Aramco, ACWA, Air Products get financing for world’s largest IGCC complex

Aramco, ACWA, Air Products get financing for world’s largest IGCC complex
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Updated 28 September 2021

Aramco, ACWA, Air Products get financing for world’s largest IGCC complex

Aramco, ACWA, Air Products get financing for world’s largest IGCC complex
  • The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco

RIYADH: A consortium of Saudi Aramco, Air Products, ACWA Power and Air Products Qudra on Monday signed asset acquisition and project financing agreements for a $12 billion air separation unit, gasification and power joint venture in Jazan Economic City, said a press release.

“This JV is meant to be central to the self-sufficiency of our megaprojects at Jazan,” said Mohammed Al-Qahtani, senior vice president of downstream, Saudi Aramco.

It serves Aramco’s Jazan Refinery, a megaproject to process 400,000 barrels per day of the crude oil to produce the main products such as ultra-light sulfur diesel, gasoline, and other products.

All parties under the joint venture expect asset transfer and funding to occur during October 2021. Air Products intends to conduct a public investor call at that time.

Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products chairman, president and CEO, said the project is a “perfect fit with our growth strategy.”

The JV is purchasing the ASUs, gasification, syngas cleanup, utilities and power assets from Aramco. The JV owns and operates the facility under a 25-year contract for a fixed monthly fee. Aramco will supply feedstock to the JV, and the JV will produce power, steam, hydrogen and other utilities for Aramco.

Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said:  “Jazan IGCC is set to be the largest integrated project for gasification and combined cycle energy production in the world.”

Aramco via its subsidiary Saudi Aramco Power Co. has a 20 percent share in the JV; Air Products 46 percent; ACWA Power 25 percent; and Air Products Qudra 9 percent. Air Products’ total ownership position is 50.6 percent by owning an additional 4.6 percent through Air Products Qudra.


Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM
Updated 19 sec ago

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece is keen to work with Saudi Arabia to help deliver energy harvested by the Middle East country to Europe, the Greek Prime Minister has said

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the current energy situation in his continent has made him look towards the Gulf for more supply options.

Mitsotakis said Greece is “forming a very strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia”, as he talked up areas of mutual interest, such as hospitality.

However, it was energy provision that was top of his mind, with Misotakis confirming Greece would be shutting down all its coal plants by 2028 at the latest.

He said: “We've signed an agreement with Egypt, but l'm sure there's also going to be a lot of interest in terms of extending these types of agreements. 

“Also, with Saudi Arabia, if this area has the capacity to produce very cheap electricity from renewables, and I'm probably referring to the sun, wouldn't it be of mutual interest to bring this electricity into the European market?”

He went on to claim natural gas could be supplied to Europe via a pipeline that goes through Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

Mitsotakis argued that Greece and Saudi Arabia “live in the same broad neighborhood” and “share the same challenges”.

After his appearance on the forum's stage, he left with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

 


US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap
Updated 24 min 22 sec ago

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

RIYADH: Consumer confidence in the U.S increased to 113.8 in October, up from 109.8 in September, the US-based Conference Board said. Concerns about high inflation were offset by an optimistic outlook for the labor market. 

This suggests that economic growth might have recovered early in the fourth quarter. This comes after consumer confidence in the country declined for three months in a row. 

UK annual pay rises

Full-time earnings in Britain rose by 4.3 percent in April compared to the previous year, data published by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

Median full-time earnings increased to £611 ($843) in April. After adjusting for inflation, the increase was 1.7 percent.

Hong Kong’s trade deficit

Hong Kong's trade deficit expanded to HKD42.4 billion ($5.5 billion) in September up from HKD12.7 billion ($1.6 billion) a year earlier, Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department said. 

Imports grew by 23.5 percent to reach an all-time high of HKD484.2 billion ($62.3 billion), triggered by a significant increase in imports of electrical machinery and related parts.

Exports rose at a lower annual rate of 16.5 percent as it reached HKD441.8 billion ($56.8 billion). This was driven by jumps in the exports of electrical machinery, office machines and automatic data processing machines, and gold and silver products.

Brazil’s inflation

Monthly inflation in Brazil reached 1.2 percent in early October, Bloomberg reported, citing the country’s statistics agency. This will likely put some pressure on its central bank to raise interest rates there, despite plans for greater public spending in the country.

The hike in prices was driven by jumps in transport and housing costs, which increased by 2.06 percent and 1.87 percent respectively.

In addition, the country’s annual inflation rate rose to 10.34 percent.

 


EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister
Updated 26 October 2021

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

RIYADH: Global supply chains need to be rethought to reduce the impacts of humanitarian or geopolitical crises, France’s foreign trade minister has told the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh.

Franck Riester highlighted the health, energy and food sectors in particular as areas where the current system is susceptible to fluctuations, such as those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister said the European Union is already seeking to diversify its suppliers in a number of areas, and flagged up closer working with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as part of this.

The GCC will be "good partners" in a post-pandemic world, he said.


Pound at new 20-month high vs. euro on diverging central bank bets

Pound at new 20-month high vs. euro on diverging central bank bets
Updated 26 October 2021

Pound at new 20-month high vs. euro on diverging central bank bets

Pound at new 20-month high vs. euro on diverging central bank bets

LONDON: Sterling touched a new 20-month high against the euro on Tuesday, driven by diverging interest rate expectations for Britain and the eurozone, though concerns over economic growth and EU ties kept the currency broadly flat on the day.

Money markets are pricing in a rate hike by the Bank of England at its Nov. 4 meeting, helping the pound rally around 2 oercebt versus the euro and the dollar so far this month .

The euro, meanwhile, is being dogged by signs the European Central Bank will be among the last to raise interest rates in the developed world. Monday data showing German business morale deteriorating for the fourth month running in October, cemented expectations of a dovish message from Thursday’s ECB meeting.

By 0850 GMT, sterling traded at 84.2 pence to the euro, 0.2 percent firmer on the day at the highest since February 2020, while against the dollar it was marginally firmer at $1.378, having come off five-week highs touched last week.

However, Britain's weak economic data — including last Friday’s unexpected drop in retail sales — has capped the pound’s gains. Short-dated gilt yields too have slipped from 17-month highs hit last week, with fears growing that impending policy tightening will exacerbate the slowdown.

“Euro-sterling is trading close to the bottom end of its post-referendum low on BoE hike expectations. But UK growth momentum is weakening, which could see euro-sterling turn,” Bilal Hafeez, head of the MacroHive consultancy, told clients.

There are also concerns around potential tax hikes that may be unveiled in Wednesday's budget announcement, alongside EU-UK wrangling over provisions that govern post-Brexit trade between Britain, Northern Ireland, and EU member Ireland.

Britain has threatened to take unilateral action if a solution cannot be found at the ongoing talks, which some reckon could emerge as a serious headwind for the pound.


Ma’aden pledges 60% emissions cut by 2040

Ma’aden pledges 60% emissions cut by 2040
Updated 26 October 2021

Ma’aden pledges 60% emissions cut by 2040

Ma’aden pledges 60% emissions cut by 2040

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Mining Co., or Ma’aden, will cut carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2040 and reduce groundwater consumption by 65 percent, its chief executive said in an interview with Al-Arabiya. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Abdulaziz Al-Harbi said the production at the mining company would not slow.

The mining company on Monday posted profit of SR1.27 billion ($339 million), after deduction of zakat and taxes, in the first nine months of the year as compared to SR6.47 million a year ago. Revenue over the same period rose 44 percent to SR6.7 billion.