Saudi Arabia seeks public opinion on hydrogen vehicles rules

Saudi Arabia seeks public opinion on hydrogen vehicles rules
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Updated 02 December 2021

Saudi Arabia seeks public opinion on hydrogen vehicles rules

Saudi Arabia seeks public opinion on hydrogen vehicles rules

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is asking the public to give its views on the safety standards for hydrogen vehicles in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization wants the public to participate in the poll through the government’s Public Consultation Platform, Istitlaa, ending on Dec. 16, 2021.

The regulations aim to define the basic requirements for the safety of hydrogen-powered vehicles, and ensure that conformity assessment procedures are followed during the placement of these vehicles in the Kingdom’s markets.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles must also comply with the requirements of the technical regulations for electric vehicles.

Saudi Arabia has already put itself on the path to adopting EVs and the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization has approved importing these vehicles.


Panasonic to invest $700 million to produce Tesla EV battery: Nikkei

Panasonic to invest $700 million to produce Tesla EV battery: Nikkei
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 5 sec ago

Panasonic to invest $700 million to produce Tesla EV battery: Nikkei

Panasonic to invest $700 million to produce Tesla EV battery: Nikkei
  • Japan’s Panasonic will begin producing its new lithium-ion battery for Tesla from as early as 2023

Japan’s Panasonic will begin producing its new lithium-ion battery for Tesla from as early as 2023, with plans to invest about 80 billion yen ($705 million) in production facilities in Japan, the Nikkei reported on Monday.


The powerpack could help make electric vehicles (EVs) more attractive to motorists by extending cruising range by about a fifth, the Nikkei reported, without saying where it obtained the information.


“We are studying various options for mass production, including a test production line we are establishing this business year. We don’t, however, have anything to announce at this time,” Panasonic said in a statement sent to Reuters.


Panasonic unveiled the 4680 format (46 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters tall) battery in October.

At around five times as big as batteries it currently supplies to Tesla, it is also expected to help the US electric vehicle maker lower production costs.


Panasonic will make the 4680 batteries at a plant in Wakayama prefecture in Western Japan, with output of less than 10 gigawatt hours a year, equivalent to around 150,000 vehicles, the Nikkei said.


Panasonic is the sole maker of the more advanced Tesla battery, ensuring it remains a key supplier to the US company, at least for its pricier models, even as the EV maker seeks out battery suppliers in China and elsewhere.


Oil giant Aramco signs 50 agreements during 6th iktva forum

Oil giant Aramco signs 50 agreements during 6th iktva forum
Updated 1 min 32 sec ago

Oil giant Aramco signs 50 agreements during 6th iktva forum

Oil giant Aramco signs 50 agreements during 6th iktva forum

RIYADH: Saudi oil giant Aramco signed 50 new agreements at the In-Kingdom Total Value Add forum and exhibition, known as iktva, amid its supply chain resilience enhancement.

The agreements include a climate leadership and digitalization deal with Schlumberger; equipment localization procurement agreements with Cameron, Technip FMC and Baker Hughes companies; and a partnership deal on pressure vessel fabrication localization with Larsen & Toubro.

Aramco also signed agreements with Sutherland Global Services on smart city services localization; a desalination agreement with Tanajib Cogeneration Power Co.; and a localization of process automation solutions partnership with US’s Honeywell. 

The iktva program increased Aramco’s spending with domestic suppliers in 2021 to 59 percent, up from 35 percent in 2015 when the program was launched.

Amid global supply chain disturbances, the program aims to drive domestic value creation, maximize long-term economic growth and diversification to develop a sustainable and globally competitive energy sector in the Kingdom. 

“It wasn’t possible to foresee the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but iktva helped us to prepare for the disruptions it caused to the global supply chain,” Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said.

The three-day forum, running from Jan. 24 to 26 at Dhahran EXPO, showcases progress in Aramco's flagship business continuity initiative.

Held under the theme ‘Paving the way to Economic Success’, the forum recognizes the achievements of Aramco’s program partners across 10 categories, including overall iktva performance, training, Saudization, female representation and exports.

With local content contributing over $100 billion to the Saudi economy, iktva has attracted more than 540 investments to Saudi Arabia from 35 countries.

