Aramco announces collaboration with French companies including hydrogen cars deal with Gaussin

Aramco announces collaboration with French companies including hydrogen cars deal with Gaussin
Short Url
Updated 04 December 2021

Aramco announces collaboration with French companies including hydrogen cars deal with Gaussin

Aramco announces collaboration with French companies including hydrogen cars deal with Gaussin
  • Gaussin to explore manufacturing of hydrogen vehicles in Saudi Arabia
  • Aramco sponsors first hydrogen-fueled truck to compete in Dakar Rally

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco on Saturday signed five agreements with leading French companies including an agreement to explore a hydrogen-powered vehicle business with Gaussin, said a statement.

The signing was held during an event in Jeddah, organized by the Ministry of Investment to explore investment opportunities for French companies in Saudi Arabia. 

Commenting on the deal with Gaussin, a pioneer in clean and intelligent transport solutions, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said: “It represents an opportunity to promote hydrogen as a low-carbon solution, not just for motorsport, but eventually for mass transportation as well. Such collaboration helps us to advance economic growth in the Kingdom as part of the Namaat industrial investment program and takes us a step closer to our shared vision of a more sustainable future.”

The agreement aims to establish a modern manufacturing facility for on-road and off-road hydrogen powered vehicles in the Kingdom. The two companies will study the feasibility of a manufacturing facility and a hydrogen distribution business to serve the Middle East region.

The two companies also agreed that Aramco’s Advanced Innovation Center (LAB7) will be closely involved in Gaussin’s development of hydrogen-powered vehicles and the development of a remote controlled/autonomous hydrogen racing truck. LAB7 aims to integrate Aramco’s composite materials into Gaussin’s existing range of products to reduce the weight, energy consumption and cost of these vehicles.

Aramco will also be sponsoring the world’s first hydrogen-fueled racing truck, which has been developed by Gaussin and which will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Aramco’s sponsorship of Gaussin’s participation in the Dakar Rally continues to promote low-emission transportation technology developments.

Additional MoU’s

Other agreements announced on Saturday seek to further Aramco’s research and development in the areas of carbon capture technology, artificial intelligence and local manufacturing. The MoUs include:

  • Air Liquide – Non-binding MoU to evaluate low Carbon hydrogen and ammonia production, logistics, and backcracking technology and an additional non-binding MoU to evaluate Carbon Capture and Sequestration opportunities.
  • Alteia – Non-binding MoU to develop advanced artificial intelligence driven geospatial imagery interpretation and processing capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Axens – non-binding MoU to explore the local manufacturing and maintenance services of furnaces and fired heaters.

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
Updated 27 January 2022

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
  • Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman

RIYADH: A French construction and design firm opened its regional headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday, in a 50-50 partnership deal with Saudi holding company, Zuhair Al-Habib Group.

Known internationally for their eco-friendly partitions, Clestra Hauserman’s decision to open a regional office in the capital city comes one year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Riyadh Strategy 2030 plan. 

“Saudi Arabia is our biggest market and as of this year I can say that 80 percent of our business comes from here,” said Farid Habbas, Middle East Director of Clestra Hauserman.

“It was a natural move for the firm that we were happy and ready for. Our firm will now have direct access to the local economy, which will help us gain financial and geographic opportunities,” he told Arab News.

Clestra Hauserman, which had been based in Dubai, joins more than 40 multinational companies that are moving to Riyadh.

The plan includes a policy stating that government and state-backed institutions will no longer sign any contracts with foreign entities from 2024 unless their regional headquarters are based in the Kingdom.

The policy, which paved way for a regional headquarters attraction program, aims to help make “Riyadh one of the ten largest city economies” in the world.

Founded in 1913, the French firm has had a regional presence for more than 40 years, specializing in the manufacture and installation of prefabricated demountable partitions. Its first project in Saudi Arabia was with Aramco in the 1970s and the firm extended its regional presence via the undertaking of airport projects and numerous educational buildings and corporate offices all over the Gulf area.

Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

“At Clestra, we develop and design our products from scratch, then completely fit out empty buildings from zero to completion,” Habbas told Arab News. “Our work extends to maintenance and after-sales services for all our clients, where we can be on-site for any adjustments needed within 24 hours.”

Habbas said what makes their products special is their move-and-removability, and likened it to the moveable block system made by Lego — the size of partitions can easily be adjusted by adding or removing panels.

“We’re not just selling a product, we’re selling a solution. We believe that Saudi Arabia is in need of the type of flexibility we can bring with our products and expertise, and not to mention the sustainable aspect of reusing our partitions again and again.”

One of their notable projects is at King Saud University, which has more than 200 kilometers of partitions made by the French firm that have been in use for more than 40 years — which speaks to the durability of the product, the secret of which lies in steel and aluminum.

Habbas added that the firm has plans to open a small factory in the first stage, followed a by a larger one in the second, in addition to carrying out workshops that aims to provide knowledge, expertise and training to employees, a move that should provide many jobs.

Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City said that by 2030 the regional headquarters program will contribute $18 billion to the local economy and create around 30,000 new jobs.

Since the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030, as well as plans such as the Riyadh Strategy 2030 and the National Investment Strategy, the metropolis has flourished into a regional hub for businesses, trade and plentiful investment opportunities.


Oil falls as US Fed’s pending interest rate hike spooks investors

Oil falls as US Fed’s pending interest rate hike spooks investors
Updated 8 sec ago

Oil falls as US Fed’s pending interest rate hike spooks investors

Oil falls as US Fed’s pending interest rate hike spooks investors
BEIJING: Oil prices fell on Thursday as the US dollar strengthened following signs that the US Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy in the world’s biggest oil user.
Futures pulled back amid a broader decline in financial markets triggered by the March interest rate increase telegraphed by the Fed and as the dollar climbed against its major peers. Dollar-denominated oil becomes more expensive for buyers using other currencies when the greenback gains.
Brent crude futures were down 57 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $89.18 a barrel at 0440 GMT, after earlier falling by as much as 1.1 percent to $89. Brent climbed 2 percent on Wednesday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 83 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $86.52 a barrel, after falling by as much as 1.2 percent to $86.34. WTI gained 2 percent in the previous session.
“It could be a strong US dollar at play after the Federal Open Markets Committee signalled rates will rise,” said Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar.
The dollar rose on higher US Treasury yields, lifting the US dollar index, which measures the greenback against major peers, to 96.604, near five-week highs.
Crude prices surged on Wednesday, with Brent climbing to $90 a barrel for the first time in seven years, amid the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s second-largest oil producer, that has fanned fears of energy supply disruptions to Europe.
Commonwealth Bank’s Dhar echoed those concerns, listing that along with the omicron coronavirus variant not impacting oil demand as badly as initially feared and efforts by OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, to boost supply not materialising as supportive for oil prices.
OPEC missed its planned supply increase target in December, highlighting capacity constraints that are limiting supply as global demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
OPEC+ is gradually relaxing 2020’s output cuts as demand recovers from the demand collapse that year. But many smaller producers can’t raise supply and others have been wary of pumping too much in case of renewed COVID-19 setbacks.
“Continued supply challenges and mounting Russia-Ukraine tensions continue to support crude oil prices. It is down slightly today but I think it is nothing more than a technical move,” said Howie Lee, economist at OCBC in Singapore.
An increase in crude oil and gasoline inventories in the United States alleviated some of the concerns about supply.
Crude inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week to Jan. 21 to 416.2 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 728,000-barrel drop, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Gasoline stockpiles rose by 1.3 million barrels last week to 247.9 million barrels, the EIA said, the most since February 2021.

Saudi Kayan turns into profits of $640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms

Saudi Kayan turns into profits of $640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms
Updated 6 min 7 sec ago

Saudi Kayan turns into profits of $640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms

Saudi Kayan turns into profits of $640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms

RIYADH: Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. has seen its 2021 earnings turn into profits of SR2.39 billion ($640 million), buoyed by higher selling prices and sector-wide growth.

