Aramco signs $15.5bn gas pipeline deal with global consortium led by BlackRock

Aramco signs $15.5bn gas pipeline deal with global consortium led by BlackRock
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Updated 07 December 2021

Aramco signs $15.5bn gas pipeline deal with global consortium led by BlackRock

Aramco signs $15.5bn gas pipeline deal with global consortium led by BlackRock

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco signed a $15.5 billion lease and leaseback deal involving its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets and Hassana Investment Co., said a statement.

Considered to be one of the largest energy infrastructure deals, it represents Aramco’s asset optimization program and is the second such infrastructure transaction by Aramco this year after the closing of the oil pipeline infrastructure deal earlier in June 2021.

Upon completion of the gas pipeline transaction, Aramco will receive upfront proceeds of $15.5 billion, further strengthening its balance sheet, the statement added.

Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, said: “BlackRock is pleased to work with Saudi Aramco and Hassana on this landmark transaction for Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure. Aramco and Saudi Arabia are taking meaningful, forward-looking steps to transition the Saudi economy toward renewables, clean hydrogen, and a net-zero future.”

As part of the transaction, a newly-formed subsidiary, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company, will lease usage rights in Aramco’s gas pipelines network and lease them back to Aramco for a 20-year period. In return, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company will receive a tariff payable by Aramco for the gas products that will flow through the network, backed by minimum commitments on throughput.

Aramco will hold a 51 percent majority stake in Aramco Gas Pipeline Company and sell a 49 percent stake to investors led by BlackRock and Hassana, which is the investment management arm of the General Organization for Social Insurance.

Saad Al-Fadly, CEO of Hassana Investment Company, added: “We are particularly excited about this deal as it comes in line with Hassana’s strategy to create enduring value for GOSI and further strengthen our long-lasting partnerships with strong and reputable players such as Aramco and BlackRock.”

According to the statement, Aramco will continue to retain full ownership and operational control of its gas pipeline network and the transaction will not impose any restrictions on Aramco’s production volumes. 

Aramco CEO said: “With gas expected to play a key role in the global transition to a more sustainable energy future, our partners will benefit from a deal tied to a world-class gas infrastructure asset.”

The announcement follows a $12.4 billion lease and leaseback transaction concluded in June with a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners, which involved Aramco’s stabilized crude oil pipeline network.

Abdulaziz M. Al Gudaimi, Aramco Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, said: “We are pleased that we are concluding the second transaction, seeking long-term partners who understand and appreciate the industry.”

The gas pipeline transaction is expected to close as soon as practicable, subject to customary closing conditions, including any required merger control and related approvals.


Boeing invests $450m in flying taxi developer Wisk

Boeing invests $450m in flying taxi developer Wisk
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 11 sec ago

Boeing invests $450m in flying taxi developer Wisk

Boeing invests $450m in flying taxi developer Wisk

Boeing Co. is investing a further $450 million in Wisk to support development of future pilotless flying taxis, the US aerospace giant said on Monday.


California-based Wisk, owned by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, was launched by Google co-founder Larry Page and is one of dozens of businesses electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft but differs in making them autonomous from the outset.


Choice hotels, Saudi Seera Group launch two new hotels in the Kingdom

Choice hotels, Saudi Seera Group launch two new hotels in the Kingdom
Updated 3 min 21 sec ago

Choice hotels, Saudi Seera Group launch two new hotels in the Kingdom

Choice hotels, Saudi Seera Group launch two new hotels in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Two new hotels have launched in Saudi Arabia as part of a bigger plan between hospitality firm Choice Hotels EMEA and Saudi tour operator Seera Group,

Under the collaboration, at least 10 hotels will be opened in the Kingdom in the next five years.

The first hotel launched through the partnership — Clarion Hotel Jeddah Airport — has 200 rooms and is located near the Jeddah Airport Train Station.

The second hotel, Comfort King Road, has 125 suites and is situated near Jeddah Corniche.

Majed Alnefaie, CEO of Seera Group, said the collaboration falls in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and aims to “strengthen inward tourism and to build a robust infrastructure that will enable the Kingdom to realize the goals of economic diversification.”


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 23 min 41 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 25 min 8 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 43 min 49 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.