Oman and UK discuss cooperation in clean energy, investment

A high-level Omani delegation held a roundtable discussion to discuss investment opportunities with the UK. (Supplied/Arab British Chamber of Commerce)
A high-level Omani delegation held a roundtable discussion to discuss investment opportunities with the UK. (Supplied/Arab British Chamber of Commerce)
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Updated 12 January 2022

Oman and UK discuss cooperation in clean energy, investment

Oman and UK discuss cooperation in clean energy, investment
  • Minister says Oman regarded Britain as a key partner in its efforts to develop a stronger and more diverse economy.
  • Several leading UK firms delivered positive accounts of their experiences of the Oman business environment

LONDON: Oman and the UK held talks on Tuesday to discuss opportunities for trade and investment cooperation in clean energy and mining in the sultanate and prospects for sustainable, long-term expansion and growth.
The discussion, which attracted around 100 delegates and allowed Omani officials to enter into dialogue with potential British investors, sought to develop Omani-UK relations while promoting investment between the two countries, in line with the goals of the sultanate’s Vision 2040.
It also sought to identify steps UK companies needed to take to invest in Oman and develop the country as a regional hub for clean energy.
Omani Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Qais Al-Yousef said his country had become more focused on promoting investment opportunities in recent years and regarded Britain as a key partner in its efforts to develop a stronger and more diverse economy.

He also said Oman offered great opportunities in a range of key sectors and was keen to further develop the historic relations it has with the UK.
Al-Yousef was part of a ministerial delegation visiting the UK to follow up on Sultah Haitham bin Tariq’s visit last month, and included officials from the ministry of finance and labor and the Oman Investment Authority.
The speakers at the event, organized by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Oman Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Muscat, highlighted investment opportunities in solar energy, renewable technology, wind power and hydrogen, as well as tourism, fisheries and information and communications technology.
The sultanate has implemented investment incentives and a raft of measures to attract foreign companies and to increase revenue to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

The International Monetary Fund said in September that Oman is expected to switch to a surplus this year, after a spike in fiscal deficit and debt last year due to the pandemic and low oil prices.
Bill Murray, the UK ambassador to Oman, who chaired the discussion said that the meeting was being held within the framework of the UK-Oman joint action program to promote bilateral investment.
He said Sultan Haitham’s visit to the UK in December was a milestone in UK-Omani relations, adding that the roundtable was held on the day Oman marked the second anniversary of the sultan’s rule.
“Several leading UK firms active in Oman in the clean energy and mining sectors delivered positive accounts of their experiences of the Oman business environment,” ABCC said.

The companies, which were supported by the UK Department for International Trade and Export Finance — the kingdom’s export credit agency, also commended the support available to foreign investors and said authorities in the sultanate were keen to help businesses succeed in the market.
Bandar Reda, ABCC secretary-general and CEO, pledged to support private sector engagement and said prospects for closer business ties between the UK and Oman were growing across all sectors.
“Driven by the ambitions set out in its Vision 2040, Oman is moving ahead to diversify its economy, opening up new income streams and developing the skills of its citizens to contribute to greater prosperity and economic sustainability,” he said.
“At a time of global uncertainties, as we together face the combined challenges of COVID, Brexit and the energy transition, one of the enduring certainties is the increasing strength of Arab-British cooperation which is founded on the friendship of our peoples,” Reda added.


Biden administration holding its first onshore oil sales

Biden administration holding its first onshore oil sales
Updated 12 sec ago

Biden administration holding its first onshore oil sales

Biden administration holding its first onshore oil sales

BILLINGS: The US government this week is holding its first onshore oil and gas drilling lease auctions since President Joe Biden took office after a federal court blocked the administration’s attempt to suspend such sales because of climate change worries.

The online auctions start on Wednesday and will conclude on Thursday. About 200 square miles (518 square kilometers) of federal lands were offered for lease in eight western states. Most of the parcels are in Wyoming.

The sales come as federal officials try to balance efforts to fight climate change against pressure to bring down high gas prices.

Republicans want Biden to expand US crude production. But he faces calls from within his own party to do more to curb fossil fuel emissions that are heating the planet.

A coalition of 10 environmental groups said in a lawsuit filed before the sales even began that they were illegal because officials acknowledged the climate change impacts but proceeded anyway.

An immediate ruling was not expected. Interior Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz said the agency did not have comment on the litigation.

