ACWA Power signs JDA with Indonesia's Pertamina NRE to energize Tuban Refinery  

ACWA Power signs JDA with Indonesia's Pertamina NRE to energize Tuban Refinery  
The agreement was signed during the B20 Summit last week but ACWA has only now revealed the details. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 November 2022

ACWA Power signs JDA with Indonesia's Pertamina NRE to energize Tuban Refinery  

ACWA Power signs JDA with Indonesia's Pertamina NRE to energize Tuban Refinery  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power and Indonesian energy firm Pertamina New & Renewable Energy signed a joint development agreement on core utilities supplies to Tuban Grass Root Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Java, eastern Indonesia. 

The agreement was signed during the B20 Summit last week but ACWA has only now revealed the details.

The scope of the JDA includes development of a 575 MW power generation facility, a steam generation component with a capacity of 3,288 tonnes per hour; and a water desalination plant with a total capacity of 363,480 m3/day, said the press release. 

These facilities will feed to the Tuban refinery which produces aromatics and ethylene. This is one of Indonesia’s national strategic projects as it aims to build energy security and advance the domestic petrochemical industry. 

The power and water desalination plant for the Tuban GRR&P is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2027. 

“With climate change implementation strategies at the top of the global consciousness, an integrated approach that can enable decarbonization in a responsible and reliable manner is key to mitigating the impact of carbon-intensive industries,” said Paddy Padmanathan, CEO and vice chairman of ACWA Power.

He added: “As a company that is driving the transition, we are proud and privileged to be collaborating with such a visionary company as Pertamina NRE, leveraging our extensive expertise in delivering renewable energy and desalinated water at scale, and now green hydrogen as well, to deliver successful outcomes.”  

Pertamina NRE is focused on building green businesses and developing decarbonization initiatives in Indonesia, as its parent firm Pertamina Group has set a target to reach net zero emissions by 2060. 

“This is a strategic collaboration where we will take part in supporting Tuban GRR&P project that will play a key role in building national energy security. It is very exciting that we are going to support Tuban GRR&P project by providing low-carbon solutions. Having a reputable strategic partner is very crucial in terms of technology transfer and risk sharing. We believe this collaboration will create significant value,” said Dannif Danusaputro, CEO, Pertamina NRE. 


Strength in numbers: Saudi Arabia and China seal 35 deals worth $30 billion during Xi Jinping’s visit

Strength in numbers: Saudi Arabia and China seal 35 deals worth $30 billion during Xi Jinping’s visit
Updated 08 December 2022

Strength in numbers: Saudi Arabia and China seal 35 deals worth $30 billion during Xi Jinping’s visit

Strength in numbers: Saudi Arabia and China seal 35 deals worth $30 billion during Xi Jinping’s visit
  • Agreements range from green energy, technology, and logistics, to construction and manufacturing
  • Major ones include an alignment plan between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative

RIYADH: China’s business links with Saudi Arabia have been significantly boosted thanks to the signing of 35 investment agreements involving organizations from the two countries.

The raft of deals came during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Kingdom. They cover a range of sectors, including green energy, technology and cloud services.

Transportation, logistics, medical industries, construction and manufacturing are also covered by the deals, as is a petrochemicals project, housing developments and the teaching of the Chinese language.

The agreements are worth about $30 billion, and come as China seeks to shore up its COVID-19-hit economy and the Kingdom continues to diversify its economic and political alliances in line with Vision 2030.

One of the deals involved a memorandum of understanding with China’s Huawei Technologies on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities. (Supplied)

The signing of the agreements was overseen by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Xi, with the first an alignment plan between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Another deal saw a memorandum of understanding in the field of hydrogen energy signed by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, and He Lifeng, chairman of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.

Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, the Kingdom’s justice minister, and Wang Yi, China’s state councilor and minister of foreign affairs, inked an agreement for cooperation and judicial assistance in civil, commercial and personal status cases.

A memorandum of cooperation to teach the Chinese language was signed by Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Benyan, Saudi Arabia’s education minister, and China’s Wang Yi.

Direct investment is to be encouraged through an MoU penned by Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the Kingdom’s investment minister, and Wang Wentao, China’s minister of commerce.

An action plan to activate the provisions of the housing memorandum of cooperation was also agreed, and signed by Majid Al-Hogail, Saudi Arabia’s minister of municipal, rural affairs and housing, and China’s Wang Wentao.

The signing of these MoUs and agreements was followed by a ceremony during which the Chinese president received an honorary doctorate degree in administration from King Saud University.

