ACWA Power bags contract to build wind power plant in Uzbekistan

ACWA Power bags contract to build wind power plant in Uzbekistan
The new plant will be located in the Qorao’zak District. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 19 September 2021

ACWA Power bags contract to build wind power plant in Uzbekistan

ACWA Power bags contract to build wind power plant in Uzbekistan
  • Half-owned by the Public Investment Fund, ACWA won the contract after it bid the lowest tariff of $2.57 per kilowatt hour

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia-based utility provider ACWA Power will build and operate a 100 megawatt wind power project in Uzbekistan, in a tender supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Half-owned by the Public Investment Fund, ACWA won the contract after it bid the lowest tariff of $2.57 per kilowatt hour, the bank said in a release.

“The tariff achieved represents a major success for the country’s power sector and shows what a combination of ambitious policy targets and proper competition can achieve,” Aida Sitdikova, a director at EBRD, said.

The new plant will be located in the Qorao’zak District, and is expected to diversify energy supply and increase energy security in the autonomous republic north west of Uzbekistan.

The central Asian country has been keen on increasing its renewable energy capacity. It wants to install 5,000 MW of solar and 3,000 MW of wind energy by 2030.


Outdoor advertising market will be worth $360m by 2025: Arabian Contracting Services 

Outdoor advertising market will be worth $360m by 2025: Arabian Contracting Services 
Updated 13 sec ago

Outdoor advertising market will be worth $360m by 2025: Arabian Contracting Services 

Outdoor advertising market will be worth $360m by 2025: Arabian Contracting Services 

Jeddah: Arabian Contracting Services expects spending on outdoor advertising in the Kingdom to reach approximately SR1.3 billion ($360 million) by 2025, according to Argaam.

The company, which recently issued the prospectus for its planned IPO, announced an increase in its net profit of 68.6 percent — SR91.7 million — between the fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

Its revenues increased by 23.3 percent from SR639.2 million in 2018 to SR787.5 million in 2019, with a rate of 23.3 percent. 

The company attributed this growth to growing revenues from digital transformation in addition to the increase in the rate of advertising spend from some key customers, as well as the impact of Riyadh and Jeddah seasons.

Arabian Contracting Services clarified the decrease in revenues in 2020, down SR289.9 from 2019 was due to the impact of the pandemic and the ensuing imposition of a curfew. 

As the Kingdom resumed its activities, revenues returned to a gradual improvement starting from the end of June, 2020.

“The company is keen to use the latest technologies in the outdoor advertising sector, where the company has imported the latest billboards from specialized international companies,” said the head of the company, Muhammad Al-khureigy.


Saudi Arabia’s main market, Tadawul, traded 0.5 percent higher on Monday morning, at 11,759 points

Saudi Arabia’s main market, Tadawul, traded 0.5 percent higher on Monday morning, at 11,759 points
Getty Images
Updated 8 min 58 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s main market, Tadawul, traded 0.5 percent higher on Monday morning, at 11,759 points

Saudi Arabia’s main market, Tadawul, traded 0.5 percent higher on Monday morning, at 11,759 points

RIYADH: Here’s a wrap of market movements as of 10:30 a.m. Riyadh time:

Saudi Ceramic Co. reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SR186.7 million for the nine-month period ending on 30-9-2021.

Yanbu National Petrochemical Co.’s net profit rose three-fold to SR1.19 billion for the first nine months of 2021.

SADAFCO board recommends 2.75 million share buyback.

Wafrah signs MoU with Schaap Holland to develop and distribute seed potatoes in the Kingdom.

Al Abdullatif Industrial Investment Co. Announces Calling Candidature for Board Members Elections.

Tihama names Sultan Abdul Azim as Chairman, Ibrahim Al-Shabib as Vice Chairman.


‘We got this wrong!’ Morgan Stanley admits underestimating Saudi stocks performance 

‘We got this wrong!’ Morgan Stanley admits underestimating Saudi stocks performance 
Updated 10 min 40 sec ago

‘We got this wrong!’ Morgan Stanley admits underestimating Saudi stocks performance 

‘We got this wrong!’ Morgan Stanley admits underestimating Saudi stocks performance 

RIYADH: Leading financial analysts from Morgan Stanley have admitted they got it “wrong” after Saudi stocks outperformed expectations over the past 18 months.

“MSCI Saudi Arabia has been the best performing major country -- in the world -- this year and was also one of the best performing last year,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note on Monday, double upgrading their recommendation on the country to overweight.

“Having been underweight since May 2020, we’ve clearly gotten this one wrong,” they said, according to Bloomberg.

