South Korea seeks to boost clean energy efforts with UAE cooperation

South Korea seeks to boost clean energy efforts with UAE cooperation
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai on Monday. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 17 January 2022

South Korea seeks to boost clean energy efforts with UAE cooperation

South Korea seeks to boost clean energy efforts with UAE cooperation
  • Seoul and Abu Dhabi reach landmark $3.5 billion defense agreement — largest in South Korea’s arms history
  • President Moon Jae-in scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday

SEOUL: South Korea is seeking to increase hydrogen cooperation with the UAE in a bid for a sustainable future and carbon neutrality, President Moon Jae-in said on Monday in Abu Dhabi during his Middle East tour to explore business opportunities in the region.

Moon arrived in the UAE on Saturday for a three-day visit as part of his week-long Middle East trip. From Abu Dhabi he will fly for talks in Riyadh.

“Through hydrogen cooperation between the UAE and Korea, I hope that we can move forward in a sustainable future and carbon neutrality,” he said while addressing the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

As South Korea wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Moon said Seoul wants to bolster cooperation with the UAE in the development of carbon-capture technologies to create what is known as blue hydrogen — a form of the fuel obtained from natural gas in a process that stops carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

The UAE is one of the world’s foremost pioneers in the field.

Prof. Jung Sang-ryul of the Institute of Middle Eastern Affairs at Myungji University in Seoul told Arab News that with UAE-Korean hydrogen cooperation, the industry “can make a greater leap forward.

“The hydrogen industry is a field for future cooperation,” he said. “The UAE has strengths in the production of green and blue hydrogen, whereas South Korea (has) in utilization, storage and distribution, including hydrogen-powered vehicles, charging stations, fuel cells and liquid transportation.”

During Moon’s visit, Seoul and Abu Dhabi also reached a landmark $3.5 billion defense agreement on Sunday, under which the UAE will purchase KM-SAM surface-to-air-missiles, known as Cheongung II. It is the largest deal in the history of South Korea’s arm exports.

“The UAE is the first foreign nation to operate the Cheongung II,” Kang Eun-ho, commissioner of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Seoul’s arms procurement agency, said in a statement. “The deal is the result of the bilateral defense cooperation based on mutual trust and will serve as a watershed moment for the two nation’s strategic defense partnership.”

The KM-SAM was developed with technical support from Russia to replace the older Hawk surface-to-air missiles that had been in service in 1964. Equipped with a multi-function phased array 3D radar, the interceptor can “hit-to-kill” hostile missiles coming in at altitudes below 40 km.

On the sidelines of the missile acquisition contract, the two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboration in defense technologies, including the potential development of weapons systems.

The UAE is South Korea’s top export market and biggest partner in human resource exchanges in the Middle East.

South Korean firms have participated in the development of Emirati oil fields and the Barakah nuclear power plant — the first nuclear power station in the Arabian Peninsula, which started operations last year.

On Tuesday, the South Korean president will continue his trip to Saudi Arabia.

His office said in a statement that Moon is scheduled to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The leaders of the two nations are expected to discuss energy and infrastructure, as well as health care, science and technology, hydrogen, intellectual property and education,”the office said.

On Wednesday, Moon is scheduled to meet Gulf Cooperation Council secretary-general Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf to discuss the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement between Seoul and GCC.

South Korea and the GCC started talks on a free trade deal in 2007, but negotiations had stalled and were suspended in 2010.


EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters
Updated 13 sec ago

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

RIYADH: The EU steps in once again with a new package aiming to boost renewables in favor of a clean future. Switzerland is also seen working on securing storage capacity ahead of winter. Meanwhile, America’s Caterpillar Inc is eyeing the energy transition as the main driver of the mining business as a whole. Other than that, Germany’s Uniper announced that it will continue importing natural gas from Russia for another decade. 

Looking through the bigger picture: 

·      The EU has revealed a $221 billion plan which aims to cut red tape and pave the way for renewables, Bloomberg reported.  The scheme also includes plans to ramp up liquified natural gas imports and lowering energy demand to reduce dependency on Russian supplies. Under the new plan, the EU wants to raise the renewables target to 45 percent of the bloc’s energy needs by 2030. 

·      Switzerland’s government and natural gas industry have announced that they will collaborate in an attempt to bolster storage capacity in nearby countries and guarantee additional supply sources before winter arrives, Reuters reported, citing the cabinet. This comes as the European country does not own any gas storage facilities. On top of this, gas constitutes an estimated 15 percent of the country’s overall energy consumption. 

Through a micro-lens:

·      American construction machinery and equipment firm Caterpillar Inc has announced that it believes that the energy transition will be a major driver for the mining business in the years to come. In the period between 2021 and 2024, the firm is targeting a global market with an accumulated worth of $5 trillion for energy transition-related infrastructure, Reuters reported, citing the firm’s CEO Jim Umpleby. 

·      German energy firm Uniper SE has announced that it will continue to import natural gas from Russia for another ten years despite Europe’s efforts to cut dependency on the country. This comes as the firm has contracts with Russian majority state-owned gas industry company Gazprom PJSC that is set to expire in the middle of the 2030s, Bloomberg reported, citing the corporation’s CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach.


GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia
Updated 4 min 15 sec ago

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia
  • Separately, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Electricity Company to develop a roadmap toward hydrogen and ammonia neutralization for power generation

DAMMAM: General Electric is set to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City, with a total capacity of 800 megawatts by the end of the year.

Yanbu is a port city on the Red Sea coast of western Saudi Arabia and hosts major downstream oil and petrochemicals facilities.