As the economic situation improved globally, the homegrown firm managed to erase losses of SR785 million from a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

Revenues soared over 58 percent in 2021, and earnings per share amounted to SR1.6, against a loss per share of SR0.52 a year ago.

The improved performance was driven by higher selling prices and a drop in financing costs, despite an increase in feedstock costs, Saudi Kayan said in a bourse statement.

On a broader scale, data by Gastat earlier showed that outgoing chemical shipments picked up pace significantly prompting the Saudi non-oil exports growth to hit an annual rate of 26.1 percent in November.

Headquartered in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Kayan is a leading chemical maker operating in the Kingdom’s petrochemical sector since 2007. 


Commerce Minister bets on Saudi to be among top 10 global competitive economies by 2030

Commerce Minister bets on Saudi to be among top 10 global competitive economies by 2030
Updated 23 min 48 sec ago

Commerce Minister bets on Saudi to be among top 10 global competitive economies by 2030

Commerce Minister bets on Saudi to be among top 10 global competitive economies by 2030

RIYADH: An ambitious plan of reforms for the Saudi economy aims to make it among the ten most competitive countries globally by 2030, Saudi Press Agency reported citing Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qasabi.

This came during the 200th meeting of the Executive Committee for Improving the Performance of Private Sector Business, also known as Tayseer, headed by Al-Qasabi as part of the National Competitiveness Center.

The minister also launched the new work plan for the center during the same meeting in an attempt to make the Kingdom a global competitive economy.

Al-Qasabi noted that the new scheme will push Saudi private and public businesses a step closer to global peers, adding that the center has established committees to lead the movement in the industry, agriculture, services, and technology sectors.

He added that there will be a focus on the transformation to a green economy and the application of ESG measures on Saudi businesses as this will be a driver to attract investments to them.

The vision for the center stems from plans announced earlier by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said the economy is expected to get SR27 trillion ($7.2 trillion) in government spending and investments by 2030 as the Kingdom plans to be among the top 15 global economies.

Established in 2016, Tayseer committee comprises 70 leaders in the Kingdom’s public and private sectors. It is linked to the National Competitiveness Center, which was launched to achieve Vision 2030 in line with the National Transformation Program.

The centers will work towards adopting research-based innovation, bringing sustainability to practice, and ensuring operational efficiency to enhance the Kingdom’s global competitiveness in line with Vision 2030.

Through adopting the three pillars of competitiveness – productivity, sustainability, and inclusiveness, the plan comes in line with Environmental, Social, and Governance practices.

 


Emirates Islamic profits soar by 271% in 2021

Emirates Islamic profits soar by 271% in 2021
Updated 53 min 38 sec ago

Emirates Islamic profits soar by 271% in 2021

Emirates Islamic profits soar by 271% in 2021
  • The bank’s total income rose in 2021 by 15 percent to reach 2,398 million dirhams, buoyed by strong operating performance

RIYADH: UAE’s Emirates Islamic reported a jump of 271 percent in net profits to reach 823 million dirhams ($224 million) in 2021, after incurring a loss of 482 million dirhams in 2020, according to a report released by the bank on Wednesday.

The bank’s total income rose in 2021 by 15 percent to reach 2,398 million dirhams, buoyed by strong operating performance. The bank attributed this solid growth to higher non-funded income and major reduction in the cost of risk, driven by strong economic recovery, according to the statement.

Operating profit improved 20 percent year-on-year, expenses rose by 10 percent to reach AED 1.191 billion, non-performing financing ratio improved to 8.2 percent with a significant coverage ratio at 115 percent while total assets remained sturdy at 65 billion dirhams, the report showed.

“Emirates Islamic maintained healthy liquidity and strong capital ratios, enabling the bank to grow customer financing by 4 percent in line with improved economic activity,” said Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim, chairman of Emirates Islamic and vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD.

Customer financing which grew 4 percent, reached 42.6 billion dirhams, while customer deposits increased by 1 percent reaching 47.3 billion dirhams.

The successful issuance of their $500 million 5-year Sukuk was well received by the global investment community, validating strong investor confidence in their financials and growth outlook, and the favorable outlook for the UAE economy, he added.