Saudi Arabia puts local price cap on gasoline as oil hits multi-year highs

A Saudi man walks past a pump at a petrol station in the Red Sea city of Jeddah Saudi Arabia. (File/AFP/Getty Images)
A Saudi man walks past a pump at a petrol station in the Red Sea city of Jeddah Saudi Arabia. (File/AFP/Getty Images)
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Updated 11 July 2021

Saudi Arabia puts local price cap on gasoline as oil hits multi-year highs

Saudi Arabia puts local price cap on gasoline as oil hits multi-year highs
  • July saw an increase of gasoline octane 91 at SR2.28 and octane 95 at SR2.44

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced it was putting a price cap on gasoline from July 10 to support local consumption and economy growth, as oil prices hit multi-year highs this year.  

It is the first time the country is capping prices since it first liberalized them in 2018 and linked them to international price movement.

The Kingdom issued a royal directive to keep gasoline prices at SR2.18 ($0.58) for octane 91 and SR2.33 for octane 95, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing the Energy and Water Price Reforms Executive Committee.

“This stems from the leadership’s keenness to reduce the living burdens of citizens and residents, its continuous pursuit to achieve the public interest, and support local economic activity,” according to an official statement, which also said the government would bear any costs that may result from the differences in pricing.

“Housing and energy costs constitute 25 percent of the inflation basket for Saudi consumers, so reducing the energy burden on households is a very supportive decision for the Saudi economy as it will free more disposable income for spending on other activities that will boost growth,” Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital, told Arab News. 

According to the royal directive, the prices of gasoline for July, which saw octane 91 increase to SR2.28 and octane 95 rise to SR2.44, would be subject to the approved cap and that the periodic review of prices would continue without exceeding the aforementioned cap.

Oil rose to a six-year high last week after OPEC+ was unable to reach an agreement to ratify a production increase, spurring concerns of a supply shortfall and further oil price hikes. 

Fuel consumption is rising in countries such as the US, India and China during the summer driving season. Travelers in the US have hit the road with gusto, leading to rapidly draining inventories and refineries running close to full-bore to keep up with demand. 

Oil in London and New York is trading above $74 and Goldman Sachs predicted that oil prices would hit $80 later this year.


Egypt’s government projects to go 30% green by 2024

Egypt’s government projects to go 30% green by 2024
Updated 16 sec ago

Egypt’s government projects to go 30% green by 2024

Egypt’s government projects to go 30% green by 2024

RIYADH: Egypt aims to make 30 percent of all the government projects green by 2024 and then raise the level to 100 percent by 2030, said Yasmine Fouad, the country’s environment minister. 

Speaking at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh, she said Egypt spent 447 billion Egyptian pounds on 691 green projects in different sectors during the current fiscal. 

Egypt also became the first country to issue green government bonds in September 2020.

“We issued $750 million in five-year green bonds in order to focus on the climate change projects in transport and sanitation sectors,” the minister said.

Fouad said the Egyptian government is taking measures to change the overall investment environment by not just only supporting the private sector but also focussing on the banking sector to encourage it to adopt sustainable financing principles.


Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry
Getty Images
Updated 25 October 2021

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry
  • He said no government in the world has the money to fight climate actions alone

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s nationally determined contributions and net zero carbon goals are important developments since the Paris agreement John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, told delegates at the Middle East Green Initiative.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change signed at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015.

He said as a result of US diplomatic efforts, many countries are now taking bolder climate actions.

Science is playing a bigger role today in shaping climate actions, he said.

“This is the biggest market opportunity the world has known with 4 to 5 billion users. I see trillion dollars to be invested" in the energy transition market opportunities, he added.

He said no government in the world has the money to fight climate actions alone, and countries need the private sector to support these efforts.

He highlighted that the global financial industry is helping tens of trillion of dollars to be moved into the energy transition market.

He warned that countries must work to reduce emissions in the next 10 years.

“Action to combat climate change must be accelerated,” he said.


More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO
Updated 25 October 2021

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

RIYADH: Environmentally-focused start-ups will make up the next thousand ‘unicorn’ businesses, billionaire businessman Larry Fink has told the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.

The head of US asset management giant BlackRock told delegates at the forum in Riyadh it will be firms producing environmentally-friendly goods and systems that will become the next billion dollar companies  — the threshold for being dubbed a ‘unicorn’.

Fink said governments, financial service companies and multinational institutions need to work together to achieve a net-zero world, as he talked up the role of private sector investment in hitting this target.

Speaking at the event, which is attended by leading figures including the US Climate Change envoy John Kerry, Fink said clean technologies and fuel are more expensive than conventional energy sources due to a “Green Premium".

“To bring down this Green Premium we need to be serious about attracting private capital for technology and technology revolution,” he added.


UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change
Getty Images
Updated 25 October 2021

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change
  • Prime Minister Johnson also praised Saudi Arabia’s commitment to plant 10 billion trees

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated the sentiments of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz at the original announcement of Saudi Green Initiative, saying the world must go “further and faster” to combat climate change by the middle of the century.

In a statement to the inaugural Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Prime Minister Johnson said: “This is a region rich in history - the birthplace of the alphabet, algebra, coffee, the will and much of our civilization. But for many, the region has become most synonymous with fossil fuels. There is now a chance for a new chapter in the history of your region.”

“We must go further and faster if we are to limit the increasing global temperature, and take the necessary action to protect people and nature from the effects of climate change.”

Prime Minister Johnson also praised Saudi Arabia’s commitment to plant 10 billion trees, and the wider regional commitment to plant 50 billion trees highlighted earlier by HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Prime Minister Johnson said: “This inaugural conference tackles the latter two head-on - cash and trees. 10 billion trees to be precise in Saudi Arabia, and 50 billion total across the region. That, my friends, is a lot of trees, and I hope you will match that outstanding level of ambition across all areas where action is needed.”

Earlier, the Crown Prince announced a series of regional programs for climate action to an audience of dozens of heads of state at the event. On Saturday, the Crown Prince also revealed that Saudi Arabia is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2060 through the Carbon Circular Economy approach.

The Middle East Green Initiative called for intensifying coordination and joint action to preserve and develop the importance of the environment and vegetation cover in Africa, in addition to establishing the Green Initiative Foundation as an independent non-profit entity to support the summit and raise the level of coordination.


Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region
Updated 25 October 2021

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region
  • The new project will offer premium residential units ranging from apartments, villas, and townhouses

Riyadh - A deal to develop a premium residential project in the governorate of Taif in the Southwest of Saudi Arabia has been agreed between two real estate developers in the Kingdom.

Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Co. has signed a joint agreement with Madinat Al Wouroud Housing Development company to develop the SR3.7 billion ($986m) project on an area of 1 million sqm while 'preserving the topography and unique environmental features of Taif', a statement by the company said.

The development of the new residential project is due to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and is expected to be completed within four years.

The new project will offer premium residential units ranging from apartments, villas, and townhouses in addition to a variety of commercial facilities and amenities. 

The project is aimed at existing residents of Taif and the surrounding area, but will also be marketed at Saudi citizens across the Kingdom as a key destination for the summer tapping into the lucrative second-home market.


Yousef Al Shelash, chairman, Dar Al-Arkan said: "We expect to see high demand for this project in one of the most desirable cities in the Kingdom and Saudi Arabia's unofficial summer capital to enjoy the milder climate, it’s natural beauty and annual cultural festivals."