The Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

The Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 
A pair of dolphins observed in the Red Sea (Supplied)
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Updated 30 June 2022

The Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

The Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. has revealed rich diversity of habitats, flora, and fauna in one of the world’s largest environmental surveys of wildlife ecosystems, carried along the Saudi Arabian coast.

The 11-month long study has included a number of endangered species such as the Halavi Guitarfish, Hawksbill Sea Turtle and Sooty Falcon, according to a statement. 

Released at the UN World Ocean Conference in Lisbon, the research has also included an eight-meter-high single coral colony estimated to be around 600 years old. 

Conducted from January through November 2021, it has revealed that many threatened and endangered species inhabit the area, which shows the environmental protection and regeneration efforts in the region. 

“We want to prove to the world, and our peers in the tourism industry, that creating world-class destinations can go hand-in-hand with protecting and enhancing the environment,” CEO John Pagano  said. 

“We’re challenging ourselves and others to do better and be better as global pioneers in responsible development and are issuing a call to action for tourism as an industry to step up when it comes to the impact on wildlife and biodiversity,” Pagano added. 




A lion fish observed by TRSDC scientists (Supplied)

The tourism industry places significant stress on local land and marine areas if action is not taken. 

UN Environment research shows that the growth of tourism and its impact on the environment is growing at an unsustainable rate, with a 154 percent increase in energy consumption, 131 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and 152 percent increase in water consumption expected by 2050 if action is not taken.


SAMA launches point-of-sale service between Saudi Arabia and Qatar 

SAMA launches point-of-sale service between Saudi Arabia and Qatar 
Updated 19 min 53 sec ago

SAMA launches point-of-sale service between Saudi Arabia and Qatar 

SAMA launches point-of-sale service between Saudi Arabia and Qatar 

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, has launched a point-of-sale service between the national payment network Mada and the Qatari national network NAPS, starting from Aug. 1.

The step comes following the success of the pilot technical tests between the two networks, according to a statement.

With the launch of this service, holders of Mada and NAPS cards will be able to implement point-of-sale operations in the two countries through the Gulf Payments Network, known as GCC-Net.

The GCC-Net enables bank customers of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s countries to withdraw cash from automated teller machines, in the local currency of the host country.

In addition to providing the option of payment through direct debit cards to the Gulf network through point-of-sale machines in the countries of the Council. 


MENA Project Tracker— KOC receives bids for $100m flowline; CHEC wins Red Sea contract

MENA Project Tracker— KOC receives bids for $100m flowline; CHEC wins Red Sea contract
Updated 32 min 57 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker— KOC receives bids for $100m flowline; CHEC wins Red Sea contract

MENA Project Tracker— KOC receives bids for $100m flowline; CHEC wins Red Sea contract

CAIRO: Kuwait Oil Co. has tendered its $100 million oil flow line project and received  bids from six Kuwait-based companies.
The contract includes the construction and civil work of the flow line — a pipeline that connects the oilfield wellhead to the manifold which connects to the rest of the equipment, according to MEED.

OQ gas delays pipeline bids

OQ Gas Networks, a subsidiary of Oman’s public energy company OQ, has delayed its contract bid submissions for a major pipeline project until Aug. 31.

The 42-inch pipeline is to transport natural gas 193 km from the Fahud station in Oman’s center to reach the industrial hub of Sohar in the north, reported MEED.

However, the energy conglomerate has been contemplating the construction of a shorter pipeline that extends only 128 km from the Fahud compressor station to BVS 4 in Sohar instead.

Hill International selected

Hill International— a US construction consulting firm— has been selected as project manager for two projects by the UAE-based Aldar properties.

The contract includes construction, and schedule control, in addition to health, safety, and environment management, reported Gulf Daily News.

Located in the Saadiyat Cultural District of Abu Dhabi,  the first phase of the project will lie in the heart of the city surrounded by many of its attractions, such as Abu Dhabi Louvre and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum.

The second phase of Al-Reeman residential development will be built in the southeast of Abu Dhabi. It will also offer facilities for different  healthy activities such as bicycle paths and community centers.

 “We will bring our expertise and experience to help ensure Aldar’s vision is realized for this first phase of the Grove and the critical second phase of Al-Reeman,” stated Samer Tamimi, senior vice president at Hill International.

CHEC lands another Red Sea Contract

China Harbour Engineering Co.— a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co.— has landed the contract for bridges and culverts construction in Shurayrah, Saudi Arabia.

