Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals

Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
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GE has been an active contributor to the Kingdom’s power industry for the past 80 years. (Supplied)
Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
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The company is proud of its Advanced Gas Path Technology, which holds two world records for efficiency. AGPT was installed on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf plant. (Supplied)
Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
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The company is proud of its Advanced Gas Path Technology, which holds two world records for efficiency. AGPT was installed on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf plant. (Supplied)
Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
4 / 5
The company is proud of its Advanced Gas Path Technology, which holds two world records for efficiency. AGPT was installed on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf plant. (Supplied)
Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
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The company is proud of its Advanced Gas Path Technology, which holds two world records for efficiency. AGPT was installed on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf plant. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 June 2021

Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals

Helping Saudi Arabia achieve its carbon goals
  • The Kingdom is committed to building a more energy-efficient and lower-carbon future

JEDDAH: As the global energy industry prepares for the future of decarbonization and embraces new forms of energy such as hydrogen, Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead with its plan to be a global leader in forging a greener world.

Saudi Arabia was one of the key participants in the US-hosted Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day (April 22), also the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Kingdom has developed its first nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, which included carbon mitigation goals through 2030. Through the terms of the NDC, Saudi Arabia will continue to pursue its core goal to diversify its economy, but also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact of climate change.

In line with this, in March Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a $5-billion green fuel plant in NEOM, powered entirely by sun and wind power, in a bid to become the world’s largest supplier of hydrogen by 2025, Bloomberg reported.

“The Kingdom is committed to building a more energy-efficient and lower-carbon future, having announced goals to generate 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2030, with the remainder fueled by gas, displacing oil currently used for power generation in the country,” Hisham Bahkali, president and CEO of GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, told Arab News.

“Decarbonization is not a new national goal but instead one that Saudi Arabia has worked on for many years, including by promoting the transition to more efficient power generation. These efforts were accelerated under Saudi Vision 2030,” Bahkali said.

During Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the G20 presidency, energy ministers endorsed a critical new approach to carbon management — the circular carbon economy — which comprehensively supports a sustainable future for clean energy.

As an active contributor to the Kingdom’s power industry for the past 80 years, GE is well-positioned to help the Kingdom achieve its decarbonized goals. In October 2020, the American multinational conglomerate announced its plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions at its facilities and operations by 2030.

The company is proud of its innovative Advanced Gas Path (AGP) gas turbine upgrade solution. AGP was installed on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf plant, helping to enhance efficiency by up to 3.3 percent per unit.

This technology can simultaneously increase output, efficiency and availability, while reducing fuel consumption and the impact on the environment.

“Converting simple cycle power plants to combined cycle — something that can be accomplished in as little as 16 months — can enable them to produce up to 50 percent more electricity using the same amount of fuel. This means fewer emissions per megawatt-hour of power generated,” Bahkali said.

Bahkali believes GE’s H-class gas turbines can help Saudi Arabia reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour of power generated, compared to currently installed older gas turbine fleets. The technology is already used in the UAE, where it was installed at the 1.8 GW Hamriyah Independent Power Plant in Sharjah, which is expected to be the most efficient in the Middle East.

According to Bahkali, the technology can help Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the UAE’s roads.

“As part of its overall energy plan, Saudi Arabia also aims to have around 16 GW of wind power by 2030,” Bahkali said. “We are well-positioned to help meet this goal through GE’s Cypress onshore wind turbine technology, digital solutions and long-term commitments to operational performance through our full-service agreements.”

GE’s Arabelle steam turbine can also support the Kingdom’s goal to have nuclear power plants, as 50 percent of the world’s nuclear power plants use GE Steam turbine technology. This technology is capable of generating up to 1,750 MW of dependable CO2-free power from a single turbine, with proven reliability of 99.96 percent.

GE also has the largest fleet experience in using alternative low heating value fuels, including hydrogen for power generation.

“Given the large GE gas turbine fleet installed in the Kingdom and the presence of our power-focused Hot & Harsh R&D Lab at the GE Manufacturing and Technology Center campus in Dammam, there is potential to start work on pilot projects with local partners in Saudi Arabia that would introduce CO2-free hydrogen into the gas mix for power generation,” Bahkali said.


