UAE In-Focus — DEWA completes 93% of 4th phase of H-Station in Al Aweer; Etihad to reintroduce 4 A380s

UAE In-Focus — DEWA completes 93% of 4th phase of H-Station in Al Aweer; Etihad to reintroduce 4 A380s
The project will add to DEWA’s current installed capacity of 14,317 MW of electricity. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 11 December 2022

UAE In-Focus — DEWA completes 93% of 4th phase of H-Station in Al Aweer; Etihad to reintroduce 4 A380s

UAE In-Focus — DEWA completes 93% of 4th phase of H-Station in Al Aweer; Etihad to reintroduce 4 A380s

RIYADH: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has completed 93 percent of the 829 megawatts fourth phase of the H-Station power plant in Al Aweer with investments totaling 1.1 billion dirhams ($30 million).  

This phase will increase Al Aweer Power Station Complex's total capacity to 2,825 MW under climate conditions of 50 degrees Celsius and 30 percent relative humidity. Key testing and commissioning operations have started in the fourth quarter of 2022. The project is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023. 

Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, said that this project is one of DEWA’s key projects to meet the reserve margin criterion set for peak electricity demand in Dubai. It will add to DEWA’s current installed capacity of 14,317 MW of electricity. 

“We work in line with the vision and directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE’s vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, to provide a robust infrastructure that keeps pace with rapid developments in Dubai and the increasing demand for electricity and water in the emirate according to the highest standards of quality, efficiency, reliability and availability,” he said.
Nasser Lootah, executive vice president of generation (power and water) division at DEWA, said that the station is equipped with the latest systems and technologies to reduce emissions to the minimum.
He noted that the project’s work is progressing according to schedule, while maintaining the highest levels of health, safety, quality, and efficiency.

Etihad Airways to reintroduce 4 A380s  

Etihad Airways has announced that it is reintroducing four of its A380s in the summer of 2023, following a surge in demand for air travel across the airline’s network and customer feedback. 

Mohammed Ali Al-Shorafa, chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “It is wonderful to announce the return of this splendid aircraft. The A380’s reintroduction further boosts Etihad’s capacity into the key UK market, with a knock-on effect for the wider Gulf Cooperation Council and the Indian subcontinent that will bring more visitors to the city of Abu Dhabi.” 

Etihad is currently preparing the aircraft to fly again, and part of this preparation includes the recruitment and training of A380 teams, including pilots, cabin crew and technical ground staff. 

Damac launches Cavalli Couture project  

Damac Properties has announced the launch of Cavalli Couture, a $90 million ultra-luxury branded residence on the banks of Dubai Water Canal. 

Located in Jumeirah 2, the development will be a low-rise 14-storey building overlooking Safa Park. It will have a built-up area of 14,966 square metres. The interiors will be branded by Cavalli and inspired by the Amazon Jungle. 

The scheme is set to be awarded in January 2024 and completed in December 2025. National Dewatering & Land Draining Co. has been appointed as the piling contractor. Gulf Engineering & Consultants is working as the consultant on the project. 

ENOWA to develop world’s first high-voltage smart grid

ENOWA to develop world’s first high-voltage smart grid
Updated 8 sec ago

ENOWA to develop world’s first high-voltage smart grid

ENOWA to develop world’s first high-voltage smart grid

DUBAI: NEOM’s water and electricity subsidiary ENOWA has developed a blueprint for the world’s first renewable, high-voltage smart grid, Peter Terium, the company’s CEO, told Arab News.

In an interview on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, Terium said that the “grid of microgrids” will allow ENOWA to supply the NEOM region with sizable, 100 percent renewable electricity that simultaneously provides a 50 percent reduction of the corridor footprint.

According to the CEO, the principle of smart grids is simple, as they are traditionally used on a small scale in buildings. However, the sheer size of the development and the scope of coverage needed for the nine to 10 million individuals who will be residing in NEOM adds to the difficulty of the undertaking.

“That’s a huge achievement given it’s the size that makes it complex. You know, one windmill, a refrigerator, and a television are all 100 percent renewable. But a NEOM within the Kingdom that eventually is going to have nine to 10 million inhabitants. That’s very sizable,” Terium said.

In order to ensure minimum disturbance to the natural terrain and minimize visual disruption, the CEO noted that this would require limiting the number of corridors and implementing part of the grid to operate underground.

