Our carbon emissions are down almost 60%, says Saline Water Conversion Corporation boss

Our carbon emissions are down almost 60%, says Saline Water Conversion Corporation boss
Abdullah Al Abdulkarim, Saline Water Conversion Corporation governor (Screenshot)
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Updated 13 January 2022

Our carbon emissions are down almost 60%, says Saline Water Conversion Corporation boss

Our carbon emissions are down almost 60%, says Saline Water Conversion Corporation boss

The largest desalination company in the world is close to reducing its carbon emissions by 60 percent, according to its governor.

Abdullah Al Abdulkarim, head of the Saudi government-run Saline Water Conversion Corporation, told delegates at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh that his organization wanted to go further.

He issued a call for innovators across the world to come forward with ways to reduce the power needed to extract minerals from water.

The Saline Water Conversion Corporation runs 32 plants in 17 locations, and last April was recognized by the Guinness World Records for setting a global record in reducing energy consumption in water desalination to 2.271 kWh per cubic meter.

Speaking on Thursday, Al Abdulkarim set out the work the corporation had already done, saying: “With this mission we are focusing to reduce our carbon footprint, and they can congratulate our Vision2030 because we are just about to reduce 60 percent of our carbon emissions, by reducing 34 million tons a year from this emission.

“Yet we are in the near future we will see carbon neutrality from our industry, reducing the power consumption as one of our missions, and you know for sustainability, the key pillar for sustainability is innovation.”

Appealing to the best and brightest in the sector, he added: “We stand here looking for innovators worldwide to collaborate, looking for investors, looking for manufacturers, and we have all the doors open to collaborate getting the best to build a much more better world by reducing the power where we need to produce minerals and having again accessible, abundant and affordable source of minerals.”


Saudi-Thai MoUs to boost two-way trade, investment opportunities

Saudi-Thai MoUs to boost two-way trade, investment opportunities
Updated 24 sec ago

Saudi-Thai MoUs to boost two-way trade, investment opportunities

Saudi-Thai MoUs to boost two-way trade, investment opportunities

RIYADH: Five memorandums of understanding were signed on the sidelines of the Saudi-Thai Investment Forum in Riyadh on Monday. 

The first MoU was signed between the Saudi Federation of Chamber and the Board of Trade of Thailand to explore investment opportunities in the private sector. 

The second MoU signed between the Saudi Ministry of Investment and Gulf Energy Development Public Co. aims at evaluating and exploring investment opportunities in the field of petrochemicals industries. 

The third deal between the Diriyah Gate Development Authority and Minor Group aims to launch multiple hotels in the region. 

The fourth MoU between the Saudi Investment Ministry and Indorama Ventures is aimed at exploring petrochemical and conversion opportunities such as polymers, and fiber surfactants. 

The fifth deal was signed between the Saudi Ministry of Investment and SCG and Dusit International. This deal is aimed at increasing foreign direct investments in Saudi Arabia. 


Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe
Updated 16 May 2022

Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

Macro Snapshot — Ukraine war slows eurozone growth; inflation rises around the globe

RIYADH:  The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting surge in energy and commodity prices will slash euro zone economic growth this year and next, while boosting inflation to record levels, the European Commission forecast on Monday.

The commission cut its growth forecast for the 19 countries sharing the euro to 2.7 percent this year from 4 percent predicted only in February, shortly before the war in Ukraine started. Growth will then slow to 2.3 percent next year, also below the 2.7 percent seen before.

The forecast is the first comprehensive estimate of the economic cost of the conflict in its neighbor for the euro zone and the wider 27-nation EU.

“The outlook for the EU economy before the outbreak of the war was for a prolonged and robust expansion. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has posed new challenges, just as the Union had recovered from the economic impacts of the pandemic,” the commission said in a statement.

“By exerting further upward pressures on commodity prices, causing renewed supply disruptions and increasing uncertainty, the war is exacerbating pre-existing headwinds to growth, which were previously expected to subside.”

Inflation, which the European Central Bank wants to keep at 2 percent will be 6.1 percent this year, the Commission forecast, falling to 2.7 percent — still well above the ECB’s target — next year. Before the war, the Commission expected prices to grow 3.5 percent in 2022 and 1.7 percent in 2023.

The scenario of an abrupt cut-off by Russia of gas supplies would boost inflation by an additional 3 percentage points in 2022 and an extra 1 percentage point in 2023, the Commission said.