The Saudi crown prince also held an official lunch in honor of the Chinese president. (SPA)

The Saudi crown prince also held an official lunch in honor of the Chinese president.

Saudi investment minister Khalid Al-Falih said that this week’s visit “will contribute to raising the pace of economic and investment cooperation between the two countries,” offering Chinese companies and investors “rewarding returns.”

One of the deals involved a memorandum of understanding with China’s Huawei Technologies on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities, the government communication office said in a statement.

Saudi firm AJEX Logistics Services is one of the companies looking to benefit from the growing ties between the Kingdom and China.

The firm marked the visit of the Chinese leader by announcing the launch of two new services as part of its expansion strategy into China and the Middle East.

Customers will soon be able to send single-piece and multi-piece shipments from China to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in four to seven days.

Another deal, signed between the Saudi Investment Ministry and Shandong Innovation Group, involves the construction of an aluminum plant.

Chinese chemical company Kingfa, Shanghai-based wind turbines and energy management software firm Envision, and Beijing-headquartered CITIC Construction also penned MoUs.

The range of deals prompted the CEO of the Saudi Export Development Authority, Abdulrahman Al-Thukair, to hail the strong economic relations between Saudi Arabia and China.

Al-Thukair praised the growth and development of the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, noting that China is one of the Kingdom’s main trade partners, as total non-oil exports from the Kingdom to China reached SR36 billion ($9.57 billion) in 2021, mainly petrochemicals, which amounted to SR31.7 billion, and minerals, which amounted to SR2 billion.

Thursday’s developments prompted Hussain Al-Shammari, the Ministry of Media’s director of international media, to claim that Saudi Arabia is now a “hub” for Chinese industry.

Speaking to Arab News, he said: “Today they will open a regional center for all factories of China in Saudi Arabia that makes Saudi Arabia a hub for the industry for China. The Silk Road of China will be served with the Saudi Vision. Both countries are interested in strengthening these relations and we will benefit, both China and Saudi Arabia, from these visits.”

He added: “This second visit of the Chinese president is very important. We are signing a SR110 billion contract. We are signing more than 20 agreements — it is the deal of the decade for both countries.”

Al-Shammari highlighted the importance of the Chinese president’s visit to the Kingdom and the aligned goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

“These important agreements will serve both purposes of Saudi Vision 2030 and will also serve the purposes of China,” Al-Shammari said, adding: “China needs the continuity of energy and oil going to their economy. We are important to China and China is also important to us.

China is the largest commercial partner of Saudi Arabia with a $67 billion interaction annually between the two countries. (Supplied)

“The Saudi-Chinese bilateral relations are very strong, China is the largest commercial partner of Saudi Arabia with a $67 billion interaction annually between the two countries, and both leaderships are looking forward to developing these relations even further.”

As China is the second largest economy in the world and Saudi Arabia is going through its Vision 2030 goals, a transfer of new technologies is required, said Al-Shammari.

“These summits come at an important time for both countries to further strengthen these bilateral relations,” he added.

As confirmed recently by Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Kingdom will host a regional center for Chinese factories owing to Saudi Arabia’s strategic location among the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.

The minister also reaffirmed collaboration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as investment in integrated refining and petrochemical complexes in both countries.

Cooperation between the two countries has witnessed remarkable growth during the past five years, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, the minister of industry and mineral resources, told Arab News.

The raft of deals came during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Kingdom. (SPA)

During the crown prince’s visit to China in February 2019, both countries concluded agreements to establish joint projects covering several sectors including manufacturing, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and others.

The countries already share a good history of cooperation, Al-Khorayef said, citing the example of seven Chinese factories operating in different fields in the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.

In addition to this, there are 10 other factories at different stages of planning, construction and implementation.

Furthermore, there are about 12 projects for the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu with Chinese companies at different stages, some of them in operation and others under procedure or design.

It is not just business groups that are benefiting from Saudi Arabia’s closer ties with China.

Saudi Arabian think tank King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center signed an MoU with China’s Economics and 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 to allow for the exchange of research and the generation of actionable insights.

Some of the fields of common interest which will be prioritized as topics of research include energy, economics, climate change, sustainability, transition, productivity, hydrogen and 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.