This contract is part of the Red Sea Project development, in which the CHEC has won six other different contracts.

The scope of work includes building 12 bridges and culverts on the Saudi island, in addition to four bridges for a planned golf course, reported MEED.


Saudi Electricity secures $568m funding for interconnection project with Egypt

Saudi Electricity secures $568m funding for interconnection project with Egypt
Updated 57 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Electricity secures $568m funding for interconnection project with Egypt

Saudi Electricity secures $568m funding for interconnection project with Egypt

RIYADH: State-owned Saudi Electricity Co. has obtained $568 million in financing to fund the Saudi-Egypt electricity interconnection project.

The Fund, which has a term of 14 years, is backed by Swedish Export Credit Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., according to a bourse filing.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt signed an agreement to establish an electrical interconnection in 2012 for the purpose of being the main axis in the Arab electrical linkage, which aims to create an infrastructure for electricity trade between Arab countries.

In October of last year, the two countries signed contracts for a $1.8 billion electricity interconnection project to ensure an exchange of 3,000 MW of electricity between both nations.

In a separate announcement, the utility firm announced that it has also obtained a syndicated loan of $3 billion from a number of international banks.

As part of the five-year syndicated loan, the company will refinance an existing international syndicated facility. This will include, without limitation, capital expenditures.

The financing entities include Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and State Bank of India.

Following the announcement, shares of SEC opened Thursday's trading session 0.39 higher percent at SR26.

Established in 1999, Saudi Electricity produces electricity through 45 power plants and owns transmission and distribution networks throughout the Kingdom.

It is majority-owned by the government at 74.3 percent, while Saudi Aramco owns 6.9 percent.

In the last earnings report by the firm, it reported a 10 percent decline in profit to SR1.5 billion for the first quarter of 2022.


MG sells over 120,000 cars since its debut in Mideast

MG sells over 120,000 cars since its debut in Mideast
Updated 11 August 2022

MG sells over 120,000 cars since its debut in Mideast

MG sells over 120,000 cars since its debut in Mideast

RIYADH: British automotive company MG has sold over 120,000 cars in the Middle East alone since its debut in the region in 2014, according to a press release.

The company claimed that it is currently ranked sixth in the list of manufacturers in the region.

Meanwhile, MG also exported its one-millionth vehicle since it started overseas sales following its acquisition by SAIC Motor in 2007.

Tom Lee, managing director of MG, said: “This latest milestone illustrates the commitment MG has to its customers, both globally and regionally, ranging from the support provided by our Advanced Design Studio in London, our extended support team in headquarters to that delivered by our dedicated partners across the Middle East.”

It further noted that MG is ranked among the top 10 brands in 18 countries including Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Australia. 


Oil demand rises as gas prices surge: IEA

Oil demand rises as gas prices surge: IEA
Updated 11 August 2022

Oil demand rises as gas prices surge: IEA

Oil demand rises as gas prices surge: IEA

PARIS: Global oil demand will rise more than previously forecast this year as heatwaves and soaring gas prices are prompting countries to switch fuels for power generation, the International Energy Agency said Thursday, according to AFP.

Oil prices have dropped by $30 per barrel from a peak in June due to growing supplies and “escalating concerns over the deteriorating economic outlook,” the Paris-based agency said in a monthly report.

Meanwhile, prices of natural gas and electricity have jumped to new records, prompting some countries to switch to oil use, the IEA said.

“With several regions experiencing blazing heatwaves, the latest data confirm increased oil burn in power generation, especially in Europe and the Middle East but also across Asia,” the agency said.

“Fuel switching is also taking place in European industry, including refining,” said the IEA, which advises developed countries on energy policy.

Consequently, the IEA raised its demand forecast by 380,000 barrels per day.

Demand is now seen rising by 2.1 million bpd to a total of 99.7 million bpd in 2022. It will reach 101.8 million bpd in 2023, exceeding pre-Covid levels.

The IEA said European oil deliveries are being boosted by “exceptional demand” for heat and power generation and in industry.

The report comes as a EU plan to cut gas consumption across the 27-nation bloc by 15 percent came into effect on Tuesday.

The effort is aimed at coping with the energy price crisis spurred by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

EU countries also fear Russia may cut gas supplies during winter in retaliation to Western sanctions over the war.

The IEA said the heatwaves and “the beginning of what may be a major rise in gas-to-oil switching under new EU guidelines in response to uncertainty surrounding gas supply from Russia are augmenting fuel oil and gasoil use.”