Polish net inflation

Poland’s net Consumer Price Index excluding food and energy saw a rise by 0.8 percent in April reaching 7.7 percent year-on-year, showed a table published by the central bank on Monday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected April net inflation — excluding food and energy prices — year-on-year of 7.5 percent.

German manufacturing backlog 

German manufacturers’ order backlog is at a record high, according to a survey released on Monday, as companies struggle against supply bottlenecks in meeting high demand.

Even without a single new order, production could continue for 4.5 months, the Munich-based ifo institute said in a statement, citing the results of a survey in which around 2,000 companies took part between April 7 and 22.

In the previous survey, in January, the figure had been 4.4 months, while the long-term average for an order backlog was 2.9 months, the institute said. The data is seasonally adjusted.

“This recent increase in backlog is only slight, which indicates that the intake of new orders is gradually decreasing,” Timo Wollmershauser, head of forecasts at ifo, said, adding that German manufacturing would “really take off” if the supply-chain issues were to ease in coming months.

China's April property sales 

China’s property sales in April fell at their fastest pace in around 16 years as COVID-19 lockdowns further cooled demand despite more policy easing steps aimed at reviving a key pillar of the world’s second-largest economy.

Property sales by value in April slumped 46.6 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop since August 2006, and sharply widening from the 26.17 percent fall in March, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Monday.

Property sales in January-April by value fell 29.5 percent year-on-year, compared with a 22.7 percent decline in the first three months.

A further cut in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers announced by Chinese authorities on Sunday did little to convince investors and analysts that it could revive sluggish property demand. 

Japan wholesale prices

Japan’s wholesale prices in April jumped 10 percent from the same month a year earlier, data showed on Monday, rising at a record rate as the Ukraine crisis and a weak yen pushed up the cost of energy and raw materials.

The surge in the corporate goods price index, which measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services, marked the fastest year-on-year rise in a single month since comparable data became available in 1981.

The gain followed a revised 9.7 percent increase in March, and was higher than a median market forecast for a 9.4 percent increase.

Unlike other central banks worried about surging inflation, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has kept its ultra-easy monetary policy in place on the view that the cost-push rise in inflation is not bringing long-term price expectations to its 2 percent target.

“Companies have been trying to absorb the rising costs by corporate efforts, but from last year onwards that has become harder for them to endure,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

“They will be left no choice but to pass on those extra cost.”

Japanese firms have been slow in passing on rising cost to households as soft wage growth does little to help consumer sentiment and makes them cautious about scaring off consumers with price hikes.

The yen-based import price index jumped 44.6 percent in April from a year earlier, Monday’s data showed, a sign the yen’s recent declines are inflating the cost of imports for Japanese firms.

The BoJ last month projected core consumer inflation to hit 1.9 percent in the current fiscal year that started last month before moderating to 1.1 percent in fiscal 2023 and 2024 — a sign it sees current cost-push price rises as transitory. 

But analysts expect consumer inflation to hover around 2 percent in the coming months as the high raw material costs force more firms to hike prices, posing a risk to Japan’s fragile economic recovery.

“Everything ultimately depends on whether consumers accept price hikes,” said Minami. “While they’re likely to be okay with it to some extent, they won’t fully accept it, leading to a spending decline.”

Data on Friday is expected to show Japan’s core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food costs but includes energy costs, rose 2.1 percent in April from a year earlier, slightly exceeding the BoJ’s target, a Reuters poll showed last week.

 

 


Electromin rolls out EV charging stations across Saudi Arabia

Electromin rolls out EV charging stations across Saudi Arabia
Updated 11 min 36 sec ago

Electromin rolls out EV charging stations across Saudi Arabia

Electromin rolls out EV charging stations across Saudi Arabia
  • 1.8m EVs likely to be sold in next 8 years with introduction of the service

JEDDAH: Electromin, a wholly owned e-mobility turn-key solutions provider under Petromin, has announced the rollout of electric vehicle charging points across the Kingdom.  

The network includes 100 locations across the Kingdom powered by a customer-centric mobile application, said a statement. It will enable drivers to go on long journeys with easy access to EV charging stations. 

Electromin’s charging network will offer a complete spectrum of services — from AC home/office chargers, DC fast chargers, all the way through to DC ultra-fast chargers, catering for all customer segments. 

