MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer
Masdar City has started the works at its net-zero energy office tower. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 26 June 2022

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

MENA Project Tracker: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City starts work on net-zero tower; EGA becomes UAE’s first silicon metal manufacturer

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi’s technology and innovation hub Masdar City has started the works at its net-zero energy office tower, of Masdar City Square, as the UAE continues its journey to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Also known as MC2, the project is being developed in collaboration with project management firm Woods Bagot, and architectural firm Faithful+Gould, Trade Arabia reported. 

Woods Bagot will handle design and construction supervision, while Faithful+Gould has been awarded a project management consultancy services contract, the report added.

The MC2 development which has an area of 29,000 square meters with a gross floor area of 50,000 square meters includes seven single and multi-tenant office buildings, along with a large parking facility. 

The works of MC2 are expected to be completed by 2024. 

EGA to produce silicon in UAE

Emirates Global Aluminum, also known as EGA, has announced that the company is planning to develop a project to manufacture silicon in the UAE, Trade Arabia reported.

Currently, there are no silicon manufacturing units in the UAE, and EGA is the largest importer of this metal with an annual demand of 60,000 tons.

“Developing a silicon metal manufacturing facility would secure our supply of a strategic raw material. Once we have met our own demand we could expand further, creating a new growth opportunity for our company while supporting the development of new local industries in line with the goals of Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates, and the global energy transition,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGL. 

He added that the construction work of this new project is expected to begin next year.

Silicon is a key raw material for premium aluminum.


SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers
Updated 02 October 2022

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

SAGO buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.3m from local farmers

RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has bought the 16th batch of wheat worth SR8.84 million ($2.35 million) from 18 local farmers.

It is part of the organization’s arrangements to ensure adequate wheat supply by procuring grain from abroad and through local farmers. 

The current batch of local wheat weighed 5 tons, according to a SAGO statement.

Since the beginning of the current season, it added, wheat worth SR823.53 million has been bought from local farmers .


UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition
Updated 02 October 2022

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

UAE In-Focus — Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs; Egis completes WME acquisition

RIYADH: The Dubai Metaverse Strategy is aiming to create 40,000 virtual jobs in the next five years, as the city aims to become one of the top 10 global metaverse economies.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Crown Prince of Dubai, who officially launched the Metaverse Strategy said that metaverse will shape a new digital future for humanity, news agency WAM reported.

“Dubai is emerging as a major contributor to shaping a new global vision for advanced technology and a pioneer in adopting next-generation digital innovation,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

The Metaverse Strategy also aims at attracting over 1000 companies in the significant field of blockchain and metaverse.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the two main enablers of the metaverse, and it has created 6,700 jobs, along with contributing $500 million to the economy of the UAE.

Egis completes WME acquisition

French firm Egis has completed the acquisition of Dubai-based engineering consultancy WME, according to a MEED report.

The deal was initially announced in March and with its completion, WME’s managing director Peyman MoHajjer will lead the newly formed Building Engineering practice for Egis in the region.

“The joining of WME into Egis Group opens the door to create substantial growth opportunities and deliver greater benefits for customers in our key Middle East and India markets, in line with our global strategy to enhance our international presence,” said Laurent Germain, Egis Group CEO.

Alaa AbuSiam, CEO of Egis Middle East said, “Together with WME, we’re now well positioned to help our clients successfully navigate the transition to a more efficient and sustainable built environment.”

WME is a firm known for providing civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, audio-visual, information technology, security, and infrastructure engineering services.


Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 
Updated 02 October 2022

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

Qatar Investment Authority invests $2.43bn to accelerate RWE’s green energy strategy 

RIYADH: The Qatar Investment Authority has agreed to invest $2.43 billion in Germany’s largest power producer RWE AG, to help it buy US firm Con Edison Inc’s Clean Energy Businesses subsidiary for $6.8 billion.

According to a Reuters report, RWE will issue a mandatory convertible bond to a QIA subsidiary, through which Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will become a 9.1 percent shareholder in RWE.

