EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap
The the body of a car is seen at the assembly line for the VW ID 3 electric car of German carmaker Volkswagen in Dresden. (AFP)
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Updated 08 July 2021

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap

EU prepares to send petrol cars to the scrap heap
  • Sources in Brussels expect the commission’s plan, part of a climate climate strategy, to foresee an end to new registrations of petrol engines from 2035

BRUSSELS: Europe’s prestigious carmakers lead the world in perfecting the internal combustion engine — but the days of the petrol motor are numbered, and the continent is changing gear.
On Wednesday next week, the European Commission will unveil its plan to reduce carbon emissions from new vehicles to zero within the next decade, to fight climate change.
The EU plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, but petrol and diesel cars remains the continent’s main mode of transport and the pride of its globally admired marques.
Sources in Brussels expect the commission’s plan, part of a climate climate strategy, to foresee an end to new registrations of gas guzzlers from 2035.
Europe’s existing emissions limit of less than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer was to have been reduced by 37.5 percent in 2030.
Exact figures are still under discussion, but Brussels is now expected to seek a 60 percent reduction by 2030 and a 100 percent reduction just five years later in 2035.
The economic damage the coronavirus pandemic has damaged the road vehicle market as a whole, but electric cars have been an exception, with growth accelerating.
Battery-powered cars represented eight percent of new registrations in western Europe in the first five months of this year, with 356,000 new vehicles.
This, noted analyst Matthias Schmidt, represents more than in the whole of 2019.
The impending new regulations will increase this trend, as they will not only spell doom for classic petrol and diesel motors but effectively force out hybrid and hybrid-rechargeable models.
These had once been seen as a transitional technology, a key product for an industry that boasts of employing 14.6 million workers in Europe.
The car lobby is resigned to going along with the changeover, but wants help from Europe, in particular in terms of developing a network of recharging points for battery cars.
“Under the right conditions, we are open to even higher CO2 reduction targets in 2030,” said Oliver Zipse, president of the carmakers’ association ACEA and chief executive of BMW.
The industry is divided about the best way forward, with some executives warning too quick a transition will drive up prices and favor Chinese competitors, which have an advance in battery technology.
But Europe’s giant, Volkswagen, which represents one sale in four on the continent, has followed US champion Tesla in backing an all-electric future.
In 2015, the firm was at the heart of a scandal over faked emissions tests on diesel motors, and is keen to restore its image with the public and regulators.
“There is a huge conflict going on at ACEA level,” market analyst Schmidt explained.
“Volkswagen was forced to go early into electric vehicles because of Dieselgate, to improve their image. they have made huge investments and now they have got the products ready to meet CO2 legislation.
“They are in a perfect position to gain market share, and they will be happy to see others go to the wall.”
Volkswagen already plans to stop selling vehicle with internal combustion engines between 2033 and 2035.
“In general a car remains on the road for 15 years. If we want transport to be carbon free by 2050, we need the last combustion-driven car to be sold by 2035 at the latest,” said Diane Strauss, of pressure group Transport and Environment.
The NGO’s latest report, published in June, gives Volkswagen and Volvo good marks for their preparations, with Renault and Hyundai a little behind them.
But BMW, Daimler (which owns the Mercedes brand), Stellantis (Peugeot, Citrion and Fiat) and Toyota are seen as lacking ambition and remaining too wed to hybrids.
MEP Pascal Canfin, chair of the environment committee in the European Parliament, said the 2035 target date is a good compromise.
He said 2030 would be too soon for industry and workers to adapt, while 2040 would be too late for Europe’s climate goals.
But Canfin is holding out for a fund of “several billion” euros to help fund the transition.


Yemen replaces central bank governor, deputy governor - statement

Yemen replaces central bank governor, deputy governor - statement
Updated 6 sec ago

Yemen replaces central bank governor, deputy governor - statement

Yemen replaces central bank governor, deputy governor - statement

Yemen replaces central bank governor, deputy governor - statement

Developing...


Aramco chief calls for a realistic approach to energy transition

Aramco chief calls for a realistic approach to energy transition
Updated 06 December 2021

Aramco chief calls for a realistic approach to energy transition

Aramco chief calls for a realistic approach to energy transition
  • US oil CEOs also stress need for fossil fuels despite push for cleaner energy

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nassir on Monday rejected what he called a “deeply assumption” that the entire world can run on alternatives and the vast global energy system can be totally transformed, virtually overnight.

He was speaking at a global energy conference devoted to future technologies and low-carbon strategies in Houston.

The Aramco chief said several highly unrealistic scenarios about the future of energy are clouding the picture such as investments worth “roughly $115 trillion will be made in less than 30 years.”

“Energy security, economic development, and affordability imperatives are clearly not receiving enough attention,” he said.

“There are still no truly viable alternatives to conventional fuels in aviation, shipping, and even trucking.”

His global counterparts at the World Petroleum Conference also affirmed the need for more oil for decades to come. 