The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index has surged to its highest since 2006 on the back of soaring oil prices and amid increased retail trading activity, and Morgan Stanley now thinks high Saudi valuations are here to stay as the market is more driven by earnings, which are forecast to grow. 

While foreign positioning in the country remains low, it has started to pick up, the analysts also noted. They think that banks are the best play in the country. 

Saudi Arabia has “one of the strongest transmission mechanisms of higher oil prices into economic activity of any country in the Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa (EEMEA) region,” according to the analysts.

Its growth outlook seems structural and likely to last for several years, the analysts wrote in a broader note about the region, saying it’s poised to be a beneficiary of higher commodity prices.


Apple supplier Foxconn unveils electric vehicles

Apple supplier Foxconn unveils electric vehicles
Picture by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) on October 18, 2021 shows Foxconn founder Terry Gou getting out of an electric car unveiling at the Nangang exhibition centre in Taipei
Updated 19 min 18 sec ago

Apple supplier Foxconn unveils electric vehicles

Apple supplier Foxconn unveils electric vehicles
  • The models unveiled on Monday - a sedan, an SUV and a bus - are concept vehicles

Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn unveiled three electric vehicles on Monday, boosting its bid to be a major player in the rapidly expanding EV market as it seeks companies to partner with.

The world's largest contract electronics maker, Foxconn already plays a lynchpin role in assembling Apple's iPhones as well as gadgets for a myriad of top international brands. 

But it has been moving fast to diversify beyond electronics assembly and has ploughed money into electric vehicles, including a joint venture with local automaker Yulon Motor and purchasing a struggling auto plant in Ohio.


The models unveiled on Monday - a sedan, an SUV and a bus - are concept vehicles that Foxconn hopes it could build with other manufacturers.


"Foxconn is no longer a new kid in town," chairman Young Liu declared at the unveiling ceremony in Taipei.


Foxconn's founder Terry Gou drove their "Model E" sedan to the presentation and said the company's EVs "demonstrate Taiwan's overall industrial strength".


A white sports utility vehicle -- "Model C" -- is expected to hit the market in Taiwan in 2023 with a price tag of under Tw$1 million ($357,000), the firm said. 


Its "Model T" electric bus could start operating in southern Kaohsiung city as early as next year if it passes the transport ministry's review, vice premier Shen Jong-chin said.


Foxconn has funnelled about Tw$10 billion ($355 million) into electric car development in 2020 and the company says its investment will rise over the next two years. 


Liu said the company "has gradually built an electric vehicle supply chain and distribution network", with one new partnership announced almost every month this year.


Among its recent partners is Fisker, one of a host of US-based electronic car startups hoping to one day challenge Tesla's supremacy. 


The two companies announced plans to jointly develop electric cars sold under the Fisker brand with a goal to start producing vehicles in late 2023.


It has been widely reported for years that Apple has a secret electronic car project, something Foxconn could be in an ideal place to partner on given its existing relationship with the Californian giant. 


The unveiling of Foxconn's models comes as car makers suffer from a global shortage of semiconductors after the coronavirus pandemic caused purchases of electronics and computer parts to sky-rocket.


Taiwanese high-tech chip foundries are some of the world's biggest and most advanced and have been ramping up production to meet the demand.

 

                


Saudi Investment Recycling Company: Pioneering the ‘Circular Economy’

Saudi Investment Recycling Company: Pioneering the ‘Circular Economy’
Updated 37 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Investment Recycling Company: Pioneering the ‘Circular Economy’

Saudi Investment Recycling Company: Pioneering the ‘Circular Economy’
  • Saudi Arabia produces 50 million tons of waste per year – and almost all of that ends up in landfills.

A long summer of floods, forest fires, and extreme heatwaves across the globe have led to a stark realization the wastefulness and pollution of mankind is having a calamitous impact upon both the climate and the environment. A consensus is growing amongst politicians and decision-makers that an entire new way of life must be found — not only for the sake of the planet but for the very survival of the human race.

This is the dire context of the forthcoming Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum, to be held in Riyadh in the last week of November. Under the patronage of HRH Mohammed Bin Salman, the forum “will unveil the SGI’s roadmap for delivery...spotlight the Kingdom’s green efforts…[and] drive action and spark innovative solutions to help tackle climate change.”

The KSA produces no less than 50 million tons of waste per year – and 95 percent of that ends up in landfills, poisoning the earth and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for decades to come. What is not buried is evident on the streets, in the form of discarded plastic bags, fast-food containers and empty soda cans.

The government of Saudi Arabia is now determined to reverse this negative scenario, in favor of a ‘circular economy’ based on zero waste — the driving concept being that every form of debris is the raw material for a fresh product or energy source. 

The leading agent of change in this respect is the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), which was established by Royal Decree in 2017, as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund. 

