Saudi Arabia and Egypt sign $1.8bn contract for electrical connection

Saudi Arabia and Egypt sign $1.8bn contract for electrical connection
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Updated 06 October 2021

Saudi Arabia and Egypt sign $1.8bn contract for electrical connection

Saudi Arabia and Egypt sign $1.8bn contract for electrical connection
  • Work on the electricity venture of the two countries is expected to begin in 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Monday signed contracts for a $1.8 billion electricity interconnection project.

The project, to begin in 2022, will ensure an exchange of 3,000 MW of electricity between the two countries.

“Saudi Arabia and Egypt share the same goals, and we work together as a team to implement them,” said Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who oversaw the signing ceremony.

“The electrical interconnection will enable us to move to greater horizons, which is global connectivity with other countries in Europe and elsewhere,” he said.

The Saudi minister said the project is consistent with the development programs envisaged in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program.

Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said: “The project is a corridor for the transit of electricity to reach the continent of Asia.”

The Egyptian side will bear 40-45 percent of the project value, and part of the funding will come through Arab institutions.

In a statement, the Saudi Electricity Co. said that the project included contracts with three alliances of international and local firms.

The project will have a peak load of 3,000 MW with a 500 kV high-voltage direct current technology, consisting of three high-voltage power stations in East Madinah and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia, and one in Badr, East Cairo, Egypt.

The utility provider said that the three stations will be connected by overhead transmission lines, stretching nearly 1,350 km and 22 km sea cables in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed a cooperation agreement in 2012 to establish the electrical interconnection project. 

The project will be the main axis in the Arab electrical linkage, which aims to create an infrastructure for electricity trade between Arab countries.


India In-Focus — Shares up; Local oil producers can sell to private companies; Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son

India In-Focus — Shares up; Local oil producers can sell to private companies; Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son
Updated 21 sec ago

India In-Focus — Shares up; Local oil producers can sell to private companies; Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son

India In-Focus — Shares up; Local oil producers can sell to private companies; Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son

MUMBAI: Indian shares posted modest gains on Thursday led by conglomerate Reliance Industries after billionaire Mukesh Ambani set the stage for a leadership transition at its key units.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.28 percent at 15,843.65, as of 0400 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.33 percent to 53,201.1.

The rupee stepped back from record lows hit the previous day and was trading at 78.93 per dollar, with the market headed into the final session of the first quarter,

Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, provided the biggest boost to the blue-chip indexes with a 1.4 percent jump. 

India allows local oil producers to sell to private companies

India’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan that would allow local crude producers to sell oil to private companies, a move that would help raise the revenue of state-run producers such as ONGC and Oil India.

The decision would be effective from Oct. 1, and existing conditions to sell crude oil to the government-run companies would be waived, the government said in a statement, adding that exports will not be permitted.

“Companies will now be free to sell crude oil from their fields in the domestic market. Government revenues will continue to be calculated on a uniform basis across all contracts,” the government said.

Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son 

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has stepped down from the telecoms arm of Reliance Industries, handing the reins to his son Akash and setting the stage for a leadership transition at his energy-to-retail conglomerate.

Mukesh’s 30-year-old son Akash has been appointed chairman of the board of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Akash was already a non-executive director at the telecoms arm.

Mukesh Ambani, who ranked tenth on the Forbes global billionaire’s list, signaled last year his children would have significant roles in the company, which has grown sixfold in the past decade into a $218 billion empire.

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi Arabia identifies 50 mining sites to offer to investors

Saudi Arabia identifies 50 mining sites to offer to investors
Updated 8 min 8 sec ago

Saudi Arabia identifies 50 mining sites to offer to investors

Saudi Arabia identifies 50 mining sites to offer to investors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has identified 50 mining sites to be offered to investors, Asharq Al-Awsat reported citing Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef.

Saudi Arabia expects its mineral wealth to exceed earlier estimates of $1.3 trillion as the Kingdom plans to triple spending on the exploration of metals over the next three years.

The value of the global mining market is expected to increase to $206 trillion in 2022 and to $335 trillion in 2026, up from $184 trillion in 2021, constituting a rise fueled by post-pandemic surge in commodity prices, MEED reported. 

The Middle East’s $16 billion mining market, with the Kingdom representing 38 percent of it, is expected to witness a fraction of the growth, according to MEED.

Mining is increasingly a key element of Saudi Arabia’s economic development, after energy and petrochemicals, as the Kingdom seeks to wean its economy off oil production and exports.

The Kingdom’s mining industry has already attracted a number of foreign investors, most notably global giants Barrick Gold and Alcoa.


UAE’s Brooge Energy enters renewable energy sector

UAE’s Brooge Energy enters renewable energy sector
Updated 12 min 25 sec ago

UAE’s Brooge Energy enters renewable energy sector

UAE’s Brooge Energy enters renewable energy sector

RIYADH: UAE’s Brooge Energy has announced its debut in the renewable energy sector, as it launched a new, wholly owned, subsidiary Brooge Renewable Energy Ltd., according to a statement. 