Beginning with this week’s sales the royalty rate for oil produced from new federal leases is increasing to 18.75 percent from 12.5 percent. That’s a 50 percent jump and marks the first increase since the 1920s.

Parcels also are being offered in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

Hundreds of parcels of public land that companies nominated for leasing had been previously dropped by the administration because of concerns over wildlife being harmed by drilling rigs. More parcels covering about 49 square kilometers were dropped at the last minute in Wyoming because of potential impacts on wilderness, officials said.

But attorney Melissa Hornbein with the Western Environmental Law Center said the reductions in the size of the sales were not enough.

“They are hoping that by choosing to hold sales on a smaller amount of acreage they are threading the needle. But from our perspective, the climate science is the one thing that doesn't lie,” Hornbein said.

Fossil fuels extracted from public lands account for about 20 percent of energy-related US greenhouse gas emissions, making them a prime target for climate activists who want to shut down leasing.

Biden suspended new leasing just a week after taking office in January 2021. A federal judge in Louisiana ordered the sales to resume, saying Interior officials had offered no “rational explanation” for canceling them and only Congress could do so.

The government held an offshore lease auction in the Gulf of Mexico in November, although a court later blocked that sale before the leases were issued.


Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. gets CMA nod to IPO 20% stake on Nomu

Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. gets CMA nod to IPO 20% stake on Nomu
Updated 20 min 17 sec ago

Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. gets CMA nod to IPO 20% stake on Nomu

Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. gets CMA nod to IPO 20% stake on Nomu

RIYADH: Saudi-based Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. has received approval for an initial public offering of 1 million shares on the Kingdom’s parallel market.

Shares to be listed represent 20 percent of the company’s share capital. 

The resolution was issued by the Saudi stock market regulator Capital Market Authority in a statement on Wednesday.

The Capital Market Authority’s approval shall be valid for six months from the authority’s board resolution date. It shall be deemed cancelled if the company’s offering is not completed within this period. 

The authority also granted Abdulaziz and Mansour Ibrahim Albabtin Co. approval to list 544,000 shares, representing 16 percent of the firm’s capital, on Nomu.

 

 


Arabian Drilling Co. gets approval to IPO 30% stake on Saudi stock market

Arabian Drilling Co. gets approval to IPO 30% stake on Saudi stock market
Updated 31 min 45 sec ago

Arabian Drilling Co. gets approval to IPO 30% stake on Saudi stock market

Arabian Drilling Co. gets approval to IPO 30% stake on Saudi stock market

RIYADH: Saudi-based Arabian Drilling Co. has received approval for an initial public offering of 26.7 million shares, representing 30 percent of the firm’s capital, on the Kingdom’s stock exchange.

The Capital Market Authority’s approval shall be valid for six months from the authority’s board resolution date. It shall be deemed cancelled if the company’s offering is not completed within this period. 


ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 
Updated 29 June 2022

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

RIYADH:  The Communications and Information Technology Commission, Saudi Arabia’s digital regulator, on Wednesday announced that communication infrastructure is fully operational in Makkah and Madinah and ready for this year’s Hajj.

The CITC has ensured the functioning of over 5,900 communication towers and more than 11,000 Wifi access points in the two holy cities, according to a statement. 

The number of 5G towers rose 41 percent to reach more than 2,600.

 “The Kingdom’s infrastructure readiness will not only help smooth the passage of fulfilling a lifelong dream,” said CITC Gov. Mohammed bin Saud Al-Tamimi, “it will significantly enhance their (pilgrims) digital experience.” 

 


Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government
Updated 29 June 2022

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

RIYADH: State-owned Saudi Electricity Co. has transferred its entire stake in the Saudi Power Procurement Co. to the government, the company said in a bourse filing.

SPPC as of today is an independent company wholly owned by the government, following completion of all legal arrangements for sale and transfer of assets, liabilities, and contracts

SPPC and SEC also signed energy conversion agreements, bulk supplies, and fuel supply novations, all effective July 1.

With that, SEC, SPPC and the Ministry of Finance signed a fuel inventory sale agreement, which stipulates that the ministry shall pay SEC its net book value for the fuel inventory.

The sale price shall be calculated based on the book value of SPPC's net assets at the end of the second quarter of 2022.

SEC does not expect the carve-out of SPPC to negatively impact its business since SPPC possesses no material tangible assets.