Last 2 of 6 Palestinians inmates who escaped maximum-security Israeli prison recaptured

Updated 52 sec ago

Last 2 of 6 Palestinians inmates who escaped maximum-security Israeli prison recaptured

Last 2 of 6 Palestinians inmates who escaped maximum-security Israeli prison recaptured
  • The two were captured during an Israeli army raid in their hometown of Jenin in the occupied West Bank
  • The six tunneled out of their cell on Sept. 6, exposing security flaws from the vaunted "Israeli Guantanamo"

JERUSALEM: The last two of six Palestinian prisoners who escaped a maximum-security Israeli prison two weeks ago were rearrested early Sunday, the Israeli military said.
The two were captured during an Israeli army raid in their hometown of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, closing an intense, embarrassing pursuit that exposed security flaws after the six tunneled out of their cell on Sept. 6.
Palestinian media reported that clashes erupted in Jenin when Israeli troops entered the city, but a spokesperson for Israeli police said the two escapees, Munadil Nafayat and Iham Kamamji, were arrested without resistance from a house where they had taken refuge and were taken for questioning.
Fouad Kamamji, Iham’s father, told The Associated Press that his son had called him when the Israeli troops surrounded the house and said he will surrender “in order not to endanger the house owners.”
The escapes set off a massive pursuit operation that captured the first four inmates in two separate operations in northern Israel. All six inmates come from Jenin.
Five of the prisoners are from the Islamic Jihad militant group, with four of them serving life sentences, and the sixth is a member of the secular Fatah group of President Mahmoud Abbas.
For the Palestinians, the prisoners who dug the tunnel for months and escaped were “heroes.” For Israel, they were “terrorists” who took part or planned attacks that targeted the Israeli military and civilians.


Fearful US residents in Afghanistan hiding out from Taliban

Fearful US residents in Afghanistan hiding out from Taliban
Updated 37 min 6 sec ago

Fearful US residents in Afghanistan hiding out from Taliban

Fearful US residents in Afghanistan hiding out from Taliban
  • UN human rights chief says there is evidence the Taliban government has not kept its promise to let Americans and Afghans with proper travel documents leave the country and to not retaliate against those who helped the US