To achieve 100 percent renewable electricity in NEOM, Terium emphasized the crucial role of an efficient grid, highlighting that individuals often underestimate that all solar and wind farms require connectivity to “bring the electrons to the customer.”

Another key element, the CEO underscored, is storage. In order to ensure the stabilization, backup, and security of its renewable supply, the giga-project is implementing a portfolio of storage solutions.

The development is investing “billions and billions of Saudi riyals” to ensure that its first customers have access to green electricity, sustainable water, and reliable quality electricity through its grid and storage.

“One example is already for sure and we are expanding into the market with that, which is the world’s largest closed-loop pump, hydro storage, and it combines the traditional form of water-based hydro storage, so a small upper lake and a lower lake,” Terium said.

“That has two effects. First of all, it reduces the evaporation of the water. So that’s an economic effect. But the second effect is that it is a great attractor for birds. Birds and wildlife. So we have a major positive solution for storage that is pretty sizable, the largest in the world,” he added.

Considering the challenges ahead, the CEO highlighted that the development isn’t exclusively centered on creating new technologies. Instead, their key focus is to ensure that the electricity supplied to the NEOM region is renewable, dependable, and affordable.

While not entirely cheap, mature large-scale solar and wind technologies remain affordable, underscored Terium, and will thus be primarily implemented into the framework of connectivity used by the futuristic city.

“The NEOM region has a combination of very intensive solar irradiation and very abundant wind profiling — the solar during the day and the wind mainly in the evening. That makes it a perfect combination to take these two cheapest renewable technologies and get as much as possible out of them,” he outlined.

While the existing infrastructure for electricity amounted to half a gigawatt to 1 GW, the company has “ramped that up” to 3 GW with the aim of 5-6 GW in the near future.

According to Terium, the first tenders of solar and wind power plants have already been established, and the large green hydrogen plant being built will amount to 5-6 GW of installed capacity for power generation by the year 2026.

Due to the size of the NEOM development, the executive underscored that ENOWA is currently at about 5 percent completion of its infrastructure, with the goal of accelerating to 10 percent in the coming 12 to 18 months.

He said: “NEOM is going to be a large undertaking. And what we do is build the infrastructure in line with the growth of NEOM. So that’s why the percentage of 5 or 10 percent sounds low, but it is connected to the size, eventually, of NEOM. And then again, five or 10 eventually of a massive undertaking is already a huge project.”

The company is working with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy and collaborating with entities like the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in its energy-centric ventures. Alongside KAUST, ENOWA will be installing the first carbon capture capacity into a gas-fired plant in the Kingdom. The executive said: “That is one example, but there are many other ones and all the institutions that are there in the Kingdom we work with, but also outside of the Kingdom.”

Through collaboration, it hopes to bring some of its ideas on how to scale renewable energy to the region through its renewable energy approaches and Saudi Arabia’s green hydrogen strategy, a part of which is the NEOM green hydrogen plant.

Terium said: “The Kingdom has now embarked upon a hydrogen strategy and a renewable energy strategy, but it may take advantage of some of the lessons learned that we had in the early stage. And we can bring in some of our ideas of how you can do that bigger and at a larger scale.”

What is important, according to the CEO, is that hydrogen needs to reach its customers, and there are more cost-effective solutions than shipping it in the form of ammonia.

Thus the decision to build a pipeline corridor infrastructure to Europe is something “that only a country like Saudi Arabia can do because that’s a job and a size which is even way too big for even NEOM.”

Saudi Arabia, UK ink deal to strengthen marine environmental protection

Saudi Arabia, UK ink deal to strengthen marine environmental protection
Updated 32 min 30 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, UK ink deal to strengthen marine environmental protection

Saudi Arabia, UK ink deal to strengthen marine environmental protection

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation in marine environmental protection. 

The agreement was signed at the Saudi Green Initiative forum on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference on Monday by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and UK’s Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. 

“The MoU promotes cooperation in the field of marine environmental protection according to the available resources of each participant and in line with their respective regulations and legislation in force,” said the Saudi ministry said in a statement. 

Saudi Arabia and the UK will also cooperate in areas which include the protection, monitoring, evaluation, and preservation of the marine environment and its resources, while also ensuring aquatic biodiversity. 

The deal will also see both countries working together to reduce the pollution in Saudi Arabia’s territorial waters. 

According to the MoU, Saudi Arabia and the UK will also cooperate in areas of climate change science and will partner in efforts to strengthen the marine ecosystem in the Kingdom. 

