Etihad Rail welcomes first batch of National Rail Network fleet

Etihad Rail welcomes first batch of National Rail Network fleet
The locomotives and wagons reached the UAE via the Zayed and Al-Musaffah Ports. (WAM)
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Updated 19 August 2022

Etihad Rail welcomes first batch of National Rail Network fleet

Etihad Rail welcomes first batch of National Rail Network fleet
  • Company plans to expand its fleet to 45 heavy transport locomotives, six times the size of its current fleet

ABU DHABI: Etihad Rail has reached a new milestone in the development of the UAE’s National Rail Network, as the first batch of the company’s new and advanced rolling stock fleet arrive in the UAE. 

The locomotives and wagons reached the UAE via the Zayed and Al-Musaffah Ports and will operate across the entire network once it is completed. 

The achievement was announced during an event hosted by Etihad Rail at Al-Mirfa city in Abu Dhabi.

The event was attended by Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak, Progress Rail CEO Marty Haycraft and MENA Executive Director at CRRC Henry Pang, as well as a number of other senior officials.

“The arrival of the new fleet of locomotives and wagons to the UAE on schedule reflects the level of the achievements that the Etihad Rail project is realizing in the development of the UAE National Railway Network,” Mohammed Al Marzouqi, executive director of the rail relations sector at Etihad Rail, said.

The National Rail Network is part of Etihad Rail’s efforts to achieve the objectives of the UAE Railways Programme, the largest land transport system of its kind in the UAE. 

The program was launched as part of the Projects of the 50, the largest collection of national strategic projects aimed at establishing a new phase of development across the UAE for the next 50 years. 

It aims to establish a new roadmap for transporting goods and passengers by train across the country, thus developing a sustainable land transport system that connects UAE cities via railway.

The company plans to expand its fleet to 45 heavy transport locomotives, which is six times the size of its current fleet.

Progress Rail, a subsidiary of US-based Caterpillar and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel and electric locomotives, will manufacture and supply the new EMD SD70 electro-motive diesel locomotives.

“Our diesel-electric EMD SD70 locomotives meet the highest global standards. Etihad Rail’s new fleet is a great example of what our customers have come to expect from our advanced locomotives, which are designed to perform in extreme conditions,” Haycraft said.

The company’s new fleet aims to house more than 1,000 multi-purpose wagons, which is three times the size of its current fleet. 

China’s CRRC Group, one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable development solutions of the railway industry, will manufacture and supply the new fleet of wagons.

“CRRC is excited to be a partner in stage two of the UAE National Rail Network, contributing to the growth of Etihad Rail, the UAE and the region by supporting the development of the rail industry,” CRRC UAE General Manager Ben Quak said.  

“We are pleased to witness the successful delivery of the multi-function wagons, which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and provide safe, sustainable and efficient services,” Quak said.

“Upon completion and becoming fully operational, the network will contribute to revitalising and bolstering economic growth in the UAE, particularly during the next 50 years, by providing reliable and safe freight services with high efficiency,” Al-Marzouqi said.

The executive director said: “The network will also contribute to the region’s economic growth upon its connection with the Gulf Cooperation Council network, which will consolidate the UAE’s position as a regional and global center for shipping and logistics services. This achievement comes as part of the company’s preparations to operate the network according to the highest global standards in the future.

“We made sure that the company’s new fleet is among the most modern in the region and the world, providing the highest safety criteria in terms of design, ensuring the best specifications for sustainability and environmental protection, and integrating the latest technologies for train operation and monitoring. 

“We also ensured that the fleet suits the local geography and climate in the UAE and the region and meets the current and future needs of Etihad Rail’s clients, including industrial companies, shipping companies, building materials suppliers, quarriers and more.”

Etihad Rail’s new fleet was designed to withstand the GCC region’s geographic, climate and high temperatures and humidity levels, guaranteeing the highest levels of performance, efficiency and sustainability. 

The fleet is expected to improve the UAE’s transport and logistical services system, strengthening the country’s position in the logistics sector on a regional and international scale. It will increase the UAE National Rail Network’s capacity to more than 60 million tons of goods a year. 

Etihad Rail’s new fleet will also help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70 to 80 percent.

 


DP World Logistics opens 6,000 sq. m warehouse in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone

DP World Logistics opens 6,000 sq. m warehouse in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone
Updated 08 December 2022

DP World Logistics opens 6,000 sq. m warehouse in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone

DP World Logistics opens 6,000 sq. m warehouse in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • The company said the storage facility has a monthly capacity of 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units

DUBAI: DP World Logistics in Dubai has opened a 6,000-square-meter high-end warehouse offering new storage solutions at Jebel Ali Free Zone, the Emirates News Agency reported.

The facility has 12,500 pallet positions and can accommodate cargo up to 18 meters high using Very Narrow Aisle racking systems, the company said, and a monthly capacity of 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

DP World Logistics highlighted its advantageous location in what it described as one of the world’s fastest-developing regions and said that it is able to leverage the capabilities and cutting-edge IT platforms of its parent company, DP World, to ensure goods are stored, distributed and delivered efficiently through a multimodal transportation model that combines port, shipping line, sea freight, air freight and trucking solutions.