SABIC to sell Functional Forms polycarbonate business to Germany’s RÖHM

SABIC to sell Functional Forms polycarbonate business to Germany’s RÖHM
Updated 08 December 2022

SABIC to sell Functional Forms polycarbonate business to Germany’s RÖHM

SABIC to sell Functional Forms polycarbonate business to Germany’s RÖHM
  • SABIC’s Functional Forms business develops and manufactures high-quality, polycarbonate resin-based engineered thermoplastic sheet and film products
  • Final agreements between the two companies will be signed in the coming months after consultation with applicable works councils and unions in Europe

RIYADH: SABIC has agreed to sell its Functional Forms polycarbonate business to German manufacturer RÖHM.

The sale will allow SABIC to focus on its portfolio of petrochemicals, agri-nutrients, and specialties.

SABIC’s Functional Forms business develops and manufactures high-quality, polycarbonate resin-based engineered thermoplastic sheet and film products which it sells across a wide variety of industries, ranging from building and construction, consumer electronics, aircraft and rail interiors to displays. Its operations are in 19 countries and has about 700 employees.

Final agreements between the two companies will be signed in the coming months after consultation with applicable works councils and unions in Europe. Subject to regulatory approvals and completion of the carve-out of the business from the rest of SABIC’s operations, the transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2024.


How Saudi firms can build on the momentum created by Chinese President Xi’s visit

How Saudi firms can build on the momentum created by Chinese President Xi’s visit
Updated 08 December 2022

How Saudi firms can build on the momentum created by Chinese President Xi’s visit

How Saudi firms can build on the momentum created by Chinese President Xi’s visit
  • Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers praises China’s role in the Kingdom’s mega projects
  • Saudi Arabia-China bilateral trade stood at $95.46 billion between January and October 2022

RIYADH: Ajlan bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, conveyed the greetings of the country’s business community to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday for a three-day visit. 

Al-Ajlan praised the ever-improving ties between Saudi Arabia and China, in light of the strong political will and strategic partnership between the two friendly countries — particularly on the economic front.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Ajlan said the two countries have strong historical and economic relations, as China is the Kingdom’s largest trade partner. 

He urged the business community to take advantage of the momentum created by Xi’s visit to push forward trade deals and investments in both Saudi Arabia and China.

Xi is scheduled to meet Saudi and Arab leaders during his visit to the Kingdom. Three summits will take place during his stay: The Saudi-Chinese Summit, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development.

Xi who was received by Saudi leaders on Thursday is also scheduled to meet Arab leaders during his visit to the Kingdom. (SPA)

The visit reflects the desire of the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and China to strengthen ties, enhance strategic partnerships and realize the political and economic potential in areas of common interest.

Around 35 initial agreements between the two countries, worth more than SR110 billion ($29.3 billion), have been signed during the presidential visit, along with a strategic partnership deal and a plan to harmonize implementation of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The volume of bilateral trade grew during 2021 by 37 percent to reach $81.14 billion, with Saudi Arabia accounting for about 26 percent of China’s total foreign trade with Arab countries.

The volume of bilateral trade grew during 2021 by 37 percent to reach $81.14 billion. (SPA)

The CSC Chairman said the Kingdom is China’s largest trade partner in West Asia and North Africa, with the import and export of goods between the two countries from January to October 2022 amounting to $95.46 billion, reflecting the strength and diversity of trade between the two countries.

Al-Ajlan praised the role played by Chinese companies in the Kingdom and their involvement in several Saudi mega projects that ads value to the Kingdom’s economy.

He added that harmonizing China’s Belt and Road Initiative with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 will help exploit the Kingdom’s strategic location to make it a global logistics hub.

Ajlan bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce. (Supplied)

The CSC chairman said there were huge investment opportunities in the Kingdom for China, particularly in infrastructure projects, as well as in enhancing economic cooperation through regional and international blocs such as the Gulf Cooperation Council, the G20 and others.

He said optimizing this relationship would turn both nations into a powerful combined economic force, based on solid institutional frameworks.

Al-Ajlan said investment cooperation agreements under the Saudi-Chinese Joint Committee and the Saudi-Chinese Business Council, which works under the umbrella of CSC, play an important role in developing investment and trade between the business sectors of the two nations. 
 


Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources stresses importance of strategic partnership with China's industrial and mining sector 

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources stresses importance of strategic partnership with China's industrial and mining sector 
Updated 08 December 2022

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources stresses importance of strategic partnership with China's industrial and mining sector 

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources stresses importance of strategic partnership with China's industrial and mining sector 

RIYADH: Strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and China in the industrial and mining sector is important and crucial, the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef said.

Cooperation between the two countries has witnessed remarkable growth during the past five years, Al-Khorayef is cited by Saudi Press Agency as saying.