Major signings include:

  • Schlumberger – Partnership on climate leadership and digitalization through localization initiatives
  • Cameron/TechnipFMC/Baker Hughes – Wellhead equipment localization procurement agreements
  • Larsen & Toubro – Pressure vessel fabrication localization
  • Sutherland Global Services – Smart City services localization
  • Tanajib Cogeneration Power Company – Tanajib cogeneration and desalination agreement
  • Honeywell – Localization of process automation solutions
  • Alfanar Company - Carbon fiber investment collaboration

 


US PR firm Teneo launches Middle East financial advisory business 

US PR firm Teneo launches Middle East financial advisory business 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 20 min 13 sec ago

US PR firm Teneo launches Middle East financial advisory business 

US PR firm Teneo launches Middle East financial advisory business 
  • The firm has services in hubs including Riyadh, Doha, and Dubai

RIYADH: US public relations and advisory firm, Teneo has launched a financial advisory business in the Middle East.

This comes as the corporation wishes to expand to key markets worldwide, with the Middle East posing as a potential growth opportunity.

As part of this move, the advisory firm has appointed Matthew Wilde and Elie Fakhoury to key roles.


Wilde is known for his role in various large scale and complex restructuring projects in the region including that of Arabtec, NMC Healthcare, Al Jaber, and others.

Fakhoury holds over 15 years of accumulated experience in the region, including covering extensive restructuring projects.

Teneo financial advisory business has around 350 employees worldwide and offering tools to tackle challenging business issues.

The firm has services in hubs including Riyadh, Doha, and Dubai.


Saudi Chemanol to expand methanol production

Saudi Chemanol to expand methanol production
Updated 28 min 57 sec ago

Saudi Chemanol to expand methanol production

Saudi Chemanol to expand methanol production

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian chemical producer Chemanol plans to expand its methanol plant, aiming to increase its production capacity to 331,000 tons.

The company said it has signed an agreement on Jan. 23 for the plant’s basic engineering design.

Additional output, which amounts to 100,000 tons, will be used as feedstock for future initiatives, including a dimethyl disulfide plant and a methyl diethanolamine factory, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The step is crucial for the company’s growth strategy and is expected to have a positive impact of lower production costs, it said in a bourse filing.

Earlier in 2020, Chemanol received the Ministry of Energy’s approval to allocate the required feedstock for the expansion.

 


Lebanon’s government holds budget meeting, 1st in months

Lebanon’s government holds budget meeting, 1st in months
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Updated 24 January 2022

Lebanon’s government holds budget meeting, 1st in months

Lebanon’s government holds budget meeting, 1st in months
  • Lebanon’s economic crisis has been described by the World Bank as one of the worst in the world since the 1850s

Lebanon’s government met on the budget Monday for the first time in more than three months as talks with the International Monetary Fund about the country’s economic meltdown were poised to resume.


The developments were aimed at controlling Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in its history.

The Cabinet meeting at the presidential palace was held after the powerful Hezbollah and its main Shiite ally ended their boycott and were poised to participate in the design of a recovery plan.


The draft budget for 2022 is expected to propose increasing taxes and fees in a country struggling to deal with soaring poverty levels and hyperinflation.


It also projects spending more than 49 trillion pounds while revenues stand at just over 39 trillion pounds, with a deficit of about 21 percent.

Critics say that the deficit will be covered by printing money, in what would lead the Lebanese pound that has lost more than 90 percent of its value over the past two years to lose more in the coming months.


It is not clear what exchange rate the government will use for the budget as there are several rates around the country.

The official rate still stands at 1,500 pounds to the US dollar while the black market rate is about 23,000 pounds.

Several other rates are used for withdrawal of bank deposits.


Lebanese economist Alia Moubayed described the draft budget as “malignant and dangerous,” with problems ranging from the use of several exchange rates to indirectly legalizing the transfer of foreign currency deposits into Lebanese pounds.

Also of concern, she tweeted, is the government’s failure or refusal to recognize the “disastrous” economic and social status that resulted from decades of corruption and mismanagement by Lebanon’s political class.


Lebanon’s economic crisis has been described by the World Bank as one of the worst in the world since the 1850s.

The meltdown has left three-quarters of the population of 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees, in poverty.


The government is expected to discuss the draft budget every day until Friday. If approved, it will be sent to Parliament for discussion and will need majority vote to pass.


The meeting is the first since Oct. 12, when Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal party of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, demanded changes in the national probe of the devastating August 2020 explosion in Beirut’s port and effectively paralyzing the government.


Hezbollah had called for the investigative judge in the port blast to be removed, accusing him of bias.

Judge Tarek Bitar has meanwhile faced a slew of legal challenges and lawsuits calling for his removal, which forced him to suspend the probe at least four times.

The probe is currently suspended.


Bitar had summoned and charged several senior officials on charges of intentional negligence that led to the explosion, which killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.

The two Shiite groups vowed to continue their efforts to remove the judge.