The company said it offers container freight station operations, warehousing and supply chain solutions, and freight-forwarding operations from six facilities in Jebel Ali and its assets include extensive yard operations, cross-dock warehousing, and cold storage and cool storage solutions.

“As part of DP World, a global smart-trade enabler, DP World Logistics is continually on a journey of business transformation, with new product innovations and developments,” said Abdulla bin Damithan, the CEO of DP World UAE and Jafza.

“Our shared commitment to improve end-to-end logistics performance in moving cargo around the world, underpinned by innovations in logistics-led solutions, has maximized opportunities for our customers over the years.

“The new CFS 2 warehouse is yet another step in supporting our customers better, helping them explore varied business opportunities and move forward with tremendous growth potential in the region. As a reliable, trustworthy and time-bound logistics partner, we will continue creating a complete end-to-end logistics trade journey from and to high-growth markets for our clients.”


Saudi-Chinese cooperation scales new heights with each passing year

Saudi-Chinese cooperation scales new heights with each passing year
Updated 57 min 57 sec ago

Saudi-Chinese cooperation scales new heights with each passing year

Saudi-Chinese cooperation scales new heights with each passing year
  • 2022 turned out to be the year when Sino-Saudi collaborative projects in various fields truly prospered
  • China seeking to bolster its energy ties with the Gulf countries to secure adequate oil supply

RIYADH: Saudi-Chinese ties have prospered in 2022 amid the high cooperation efforts between the countries across various fields, including aviation, energy, tourism, artificial intelligence, technology and more.

On Nov.27, Saudi Arabia’s deputy foreign minister met with the Chinese ambassador to the Kingdom in Riyadh, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, Waleed Al-Khuraiji and Chen Weiqing reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to serve common interests. They also discussed issues of common interest.

Aviation

Earlier this year, in October, Saudi Arabia and China signed a memorandum of understanding to boost the number of flights and stations between the two countries. 

The MoU also aims to promote air traffic growth further and bolster cooperation in the air transport sector field between both countries, Zawya reported.

Energy

In September, the regional organization Arab League announced the first of its kind Arab-China summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia in December, reflecting a milestone in the strategic collaboration between Arab countries and the Asian giant.

According to Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post, Beijing is seeking to bolster its energy ties with the Gulf countries to secure sufficient supply.

Tourism

In September, the Saudi Tourism Authority and Shanghai-based financial firm UnionPay signed an MoU to boost the number of Chinese visitors to Saudi Arabia.

Under the agreement, the Chinese state-owned financial services company will facilitate payment operations within the Kingdom for UnionPay card holders, the Saudi Press Agency reported.  

Culture

As part of Saudi-Chinese cultural cooperation, King Abdulaziz Public Library signed an MoU and collaboration with the Bayt El-Hekma Chinese Group in April.

The agreement aims to enhance cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China in different cultural, knowledge, and language fields of interest to both sides.

It also includes exchanging publication services and cultural visits between the two countries, besides holding scientific meetings and specialized exhibitions and activating cultural commonalities through forums.  

Artificial Intelligence

In March, Riyadh-based aerospace company TAQNIA and solution provider TAQNIA ETS signed an MoU with Chinese aerospace firm Star Vision to elevate the space sector’s supply chain and work hand in hand on artificial intelligence applications and technologies.

Under the MoU, all parties will participate in collaborative research and work together to facilitate the development of top-notch space technologies, satellites, and geospatial products, trade publication Times Aerospace reported.

The MoU aims to introduce localized services and products that align with the Kingdom and the region’s strategic space and geospatial industry.

 Technology

In March, Saudi Advanced Communications and Electronics Systems Co., ACES, partnered with China Electronics Technology Group to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicle payload systems in the Kingdom.

Under the partnership, China Electronics Technology Group, the state-owned defense conglomerate specializing in dual-use electronics, aims to aid ACES in establishing a research and development center and manufacturing team for various types of unmanned aerial vehicle payload systems.  

Oil

In March, a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. unit signed an initial agreement with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, for potential downstream collaboration in China.  

The subsidiary, Saudi Aramco Asia Company Ltd., and Sinopec aim to support Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. in conducting a feasibility study into the optimization and expansion of capacity, according to a statement.  

Building & Construction

In January, Saudi Aramco and the China Building Materials Academy announced plans to launch a new Nonmetallic Excellence and Innovation Center collaboratively.

Also referred to as NEXCEL, the new center will be based in Beijing and advance the use of nonmetallic materials in the building and construction sector.
 


Saudi-Chinese relations witness ‘qualitative leap,’ says energy minister

Saudi-Chinese relations witness ‘qualitative leap,’ says energy minister
Updated 07 December 2022

Saudi-Chinese relations witness ‘qualitative leap,’ says energy minister

Saudi-Chinese relations witness ‘qualitative leap,’ says energy minister
  • China has become the top destination for Saudi oil exports
  • President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Wednesday said that relations between the Kingdom and China are witnessing a qualitative leap, reflecting the keenness of both countries’ leaderships to develop them at all levels.