By acquiring Con Edison’s Clean Energy Businesses, RWE is expected to become one of the major players in the US renewable energy sector.

The transaction will nearly double RWE’s US renewables portfolio to more than 7 gigawatts and grow its regional project pipeline by 7 GW to more than 24 GW.

Following the takeover, solar will account for 40 percent of RWE‘s US portfolio, up from 3 percent now, according to presentation slides.

“Our equity capital measure is the basis for financing the acquisition of Con Edison CEB and of the additional green growth in the years to come,” RWE Chief Executive Markus Krebber said in a statement late on Saturday.

He added: “I am delighted that the QIA is supporting RWE’s accelerated growth ambitions with their capital commitment.”

The deal, the biggest for RWE since the breakup of former division Innogy announced in 2018, will be earnings accretive right away, giving RWE additional core earnings of $600 million a year.

Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, said that the fund is proud to support RWE’s vision to become a leader in the global renewable energy market.

“QIA is actively investing in companies that can have a positive impact on society and shape the future of sustainability by making the energy transition a reality,” he added.

The deal comes nearly a year after RWE fleshed out its global renewables roadmap, which includes $49 billion of gross investments by 2030, with 15 billion earmarked for the US.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2023, will make RWE the fourth-largest renewables player in the US market.

The deal plays a key role in the company’s green expansion, though still far behind the largest player NextEra with some 58 GW of generating capacity. 

Barclays and Latham and Watkins advised Con Edison on the deal.

(With input from Reuters) 


IMF plans regional office in Saudi Arabia

IMF plans regional office in Saudi Arabia
Updated 33 min 8 sec ago

IMF plans regional office in Saudi Arabia

IMF plans regional office in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The International Monetary Fund is considering opening a regional office in Saudi Arabia as both parties prepare to sign a memorandum of understanding in this regard on Oct. 3 in Riyadh. 

The MoU, to be signed between the Saudi Arabian ministry of finance and the IMF, will be followed by a joint press conference at Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, a ministry release said. 

The opening of a new regional office in Saudi Arabia holds significance as the IMF expects the Kingdom to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies, recording a growth of 7.6 percent in the gross domestic product this year.

It should be also noted that credit rating agency S&P has affirmed Saudi Arabia’s rating at “A-/A-2” with a positive outlook citing higher oil revenues, rising oil production, and the government’s robust reform program.


Saudi Arabia to host ICAO Air Services Negotiation conference in  2023

Saudi Arabia to host ICAO Air Services Negotiation conference in  2023
Updated 02 October 2022

Saudi Arabia to host ICAO Air Services Negotiation conference in  2023

Saudi Arabia to host ICAO Air Services Negotiation conference in  2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will host the 15th International Conference on Air Services Negotiations of the International Civil Aviation Organization in December 2023, in Riyadh, as the Kingdom leapfrogs in the aviation sector in line with the goals outlined in its Vision 2030. 

Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabian Minister of Transport and Logistics, said that the conference will be an important platform for member states to discuss ways of organizing and managing the air transport sector, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

“Choosing the Kingdom to host the International Conference on Air Services Negotiations 2023 is an affirmation of the Kingdom’s position and its effective contributions in the aviation sector at the global level, and in appreciation of its efforts to enhance air connectivity in line with the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services, which is based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” Al-Jasser added. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been elected to the membership of the Council of ICAO for the period 2023-2024-2025. 

The decision was made during the 41st General Assembly of the organization held in Montreal, Canada. 

The Kingdom was reelected after a voting process with the participation of 193 member states of the UN to find a position in the ICAO Council comprising 36 members. 

“Since the establishment of the first airline in the Kingdom in 1945, the Kingdom, with the unlimited support of the wise leadership, has proven its commitment and tireless work toward the sector of aviation both domestically and internationally,” Al-Jasser further said. 

He added that the Kingdom is now working in line with the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by consolidating its global leadership role in the sector. 

The civil aviation strategic plan is one of the most crucial goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

According to the civil aviation strategic plan, the Kingdom is aiming for 330 million passengers annually and 250 destinations around the world by 2030.