“We in fact are going into a period of scarcity. And I think that for the first time, in a long time, we will see a buyer looking for a barrel of oil, as opposed to a barrel of oil looking for a buyer,” said Jeff Miller, CEO of energy services firm Halliburton.

World fossil fuel demand has rebounded sharply in 2021, with natural gas already at pre-pandemic levels and oil nearing levels reached in 2019. That comes even as large global majors, especially those based in Europe, are limiting exploration and production in an attempt to shift to renewable power development and as governments promote efforts to reduce cut carbon emissions to deal with rising worldwide temperatures.

The Aramco chief said due to the mounting pressure to stop all investments in oil and gas, the upstream capex has fallen by more than 50 percent between 2014 and last year, from $700 billion to $300 billion.

“Consequently, supplies have started to lag. This is also hurting spare oil production capacity, which is declining sharply. Yet this is happening against the backdrop of healthy demand growth.,” Nasser said.

Oil rose 3 percent a barrel to about $72 on Monday on hopes the omicron variant would be less damaging to oil demand.


IMF delegation arrives in Lebanon, to meet PM Mikati on Tuesday

IMF delegation arrives in Lebanon, to meet PM Mikati on Tuesday
Updated 06 December 2021

IMF delegation arrives in Lebanon, to meet PM Mikati on Tuesday

IMF delegation arrives in Lebanon, to meet PM Mikati on Tuesday

BEIRUT: A delegation from the International Monetary Fund arrived in Lebanon on Monday and will meet Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said on Twitter.
The delegation, led by Ernesto Ramirez, will stay for few days during which they will meet with Lebanese officials and the ministerial committee negotiating with the IMF.
They will discuss strategies to be built on early next year, when an expanded mission will come to negotiate the details of an expected economic and financial recovery program for Lebanon. 


Egypt reveals plans for electric cars, 3,000 charging stations 

Egypt reveals plans for electric cars, 3,000 charging stations 
Updated 06 December 2021

Egypt reveals plans for electric cars, 3,000 charging stations 

Egypt reveals plans for electric cars, 3,000 charging stations 

CAIRO: Egypt is poised to sign a deal that will see the production of electric vehicles in the country, Minister of the Public Business Sector Hisham Tawfik has said.

Three companies are currently competing for the right to produce the cars, but the names of these firms were not disclosed by the minister. 

Tawfik stressed that the state-owned El Nasr Governmental Vehicles Company will produce only one model of electric car.

He also revealed 3,000 electricity charging stations will be created across three governorates, with a new company set to be established to manage these facilities in partnership with a sovereign company with a 90 percent share.

The Egyptian government has finished providing all incentives for electric cars, including preparation and special support for the buyer, in addition to subsidizing the price of electricity.

Last month, the Egyptian Ministry of Public Business Sector announced that negotiations with the Chinese Dongfeng company had stopped as a result of a failure to reach an agreement to reduce the price of the imported component sufficiently  enough to enable the Nasr Automotive Company to produce and launch the car at a competitive price.

The Ministry stated at the time that it would, in cooperation with the Metallurgical Industries Holding co and the Nasr Automobile Company, open new channels of communication with one of the specialised global consulting offices to identify an alternative partner, and it is expected that positive results will be reached before the end of November.

Egypt had signed the framework agreement with the Chinese company, Dongfeng, to produce the E70 car in January 2021, after a series of negotiations that took more time than expected due to the emergence of the coronavirus at the beginning of 2020.


Oman launches its second largest oil, gas project

Oman launches its second largest oil, gas project
Updated 06 December 2021

Oman launches its second largest oil, gas project

Oman launches its second largest oil, gas project

RIYADH: The Petroleum Development Oman on Monday launched Yibal Khuff oil and gas project worth SR9.7 million ($2.6 million).

The launching ceremony of PDO’s second largest project was held under the auspices of Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik Al-Said. 

Spanning an area of 1.68 square kilometers, the project at its peak will have a capacity to produce 20,000 barrels of crude and 5 million cubic meters of gas a day, said PDO top official Abdul-Amir bin Abdul-Huddein Al-Ajmi.

Al-Ajmi said Yibal Khuff is the first project that includes a completely qualified Omani staff who worked on the project in its various phases, starting from design until the end of operations, including 1,200 individuals in the construction works, and 200 qualified welders.

Yibal Khuff allocated a scope of work for small and medium enterprises since its inception, as services were provided by Omani companies. 

This project has achieved several significant firsts, including the first to deliver the tallest column ever fabricated for PDO in Oman. This “Made in Oman’ acid gas recovery unit absorber stands at 48 meters high, four meters in diameter, and weighs 291 tons,” reported Times of Oman. 

It has also delivered one of PDO’s first steam turbine generators, taking the heat from some of the facilities’ processes and using it to generate steam. The plant will be able to generate 13 MW of electrical power, supplementing the 45 MW of the Yibal Khuff Power plant, the report added.

PDO CEO and Managing Director Steve Phimister said they are operating the most technical project. 

Yibal Khuff is essential to help us to empower the country, to generate revenue for the nation and fund research and development in the renewables sector, he added.