“We are the executive arm behind the circular economy”, SIRC CEO Ziyad Al Shiha told Arab News. “We work with the local and global private sector, improving local technology, introducing best practices and creating jobs. This is part of the green initiative in Saudi Arabia, the green initiative of the Middle East and indeed the green initiative of the entire world.” 

The stated aim of SIRC is to reduce waste landfill from 100 percent today to effectively zero percent by 2035. “This will be an integrated approach”, says Al Shiha, “unlike the fragmented approach of the past.” 

SIRC’s overall recycling strategy is targeted at twelve separate elements of waste, including raw sewage, construction/demolition debris, solid municipal waste (i.e. garbage) and agricultural sludge. The remainder is a toxic cocktail of industrial effluent, end-of-life vehicles and batteries, old tires, automotive lubricants, disused electronic equipment and cooking oil. 

The only waste not covered by SIRC’s remit is that from the military and from nuclear energy, both of which are handled by more specialized bodies.

The circular economy offers vast opportunities in terms of products, energy creation and services — all of which will no doubt make a major contribution to the diversification of the Saudi economy away from oil and its derivatives, in line with Vision 2030.

One form of value-add is ‘waste-to-energy’, whereby garbage, raw sewage or industrial sludge can be dried and incinerated, for example to power steam turbines. SIRC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Water Company to process raw sewage for just this purpose. The model here is the world's largest sludge treatment and energy recovery program, built by Veolia in Hong Kong. 

The burning of waste does release CO2, but surprisingly, leaving waste to decompose in a landfill will ultimately create 20-40 times more greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane, over a period of many years. 

Business opportunities also exist in the conversion of building debris into attractive new products. SIRC has built a massive construction waste processing facility in the north of Riyadh, where rubble is segregated and recycled into ballast for backfilling and landscaping, aggregate bricks for new constructions and raw steel that can be smelted into new beams and pipes. The facility is already up and running, with a potential processing capacity of 12,000 tons (400 truckloads) per day. 

These are both SIRC-led projects, but the circular economy will not happen without the active involvement of entrepreneurs and corporations. “We have a regulatory framework that allows us to move with the private sector in a very profitable way”, says Al Shiha. “The SIRC will buy and invest in companies, and establish joint ventures. We invite local, regional and global companies to come and talk to us to explore all options to move the circular economy forward.” 

SIRC offers an equity participation of 20-30 percent with a debt structure of 70-80 percent to both Saudi and non-Saudi companies with an interest in recycling and waste management; and according to Al Shiha, SAR120 billion will be invested in Saudi Arabia’s circular economy between now and 2035. 

Projects such as waste-to-energy are on a vast macro scale, involving billions of Riyals. But there is also plenty of room for SMEs providing more niche services such as dismantling and sorting of disused electrical equipment, or offering the broad range of consultancy services required for ‘smart’ waste management. 

The road to a fully circular economy is long and challenging. Saudi Arabia aims to surpass in 15 years what took most G20 economies 30 to 40 years to achieve. Even today, highly developed nations such as Japan, Germany and the UK are still far from being fully circular economies, even if they have all significantly stepped-up recycling and reduced their landfills over the past decades. 

A lot needs to be done in the Kingdom. There is currently no sorting of ‘waste at source’ – that is, the separation of rubbish from homes, supermarkets and factories. Currently one large bin can be seen outside houses and buildings. Before long there will be three bins: one for organic material (to be turned into compost or dried and burned for energy); one for dry recyclable material (metal, cans, plastic, glass and paper); and the third for ‘dirty wet’ material – for example baby diapers – which can also be incinerated to produce power.

Another pertinent issue is illegal practices, such as the black market in recycled plastic and paper and the careless dumping of construction debris. New regulations have been introduced in the last two months, to incriminate and penalize those who pollute the environment.

The good news is that Saudi Arabia can learn from the experience and knowledge of other countries. “We can start from where others have reached”, says Al Shiha. “We have to invest in the infrastructure, but equally we have to provide education and create outreach programs. 

“Once we achieve 25-35 percent recycling, we can say to the public: ‘Look, this is your effort. And this is the result that we're bringing back to you.’” That, it is hoped, will make recycling a way of life.

The goals of SIRC are hugely ambitious and will involve all sectors of Saudi society: every ministry, every municipality, every school and college and ultimately, every individual. 

But Al Shiha remains optimistic. “The youth of today is very progressive,” he says. “They love the environment, and they want to improve the quality of life. We're at a turning point now. The first step is to recognize and admit that you have a problem – and then implement all the systems and regulations, and invite people to participate. We as human beings need to play a very positive role, to be passionate and to contribute to the circular economy.”