Hydrogen could account for 25 percent of global energy consumption by 2050

DUBAI: Interest in clean hydrogen is rising across the globe, as countries explore ways to decarbonize, a new World Energy Council report showed.

Hydrogen could account for between 6 percent and 25 percent of global energy consumption by 2050, according to the publication titled Hydrogen on the Horizon: ready, almost set, go?.

Different regions play a role in the current hydrogen energy transition, the report said, with countries in the Middle East and North Africa focusing on the supply side.

Saudi Arabia, in July, unveiled plans for a $5 billion green hydrogen facility – the world’s largest such project at the time. Other Middle East countries, including the UAE, Oman and Egypt have also announced major projects to exploit the expected demand.

An earlier report by Dii Desert Energy and Roland Berger said the Gulf region alone could create a $200 billion green hydrogen industry by 2050.

The region also benefits from its strategic geographic location being between the European and Asian markets, which the World Energy Council report described as demand-focused markets.

Different countries also have different ideas of how to utilize clean hydrogen, the report said.

Asia shows a greater focus on hydrogen as a liquid fuel in the form of ammonia, and as a fuel for shipping and road transport, while Europe wants to use hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industries and mass transportation.

“How countries want to produce and consume clean energy, and their immediate national priorities, will shape large-scale hydrogen development and end-user uptake,” Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO of the World Energy Council said.

It is important to identify user priorities to “better understand hydrogen’s real potential,” she said.

Jeroen van Hoof, global energy, utilities, and resources leader at PwC said this decade is crucial to develop hydrogen projects – including infrastructure to produce, import, distribute and use hydrogen at a large scale.

“If we do this successfully over the next few years, it can pave the way for hydrogen demand to grow exponentially beyond 2030,” he added.

But the report identified several challenges in this global endeavor, including concerns on the cost of low-carbon hydrogen, which is still more expensive than other energy sources.

The report said countries need to collaborate to create a global value chain and unlock the potential of hydrogen for the global economy.