Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 
Natural gas in the US climbed over $9 per million British thermal units on Wednesday. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 26 May 2022

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

Third gas link between Spain and France in 2.5 years; Qatar, UK sign energy deal: NRG matters 

RIYADH: A third gas link between Spain and France is expected to be completed in two and a half years with the right push. Qatar and the UK sign a cooperation deal in the energy field. Also, natural gas in the US climbed over $9 for the first time since 2008. On another note, America’s Lucid Motors will launch one of three major electric vehicle plants in Saudi later this year. Meanwhile, the UK’s National Grid Plc has asked wind turbines to reduce output due to the lack of enough room for electricity storage.

Looking at the bigger picture: 

·      A third gas link between Spain and France that will be worth between 600 and 700 million euros ($640 and $746 million) is expected to be completed within two and a half years, if the correct procedures are facilitated, Reuters reported, citing the chief executive of Spain’s grid operator. This comes as interconnection projects have received great attention recently, as the EU attempts to drift away from Russian supplies.

·      Qatar and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding in the energy field, MEED reported, citing state-owned petroleum company QatarEnergy. The cooperation deal aims to strengthen the Gulf country’s gas supply in Europe. In addition to this, Qatar is aiming to invest as much as $12.5 billion in the UK over the next five years, according to a statement from the UK government.

·      Natural gas in the US climbed over $9 per million British thermal units on Wednesday reflecting the highest increase since 2008. The increase in prices is mainly attributed to the low inventory, which is consequently pushing prices up. Small output growth, high liquified natural gas exports, and storage levels that are 17 percent below the five-year average are all contributing to the surge in prices, CNBC reported, citing the head of natural gas and power services for North America at Argus Media, David Givens.

·      American electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid Motors, which is 60 percent wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is on track to construct an electric vehicle assembly plant in the Kingdom later this year. The plant, which is anticipated to be one of three potential electric vehicle plants in the Kingdom, will have the capacity to produce as many as 150,000 vehicles per year.

Through a micro lens:

·      British multinational electricity grid operator National Grid Plc has asked several wind farms in Scotland that are connected to the local network to diminish output by 25 megawatts, Bloomberg reported. Despite record wind in Scotland, more electricity is being produced than the grid there can handle, also demonstrating that the UK is unable to deal with or store big amounts of electricity. 


Saudis reportedly in talks over stake in luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin

Saudis reportedly in talks over stake in luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudis reportedly in talks over stake in luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin

Saudis reportedly in talks over stake in luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin
  • The Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is said to be considering taking a $243.5m stake in the British company that make the vehicles favored by movie spy James Bond

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is reportedly in talks with Aston Martin over acquiring what the Financial Times newspaper said would be a $243.5 million stake in the luxury carmaker.

The British manufacturer refused to confirm or deny the reports but following the news on Thursday, a fall in the company’s share price was reduced to nine percent from a 20 percent drop earlier in the day.

Since its initial public offering in 2018, the carmaker — whose vehicles frequently appear in James Bond movies — has struggled, with the share price falling by nearly 68 percent this year alone.

In January, Aston Martin blamed lower-than-expected profits on delays in shipments of its limited edition Valkyrie sports car, but the company said on Thursday that production of the model has started to pick up pace.

In a further effort to reassure investors, it added that its management team, led by new boss Amedeo Felisa, is increasingly focusing on the launch of new models beginning in 2023.

Citing four sources said to be close to the PIF investment talks, the FT said Aston Martin is seeking to raise additional funding for its new range of cars. Autocar magazine reported that the manufacturer is also in talks with a US-based investment fund as it looks to raise capital.


Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows
Updated 30 June 2022

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

RIYADH: Nearly 60 percent of businesses in Saudi Arabia and the UAE do not have an environmental, social and governance framework, a survey by ASDA’A BCW’s unit showed. 

Conducted by PSB Middle East, the survey also revealed that around half of those who have an ESG framework, are not sure their employees fully understand it. 

The survey marked the launch of OnePoint5, its new ESG advisory dedicated to the Middle East and North Africa region.

Out of the 200 respondents interviewed, 41 percent said their business already had an ESG framework in place, while 33 percent said they were developing one, while 26 percent admitted their company had no ESG policy. 

Around 52 percent of the respondents said their company had introduced an ESG framework and they did not fully understand it, which shows the need for raising awareness of the benefits of ESG standards. 

The research indicated that the Middle East’s business community had work to do to meet the high expectations of their governments on sustainability, Sunil John, president MENA of BCW, said. 

 


Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Retal Urban Development has signed a SR339 million ($90.5 million) deal with the Public Investment Fund-backed Roshn Real Estate to buy 372 plots within its integrated community SEDRA in Riyadh.

Saudi-listed Roshn said it plans to develop the land according to its guidelines for SEDRA, according to MEED. 

Located in the north of Riyadh, the project was launched last August by Roshn, with a plan to include 30,000 homes across eight phases. 

The agreement is expected to directly impact Retal’s financials between 2022 and 2024.


Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

RIYADH: Saudi-based Arabian International Healthcare Holding Co., known as Tibbiyah, has got the General Authority for Competition’s approval to acquire a 51 percent stake in UAE’s Innovative Healthcare Co.

Operating as a holding company, Tibbiyah, through its subsidiaries, offers medical systems, healthcare equipment, and medical supplies in the Kingdom. 

The authority also approved Growth Avenue Investment Co.’s acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Saudi Medical System.

Since the beginning of 2021, the authority has approved 101 acquisitions. 


Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway
Updated 30 June 2022

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

CAIRO: Egypt has contracted to buy the largest quantity of wheat in a tender in at least a decade, as it takes advantage of the recent price drop. Additionally, the World Bank has agreed to provide the North African country $500 million in development funds to boost food security.
Egypt has contracted to buy the largest quantity of wheat in a tender in at least a decade, as it takes advantage of the recent price drop, Bloomberg reported. 

The country’s General Authority for Supply Commodities bought 815,000 tons to bolster stockpiles as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global supplies.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the order is considered the largest single purchase since at least 2012. 

Food security

The World Bank has agreed to provide Egypt with $500 million in development funds to boost food security.

Egypt-Saudi electrical interconnection

The minister of electricity and renewable energy has said work is currently in progress on the electrical interconnection project with Saudi Arabia to exchange 3,000 MW at a cost of $1.8 billion. 

Mohamed Shaker told Daily News Egypt that the project is set to be operational by 2026.