Every night in yet another house in Afghanistan’s capital, a US green card-holding couple from California take turns sleeping, with one always awake to watch over their three young children so they can flee if they hear the footsteps of the Taliban.
They’ve moved seven times in two weeks, relying on relatives to take them in and feed them. Their days are an uncomfortable mix of fear and boredom, restricted to a couple of rooms where they read, watch TV and play “The Telephone Game” in which they whisper secrets and pass them on, a diversion for the children that has the added benefit of keeping them quiet.
All of it goes on during the agonizing wait for a call from anybody who can help them get out. A US State Department official contacted them several days ago to tell them they were being assigned a case worker, but they haven’t heard a word since. They tried and failed to get on a flight and now are talking to an international rescue organization.
“We are scared and keep hiding ourselves more and more,” the mother said in a text message to The Associated Press. “Whenever we feel breathless, I pray.”
Through messages, emails and phone conversations with loved ones and rescue groups, AP has pieced together what day-to-day life has been like for some of those left behind after the US military’s chaotic withdrawal — that includes US citizens, permanent US resident green-card holders and visa applicants who aided US troops during the 20-year war.
Those contacted by AP — who are not being identified for their own safety — described a fearful, furtive existence of hiding in houses for weeks, keeping the lights off at night, moving from place to place, and donning baggy clothing and burqas to avoid detection if they absolutely must venture out.
All say they are scared the ruling Taliban will find them, throw them in jail, perhaps even kill them because they are Americans or had worked for the US government. And they are concerned that the Biden administration’s promised efforts to get them out have stalled.
When the phone rang in an apartment in Kabul a few weeks ago, the US green card holder who answered — a truck driver from Texas visiting family — was hopeful it was the US State Department finally responding to his pleas to get him and his parents on a flight out.
Instead, it was the Taliban.
“We won’t hurt you. Let’s meet. Nothing will happen,” the caller said, according to the truck driver’s brother, who lives with him in Texas and spoke to him afterwards. The call included a few ominous words: “We know where you are.”
That was enough to send the man fleeing from the Kabul apartment where he had been staying with his mother, his two teenage brothers and his father, who was in particular danger because he had worked for years for a US contractor overseeing security guards.
“They are hopeless,” said the brother in Texas. “They think, ‘We’re stuck in the apartment and no one is here to help us.’ They’ve been left behind.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified to Congress this past week that the US government had urged US citizens and green cards holders to leave Afghanistan since March, even offering to pay for their flights.
Blinken said the US government does not track US green card holders in Afghanistan but he estimated several thousand remain in the country, along with about 100 US citizens. He said the US government was still working to get them out.
As of Friday, at least 64 American citizens and 31 green card holders have been evacuated since the US military left last month, according to the State Department. More were possibly aboard a flight from Mazar-e-Sharif on Friday, but the administration did not release figures.
Neither the US nor the Taliban have offered a clear explanation why so few have been evacuated.
That is hardly encouraging to another green card holder from Texas, a grandmother who recently watched from a rooftop as militants pulled up in a half-dozen police cars and Humvees to take over the house across the street.
“The Taliban. The Taliban,” she whispered into the phone to her American son in a Dallas suburb, a conversation the woman recounted to the AP. “The women and kids are screaming. They’re dragging the men to the cars.”
She and her husband, who came to Kabul several months ago to visit relatives, are now terrified that the Taliban will not only uncover their American ties but those of their son back in Texas, who had worked for a US military contractor for years.
Her son, who is also not being named, says he called US embassy officials in Kabul several times before it shut down, filled out all the necessary paperwork, and even enlisted the help of a veteran’s group and members of Congress.
He doesn’t know what more he can do.
“What will we do if they knock on the door?” the 57-year-old mother asked on one of her daily calls. “What will we do?”
“Nothing is going to happen,” replied the son.
Asked in a recent interview if he believed that, the son shot back, exasperated, “What else am I supposed to tell her?”
The Taliban government has promised to let Americans and Afghans with proper travel documents leave the country and to not retaliate against those who helped the United States. But UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said there is evidence they are not keeping their word. She warned Monday that the country had entered a “new and perilous phase,” and cited credible reports of reprisal killings of Afghan military members and allegations of the Taliban hunting house-to-house for former government officials and people who cooperated with US military and US companies.
AP reporters in Afghanistan are not aware of any US citizens or green card holders being picked up or arrested by the Taliban. But they have confirmed that several Afghans who worked for the previous government and military were taken in for questioning recently and released.
The California family, which includes a 9-year-old girl and two boys, ages 8 and 6, say they have been on the run for the past two weeks after the Taliban knocked on the door of their relative’s apartment asking about the Americans staying there.
The family moved to Sacramento four years ago after the mother got a special immigrant visa because she worked for US-funded projects in Kabul promoting women’s rights. Now, the mother says both she and her daughter have been wearing burqas each time they move to their next “prison-home.”
The father, who worked as an Uber driver, has been having panic attacks as they wait for help.
“I don’t see the US government stepping in and getting them out anytime soon,” said the children’s elementary school principal, Nate McGill, who has been exchanging daily texts with the family.
Distraction has become the mother’s go-to tool to shield her children from the stress. She quizzes them on what they want to do when they get back to California and what they want to be when they grow up.
Their daughter hopes to become a doctor someday, while their sons say they want to become teachers.
But distraction is not always enough. After a relative told the daughter that the Taliban were taking away small girls, she hid in a room and refused to come out until her dad puffed himself up and said he could beat the Taliban, making her laugh.
The mother smiled, hiding her fear from her daughter, but later texted her principal.
“This life is almost half-death.”


Dubai awards honor construction innovators

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 35 min 22 sec ago

Dubai awards honor construction innovators

Photo/Supplied
  • The Sustainable Initiative of the Year award was given for revised structural design guidelines for the Emirates, which seeks to drive down the consumption of material having a massive impact on sustainability

dmg events, organizers of the inaugural The Big 5 Construction Impact Awards, announced the winners of 15 categories last week during a glittering awards ceremony held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The awards, a platform to recognize sustainable development, technological and digital achievements in the construction industry, were judged by an independent panel of experts and thought leaders from the industry. They assessed hundreds of submissions and highlighted the winners who have shown innovation and project excellence through their success stories.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East LLC (CSCEC) and ACCIONA took home multiple awards on the night. Other winners included: HAS Engineering LLC, The Arab Contractors Company, AECOM, Turner and Townsend, OBMI, Expomobilia, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, Emaar, B3G Engineering Services FZ-LLC, Alpin Limited and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.
Koen Meert, group director structural design, Emaar, received the award on behalf of Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, and Emaar. He said: “It’s a great recognition to receive this award at The Big 5, the biggest organization in terms of construction.”
The Sustainable Initiative of the Year award was given for revised structural design guidelines for the Emirates, which seeks to drive down the consumption of material having a massive impact on sustainability.