The report states that the New York stock exchange-listed firm is planning to build a green energy and green ammonia plant in the Khalifa Industrial Zone, also known as Kizad in Abu Dhabi. 

Upon completion, the plant is expected to produce 300,000 metric tons of green ammonia annually. 

The report further stated that Brooge has signed an agreement with Kizad for a 150,000 sq. m plot, where the plant will be constructed. 

“This new facility is a significant milestone for the company’s clean energy strategy. We are entering into this market segment that has excellent growth potential,” said Nicolaas Paardenkooper, CEO of Brooge Energy. 

 


China In-Focus — Yuan firms; Service sector expands; Q2 job confidence lowest since 2009

China In-Focus — Yuan firms; Service sector expands; Q2 job confidence lowest since 2009
Updated 30 min 26 sec ago

China In-Focus — Yuan firms; Service sector expands; Q2 job confidence lowest since 2009

China In-Focus — Yuan firms; Service sector expands; Q2 job confidence lowest since 2009

BEIJING: China’s yuan firmed slightly against the US dollar on Thursday as the manufacturing and service sectors returned to growth after coronavirus curbs were eased, but gains were capped by signs that the country’s strict “zero-Covid” strategy will remain in place.  

The onshore yuan was changing hands around 6.6960 at midday, 40 pips stronger than the previous late session close, despite China’s central bank setting a weaker midpoint rate. 

By midday break, the Shanghai Composite index rose 1.3 percent to 3,405.64 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 1.62 percent to 4,492.2 points.

Both indexes were set for their best months since July 2020, if gains hold.

China’s June service sector activity expands at faster pace: official PMI

China’s services sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in 13 months, after authorities ended a city-wide lockdown in Shanghai, an official survey showed on Thursday.

The official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 54.7 in June — indicating the first activity expansion in four months — from 47.8 in May, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

A reading above the 50-point mark indicates expansion in activity while a reading below indicates contraction.

China’s official composite PMI which includes both manufacturing and services activity, stood at 54.1, compared with 48.4 in May.

Q2 job confidence among Chinese households lowest since 2009: PBOC survey

A Chinese index of employment confidence dived in the second quarter to its lowest since the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday, after tough COVID-19 curbs took a toll on the economy from April to June.

Nearly 46 percent of Chinese households think the employment situation remains “grim” in the second quarter, urban depositors surveyed by the People’s Bank of China said.

Another indicator of future expectations of employment also dropped to the worst level since 2009.

With the survey-based jobless rate in 31 big cities rising to a record of 6.9 percent in May, Premier Li Keqiang said China would strive to return the economy to a normal track and cut the jobless rate as soon as possible, state media said on Tuesday.

Faced with economic uncertainties, more than 58.3 percent of the households are inclined to save rather than spend or invest in the second quarter, up from 42.4 percent in the first quarter, the PBOC survey showed.

(With input from Reuters) 


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum decline; North Korea may be behind $100m crypto hack

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum decline; North Korea may be behind $100m crypto hack
Updated 39 min 21 sec ago

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum decline; North Korea may be behind $100m crypto hack

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum decline; North Korea may be behind $100m crypto hack

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 1.26 percent to $20,003.20 as of 8:10 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,088.40, falling by 5.12 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Experts suspect North Korea behind $100 million crypto hack

Digital investigative firms have concluded that North Korean hackers are most likely responsible for an attack last week that took as much as $100 million in cryptocurrency from a US company, according to Reuters.

Cryptocurrency assets were stolen on June 23 from Horizon Bridge, a service provided by Harmony blockchain that transfers assets between blockchains.

The hackers’ activity since then suggests they may be affiliated with North Korea, which experts say is among the most prolific cyberattackers. 

The UN sanctions monitors say Pyongyang uses the stolen funds to finance its nuclear and missile programs.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Chainalysis, a blockchain firm working with Harmony to investigate the attack, said the attack pattern and high velocity of structured payments to a mixer were similar to previous attacks attributed to North Korea-linked actors.

“Preliminarily this looks like a North Korean hack based on transaction behavior,” said Nick Carlsen, a former FBI analyst who now works for TRM Labs investigating North Korea’s crypto heists.

A report released by another company, Elliptic, on Thursday indicated there are strong indications that North Korea’s Lazarus Group may be behind the theft.

“The thief is attempting to break the transaction trail back to the original theft,” the report said. “This makes it easier to cash out the funds at an exchange,” it added.

If this attack is confirmed then North Korea would account for 60 percent of total funds stolen in 2022, according to Chainalysis, totaling $1 billion in stolen funds.

South Korean officials and experts told Reuters that the recent drop in cryptocurrency values may have made it harder for North Korea to sell stolen assets.

(With inputs from Reuters)