The area is managed by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

GE said it plans to accelerate its renewable production of wind turbines and hybrid battery storage, as well as solar and hydrogen-related products, in line with the Saudi green initiative.

The US-based engineering giant is also a leading manufacturer of gas turbines, which work to limit carbon emissions.

 

“GE has a record of efficient gas turbines, which we were able to achieve with our technology development,” said Hisham Albahkali, the president of GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in an exclusive interview with Arab News. “We have been able to reach the optimum efficiency, which gives less pollution and less carbon.”

Albahkali explained how the firm aims to optimize the output of its gas turbine production.

He said: “Gas turbines work on fossil fuel, but the idea is to burn hydrogen. So, the output of the gas turbine won’t be combined with hydrocarbons.”

Separately, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Electricity Company to develop a roadmap toward hydrogen and ammonia neutralization for power generation and carbon capture on May 16.

“We have provided Aramco and SEC with one wind turbine each, and we are participating in several solutions with them for batteries,” Albahkali added on the sidelines of the MoU signing ceremony.

FASTFACT

SME Focus

GE has enrolled around 200 local SMEs into workshop units to help them meet global energy standards.

“Human capital is important for us,” Albahkali said.

GE celebrated its 130th anniversary in April and has operated in the Kingdom for 90 years.


Half of Gazprom’s 54 clients opened Gazprombank accounts, says Russia’s Novak

Half of Gazprom’s 54 clients opened Gazprombank accounts, says Russia’s Novak
Updated 19 May 2022

Half of Gazprom’s 54 clients opened Gazprombank accounts, says Russia’s Novak

Half of Gazprom’s 54 clients opened Gazprombank accounts, says Russia’s Novak

Half of Russian gas giant Gazprom’s 54 clients have opened accounts at Gazprombank, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, as Moscow seeks to compel its clients to pay for its gas in roubles.

Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland in April after they refused to meet its demand that European buyers start paying for Russian gas in roubles, raising fears that other states could be next.

Finland’s state-owned energy provider Gasum refused to switch to the new scheme and said this week it would take its dispute over rouble payments with Russia’s Gazprom Export to arbitration proceedings.

Novak told a forum on Thursday that some big companies had already paid for Russian gas under the new scheme and that Moscow would soon know definitively which companies paid and which refused to do so.

“Gas payments under main contracts are due ... and there is information that some big companies already opened accounts, paid (gas bills) and are ready to pay on time,” Novak told a forum. “In the next couple of days we will see a final list of who’s paid in roubles and who’s refused.”

Nearly all the supply contracts EU companies have with Gazprom are in euros or dollars and some top Western companies have already opened accounts at Gazprombank.


Saudi stocks drop on mixed investor sentiment: Opening bell

Saudi stocks drop on mixed investor sentiment: Opening bell
Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi stocks drop on mixed investor sentiment: Opening bell

Saudi stocks drop on mixed investor sentiment: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks open lower in the last trading session of the week on mixed earnings reports, which result in mixed investor sentiment.

The main index, TASI, fell 2.52 percent to reach 12,393, while the parallel market, Nomu, lost 1.51 percent at 22,487, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.

United Wire Factories Co. dropped 2.35 percent, after announcing that it had extended its agreement with A-1 Fence Arabia Co.

Tabuk Cement Co. slumped 0.95 percent, after reporting it swung into losses of SR7 million ($2 million) in its first-quarter earnings as sales dropped.

United Cooperative Assurance Co. slipped 1.38 percent, after reporting its net loss was trimmed by 26 percent to SR19.9 million last quarter.

Saudi Real Estate Co. increased 3.34 percent to lead the gainers, after it received shareholder approval to increase capital to SR3.7 billion.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. slipped 5.65 percent to lead the fallers.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, opened today’s trading down 2.70 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi edged down 2.81 percent, and Alinma Bank fell 4.76 percent.

Brent crude settled at $110.43 a barrel, and US WTI crude traded at $110.34 a barrel, as of 10:16 a.m. Saudi time.


Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat extends gain; Copper buoyed by easing China curbs

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat extends gain; Copper buoyed by easing China curbs
Updated 19 May 2022

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat extends gain; Copper buoyed by easing China curbs

Commodities Update — Gold flat; Wheat extends gain; Copper buoyed by easing China curbs

RIYADH: Gold prices were flat on Thursday, as an elevated US dollar and rising Treasury yields weighed on greenback-priced bullion, with the metal’s outlook already dampened by an aggressive Federal Reserve stance on inflation.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,813.96 per ounce, as of 0512 GMT. US gold futures were flat at $1,813.40. 

Platinum drops

Spot silver was flat at $21.40 per ounce, while platinum dropped 0.8 percent to $927.78.

Palladium rose 0.5 percent to $2,027.38. 

Grains up

US wheat extended gains on Thursday, after India unexpectedly banned wheat exports last week, while the Russia-Ukraine war kept underpinning global grains markets.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.89 percent at $12.41-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT wheat had climbed more than 8 percent over the past two days, following India’s wheat ban and reports showing bad condition of US winter crop.

CBOT soybeans edged up 0.95 percent to $16.78-1/2 bushel, extending gains, while corn rose 0.48 percent to $7.85-1/4 a bushel.

Copper inches higher

London copper prices inched higher on Thursday, buoyed by easing COVID-19 restrictions in top metals consumer China, although mounting worries over a global economic slowdown limited gains.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2 percent at $9,254 a ton, as of 0702 GMT, after dropping 1.4 percent in the previous session. 

The most-active June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading down 0.3 percent at $10,576.04 a ton.

LME aluminum was down 0.1 percent at $2,853.50 a ton.

(With input from Reuters)