WINNERS ANDCATEGORIES

• Best Use of Technology of the Year: HAS Engineering LLC

• Community of the Future: The Arab Contractors Company

• Digital Transformation of the Year: AECOM

• Digital Twin Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Digitization Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Innovative Construction Organization of the Year: ACCIONA

• Off-site Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Partnership of the Year: Turner and Townsend

• Sustainability Champion of the Year: OBMI

• Sustainability Leader of the Year: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

• Sustainable Construction Organization of the Year: ACCIONA

• Sustainable Construction Project of the Year: Expomobilia

• Sustainable Initiative of the Year: Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, Emaar

•Technology Leader of the Year: B3G Engineering Services FZ-LLC

• Workforce of the Future Initiative: Alpin Limited

“Sustainability is such an important topic. We are therefore happy to be able to achieve this with the authorities as a joint effort for Dubai and the construction industry in general. The guideline submitted is now applicable for the whole industry, and every new building constructed in 2021 and later will be following it,” added Meert.
Yu Tao, president and CEO of CSCEC, said: “Over the years, The Big 5 keeps improving. It’s the first year for the award and it’s not an easy award. We have gone through six months with submission and verification and have won against very fierce competition; The Big 5 is keeping a very high quality with this award.”


Emirates NBD, Mastercard launch new card programs to power Expo 2020 experience

A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)
A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 22 min 13 sec ago

Emirates NBD, Mastercard launch new card programs to power Expo 2020 experience

A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)

As a premier partner and the official banking partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Emirates NBD Group, a banking group in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, has joined hands with Mastercard, the official payment technology partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, to create two exclusive new card programs: Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card and the Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card.
The limited-edition cards are designed to enhance the Expo 2020 Dubai experience for both residents and visitors from across the globe, while also elevating their time spent in the UAE with memorable possibilities to discover year-round.
Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card
The Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card is a digital-first offering, issued via a dedicated mobile app, Joyn from Emirates NBD. The product is available to both UAE residents and international visitors for use while in the UAE and provides a fully digital payments experience. The benefits will merge a specially curated selection of offers from Emirates NBD’s Bon Appétit, LiveWell and Good Times programs, as well as offers from Mastercard’s Priceless Platform.

FASTFACT

The limited-edition cards are designed to enhance the Expo 2020 Dubai experience for both residents and visitors from across the globe.

With 25 million visits expected at Expo 2020 Dubai, the card will provide access to privileges, deals and discounts of up to 50 percent at more than 2,000 shopping, dining, wellness, and entertainment touchpoints, as well as access to exclusive expo-related offers. The reloadable card will provide an enhanced customer experience with personalized offers, while also enabling international visitors to spend in the local UAE dirham currency.

Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card
 The Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card offers exceptional value with a wide range of benefits across key expo partners. Cardholders can earn up to three Emirates Islamic SmartMiles for every 1 dirham ($0.27) spent as well as gain U By Emaar Gold Tier Status, 50 percent cashback on their first Expo 2020 Dubai ticket transaction, and access to exclusive travel, hotels and lifestyle privileges offered by Mastercard.

Other benefits include 10 percent cashback on fuel, complimentary valet parking service at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, complimentary golf sessions, exclusive dining offers, and access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Customers can enjoy the flexibility to instantly redeem their Emirates Islamic SmartMiles for flights, hotels, and retail transactions anywhere in the world. Emirates Islamic SmartMiles can also be exchanged with multiple partner loyalty programs.


What We Are Reading Today: They Will Have to Die Now

What We Are Reading Today: They Will Have to Die Now
Updated 19 September 2021

What We Are Reading Today: They Will Have to Die Now

What We Are Reading Today: They Will Have to Die Now

Author: James Verini

A searing narrative of the battle of Mosul, Iraq, described by the Pentagon as “the most significant urban combat since World War II.”
In this masterpiece of war journalism based on months of frontline reporting, National Magazine Award winner James Verini describes the climactic battle in the struggle against Daesh, says a review on goodreads.com.
Focusing on two brothers from Mosul and their families, a charismatic Iraqi major who marched north from Baghdad to seize the city with his troops, rowdy Kurdish militiamen, and a hard-bitten American sergeant, Verini describes a war for the soul of a country, a war over and for history.
Seeing the battle in a larger, centuries-long sweep, he connects the bloody-minded philosophy of Daesh with the ancient Assyrians who founded Mosul.