Non-oil exports during 2021 amounted to more than SR36 billion ($9.5 billion), while the Kingdom's imports from China during the same period reached SR112 billion riyals, Al-Khorayef said.

Topping the list of Saudi's exports to China were Petrochemicals and minerals as well as heavy machinery, electronics, vehicles and spare parts he explained.

Moreover, joint projects account for an important part of the volume of cooperation between the two countries. The Saudi Industrial Fund, alone, contributes to financing six joint projects.

During the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to China in February 2019, both countries concluded agreements to establish joint projects covering several sectors including manufacturing, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, and others.

The countries already share a good history of cooperation, Al-Khorayef said, citing the example of the seven Chinese factories operating in different fields in the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones

In addition to this, there are an estimated 10 other factories in different stages of planning, construction, and implementation.

Furthermore,  there are approximately 12 projects for the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu with Chinese companies in different stages, some of them are in operation, and others are under procedure or design.


Saudi governors hail Kingdom’s surplus budget as it set to propel economic growth   

Saudi governors hail Kingdom’s surplus budget as it set to propel economic growth   
Updated 08 December 2022

Saudi governors hail Kingdom’s surplus budget as it set to propel economic growth   

Saudi governors hail Kingdom’s surplus budget as it set to propel economic growth   

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s bumper budget surplus has received thumbs up from the Kingdom’s governors as they term it a reflection of “the strength and durability” of the economy that will go long way to improve the lives of its citizens. 

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced a larger-than-expected budget surplus of SR102 billion ($27.13 billion) for 2022 — SR12 billion higher than previously forecast. 

The Kingdom also upwardly revised the growth of its gross domestic product to 8.5 percent for 2022, compared with the 7.5 percent estimated in December 2021 and the 8 percent forecast in the pre-Budget statement published at the end of September. 

“The Kingdom is witnessing a historical transformation in various fields in line with the goals and objectives of Vision 2030 in bringing about qualitative leaps across various fields,” said Deputy Governor of Makkah region Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, as reported by Saudi Press Agency.  

He noted that the budget also takes into consideration diversifying income sources, stimulating the non-oil economy, and focusing on development sustainability.  

In return, Abdulaziz highlighted that this will provide a decent life and prosperous society for the Kingdom’s citizens and residents.  

The Governor of Makkah Khaled Al-Faisal agrees that the Saudi 2023 budget meets the aspirations of the citizens, and it is set to boost and further propel development rates in the Kingdom.  

The governor further emphasized that the budget also aligns well with the Kingdom’s goal of developing the homeland and the citizen, especially when the world is fraught with geopolitical tensions, an energy crisis and a looming threat of a global economic downturn.   

“The Kingdom is witnessing a massive development following the comprehensive development plans that meet the aspirations of the Saudi people and contribute to improving the quality of life and enhancing development rates across fields,” he added.  

Meanwhile, Governor of Jazan Muhammad bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz echoed the same views when he pointed out that the strength of economic and financial reforms would ensure the prosperity of the Kingdom and its people.  

“It ensures financial sustainability and the implementation of programs and projects with an economic and social return,” he said.  

The Governor of Jazan stressed that the Saudi 2023 budget will also help achieve economic diversification and empower the private sector by overcoming all obstacles to create an attractive investment environment for it.  

Governor of Taif Saud bin Nahar bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, added: “The promising figures in the budget reflect the serious steps taken by the Kingdom to achieve growth and development in various fields, overcome obstacles and challenges, and continue to work for the Kingdom to assume its position regionally and internationally.”

According to London based economist and former KFUPM Professor Mohamed Ramady, several key aspects stand out in the 2022 budget that set the Kingdom apart from other economies: " Firstly, the actual real GDP growth is on target to achieve a sterling rate of 8.5 percent, higher than the 7.4 percent initial forecast, despite fluctuating oil prices and is the highest in the G20 economies. Inflation which is a major concern in many economies, is set to average 2.6 percent for 2022, one of the lowest globally, compared to the forecasted 1.3 percent but still lower than the 3.1 percent in 2021," he said.

 "Lastly," Ramady continued, "the Saudi budget continues to be both expansionary with revenues of SR 1.234 trillion, around 25 percent higher than 2021 and with this year's expenditures boosted by around 9 percent to reach around SR 1.132 trillion. This allows the Kingdom to continue building up its fiscal buffers and at the same time attract global lenders, the last being the jumbo $17 billion PIF borrowing at competitive rates. The Kingdom is still very much open to quality business opportunities."