According to the statement, the chargers installed in phase 1 will be compatible with all homologated vehicles approved by the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization using AC Type 2 connectors. The second phase will include additional AC chargers and DC chargers up to 360kW, effectively allowing users to add up to 100 kilometers in 4 minutes. 

The app will be show all charging locations within the selected Petromin Express and Petromin AutoCare outlets in early May. It will allow customers to locate the nearest public charger, plan their route, check the status of the charger to ensure it is available, and allow them to fully control the start and finish of their charging session. The app will also facilitate payments and bookings. 

Tony Mazzone, Electromin’s director of energy and EV infrastructure, said: “The rollout of EV charging points across the Kingdom is our first phase of a significant national strategy that extends to 2030 and beyond.”

HIGHLIGHTS

The chargers installed in phase 1 will be compatible with all homologated vehicles approved by the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization using AC Type 2 connectors.

The second phase will include additional AC chargers and DC chargers up to 360kW, effectively allowing users to add up to 100 kilometers in 4 minutes.

The network includes 100 locations across the Kingdom powered by a customer-centric mobile application.

The app will be show all charging locations within the selected Petromin Express and Petromin AutoCare outlets in early May.

He said Electromin’s advanced solutions will help contribute to the development of the “Saudi EV ecosystem in line with the national priorities and commitments of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060 and 30 percent of vehicles in Riyadh being electric by 2030.” 

Building on our national network of charging stations will mean less pollution, more employment opportunities, and cleaner cars to deliver on the Kingdom’s clean energy investments

Tony Mazzone

“Studies show that EV sales in the Kingdom will increase with a projection of 1.3 million electric vehicles sold in the next 8 years. Building on our national network of charging stations will mean less pollution, more employment opportunities, and cleaner cars to deliver on the Kingdom’s clean energy investments.”

Graham Tunks, commercial director of Electromin added: “Electromin is the first in KSA to offer a public charging solution using SASO-regulated chargers, with full approval by municipalities, enabling drivers to make the switch to EVs knowing that there is a complete network for them to rely on.”

Electromin will be introducing added features and upgrades in their app soon to align with the future expansion of their value proposition and rollout of the network. 

Customers will need to download the app via Google Play or Apple Store, register their payment card details, and they are good to go. A dedicated call center will also guide and help EV users with charging, faults, or technical errors.

Additionally, customers can now benefit from the assistance of the Electromin Mobile EV Recovery Service. The key feature of this service is to ensure the on-road issues facing customers whose EVs have run out of battery. The recovery service will be initially limited to Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.


No grain supply crisis in Saudi Arabia, SAGO deputy governor says 

No grain supply crisis in Saudi Arabia, SAGO deputy governor says 
Updated 16 May 2022

No grain supply crisis in Saudi Arabia, SAGO deputy governor says 

No grain supply crisis in Saudi Arabia, SAGO deputy governor says 

RIYADH: The deputy governor of the Saudi Grains Organization said that there is no grain supply crisis in the Kingdom amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.

This comes as a result of the organization’s strategy which depends on different sources in different countries and continents for its wheat stocks, Zaid Al-Shabanat said in his interview with Saudi TV.

He added that the organization signed a contract the previous month to secure a large amount of wheat, to be available in Saudi markets by the fourth quarter of 2022. 

SAGO is working to continuously feed its stockpile, Al-Shabanat said, adding that there is also a percentage of local wheat being grown in the Kingdom.


Egypt remittances from individuals working abroad surges 12.8% in March 

Egypt remittances from individuals working abroad surges 12.8% in March 
Updated 16 May 2022

Egypt remittances from individuals working abroad surges 12.8% in March 

Egypt remittances from individuals working abroad surges 12.8% in March 

RIYADH: Egypt remittances from individuals working abroad surged 12.8 percent year-on-year during the month of March to reach $3.3 billion, Alarabiya reported. 

That marks a 44.4 percent jump when compared to February, which saw remittances hit $2.3 billion. 

Remittances in the period extending from July 2021 up until March 2022 recorded an overall increase of 1.1 percent on an annual basis to reach an estimated $23.6 billion.

Such transactions have been forecasted to grow by 8 percent in 2022, reflecting a faster rate than 2021’s growth of 6.4 percent, according to a report issued by the World Bank.

This comes as Egypt was one of the largest destinations for remittances abroad in 2021, receiving as much as $31.5 billion in remittances.