In remarks to the Saudi Press Agency during the Saudi-Chinese Summit in Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz said that the Kingdom has strong and close strategic relations with China in many fields, the most important of which is energy.

China has become the top destination for Saudi oil exports as part of the high volume of trade exchange between the two countries, with continued annual growth over the past five years, he said, adding that Saudi-Chinese energy ties include multiple joint investments.

China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom following an invitation by King Salman to attend the summit, which will run until Dec. 9.

Prince Abdulaziz highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two countries in maintaining stability of the global oil market, and said that the Kingdom will remain China’s credible and reliable partner in facing future energy challenges.

The minister also reviewed areas of cooperation between the Kingdom and China, mainly through projects to convert crude oil into petrochemicals, renewable energy, clean hydrogen, electricity projects and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as well as investment in integrated refining and petrochemical complexes in both countries.

He highlighted the two nations’ efforts to boost cooperation in energy supply chains by establishing a regional center in the Kingdom for Chinese factories.


Budget 2023: Saudi Arabia exceeds surplus estimate and revises up GDP forecast

Budget 2023: Saudi Arabia exceeds surplus estimate and revises up GDP forecast
Updated 4 min 11 sec ago

Budget 2023: Saudi Arabia exceeds surplus estimate and revises up GDP forecast

Budget 2023: Saudi Arabia exceeds surplus estimate and revises up GDP forecast
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the government intends to prioritize capital spending
  • The budget has been approved by the Saudi Cabinet

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has recorded a larger-then-expected budget surplus for 2022 of SR102 billion ($27.13 billion) — SR12 billion higher than previously forecast.

The surplus comes as the Kingdom's gross domestic product is also set to exceed expectations — registering growth of 8.5 percent compared with the 7.5 percent estimated in December 2021 and the 8 percent forecast in pre-Budget statement published at the end of September.

GDP growth is forecast to slow to 3.1 percent in 2023.

The revelations came as the Saudi government approved a SR1.114 trillion budget for 2023, itself expected to post a surplus of SR16 billion, Saudi media outlets reported.

The Kingdom expects revenues of SR1.13 trillion next year, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported. The surplus is equivalent to 0.4 percent of gross domestic product — 0.2 percentage points higher than forecast in September 

Total revenues are forecast at SR1.234 trillion for 2022, while spending is SR1.132 trillion, meaning a surplus of 2.6 percent of GDP — 0.1 percentage point higher than previously forecast.

Saudi Arabia’s inflation, which recorded 2.6 percent in 2022, is expected to fall to 2.1 percent in 2023.

Later on Wednesday, the Saudi cabinet approved the budget in a meeting that was chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“We announced the general budget of the state for the next year, asking God Almighty to perpetuate the blessing of security and prosperity,” the king said.
Following his speech, the Council of Ministers completed the session headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where they thanked King Salman for attending the session to announce the state general budget for the next fiscal year.
The crown prince said that the success of the Kingdom’s reforms in the operating model of the public sector and the economy contributed to the achievement of a budget surplus.
He emphasized that budget surpluses will be used to boost government reserves, support national funds, and strengthen the Kingdom’s financial position in the face of a global economic downturn.
Prince Mohammed added that the government intends to prioritize capital spending in the 2023 budget based on regional and sectoral strategies in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Along with spending, he also said that the government will implement a number of initiatives to strengthen the role of the private sector in development and attract additional foreign investment.
He cited the Kingdom’s launch of the “Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative,” which aims to make Saudi Arabia a prime investment environment for supply chain investors.
The cabinet then reviewed the provisions of the budget, and issued its decision regarding the revenue, expenditure and surplus.
The crown prince directed the ministers and officials to actively commit to implementing the budget programs and the development and social projects.


Saudi’s KAPSARC signs information exchange agreement with Chinese research institute

Saudi’s KAPSARC signs information exchange agreement with Chinese research institute
Updated 07 December 2022

Saudi’s KAPSARC signs information exchange agreement with Chinese research institute

Saudi’s KAPSARC signs information exchange agreement with Chinese research institute

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian think tank King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Economics & Technology Research Institute to exchange information around energy, economics, and climate change

Under the terms of the MoU, both entities will work hand in hand in order to allow for the exchange of research and the generation of actionable insights.

Some of the fields of common interest which will be prioritized topics of research include energy, economics, climate change, sustainability, transition, productivity, hydrogen, carbon capture, among others.

The MoU falls in line with KAPSARC’s mission to utilize applied research and innovation to drive and propel the global energy sector, while the Chinese organization is affiliated with oil and gas firm China National Petroleum Corporation.

“We see a lot of common interest and alignment between China’s and Saudi Arabia's position when it comes to energy and climate. We both understand and reiterate the idea of common but differentiated responsibility when it comes to climate change,” KAPSARC’s president Fahad Alajlan said in a statement.

Through joint workshops, the exchange of ideas and insights between experts, and the creation of platforms that facilitate global cooperation and knowledge exchange, both institutions will work together on deliver research.

“As important energy producers and consumers in the world, China and Saudi Arabia play an important role in maintaining the stability of the international energy market, addressing climate change, and promoting the realization of energy green transformation goals,” added CNPC ETRI’s president Yu Guo.