On Dec.1, Saudi Arabia earned a place on the 40-member council of the International Maritime Organization for 2024-2025. 

The Kingdom’s feat of finding a spot in the 40-member council is considered very significant, as IMO is a global maritime authority that sets the international standards designed to ensure the safety and security of maritime transport, reduce pollution from ships, and implement initiatives that help preserve the marine environment and protect nature.

Saudi Arabia’s Transport General Authority said that the selection to the council is the recognition of the initiatives the Kingdom has adopted to protect and preserve the marine environment. 

“The win serves as a confirmation of the Kingdom’s influential position and impact within the (IMO), the significant role of the Saudi naval fleet, ambitious initiatives and projects aligned with the national strategy for transportation and logistical services, and contributions and initiatives in safeguarding the marine environment and empowering seafarers,” TGA said in an X post. 

In August, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Saudi minister of environment, water and agriculture said that the Kingdom is committed to amplifying its efforts to mitigate marine pollution and address ecological concerns faced by the region.

Saudi Arabia seeking further digital advancements in Silicon Valley 

Saudi Arabia seeking further digital advancements in Silicon Valley 
Updated 41 min 12 sec ago

Saudi Arabia seeking further digital advancements in Silicon Valley 

Saudi Arabia seeking further digital advancements in Silicon Valley 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is pursuing additional global partnerships to bolster its already robust digital infrastructure as the minister of communications and information technology met with senior officials from Silicon Valley. 

Discussions between Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha and Antonio Neri, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, were held on Dec. 5 to enhance local content and contribute to the growth of the Kingdom’s digital economy. 

The meeting focused on extending the strategic partnership into modern technology, cloud computing, and the localization of servers, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency.

The minister highlighted Saudi Arabia’s potential for a strong digital infrastructure and its status as the largest market in the region. Talks also centered around the exploration of collaboration and partnership opportunities across various sectors. 

Al-Swaha also met with ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott and Cohere CEO Martin Kon to discuss partnership opportunities in emerging technologies and artificial intelligence.

These talks affirm Saudi Arabia’s position as a key regional technology and innovation hub, with efforts underscoring the region’s commitment to fostering the expansion of a dynamic digital economy, aligning with the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.

PIF spearheads energy transition with $8.5bn green bond proceeds in 12 months: Moody’s

PIF spearheads energy transition with $8.5bn green bond proceeds in 12 months: Moody’s
Updated 52 min 54 sec ago

PIF spearheads energy transition with $8.5bn green bond proceeds in 12 months: Moody’s

PIF spearheads energy transition with $8.5bn green bond proceeds in 12 months: Moody’s

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is spearheading sustainable efforts in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, as it raised a total of $8.5 billion in green bond proceeds in the last 12 months, according to Moody’s Investors Service.  

In its latest report, the credit rating agency noted that the green bond issuance from the Public Investment Fund in the last 12 months is more than half the $16.2 billion of green issuance proceeds raised by rated Gulf Cooperation Council companies since 2020.  

Moody’s added that the funds raised by the PIF will be allocated to initiatives in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation.  

GCC-based companies improve reporting on environmental issues 

According to the report, GCC-based companies have improved their reporting on environment-related issues, primarily driven by increased requests from stakeholders for such disclosures, evolving climate-related reporting standards and the implementation of sustainability strategies by governments.  

“Since 2019, the number of companies publishing sustainability-minded reports has almost doubled. However, the level of disclosure varies significantly from one company to another, illustrating a lack of uniformity in reporting practices in the region, which is also the case in many other parts of the world,’’ said Julien Haddad, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s.  

The report noted that around 50 percent of GCC-based rated issuers disclose scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Out of these, almost half have established scope 1 emission targets, and nearly 40 percent have set scope 2 targets.  

Scope 1 emissions are “direct emissions” from sources that are owned or controlled by the company, while scope 2 denotes emissions released into the atmosphere from the use of purchased energy.  

Scope 2 emissions are also known as indirect emissions as the actual emissions are generated at another facility such as a power station. 

Moody’s further noted that around 40 percent of issuers disclose their carbon emission intensities, which allows comparability of carbon footprints among peers, and more than half of these have set carbon intensity targets.  

The report, however, added that only 35 percent of issuers have established net zero targets, and in the vast majority of cases, these targets do not include scope 3, which forms the bulk of the greenhouse gas emissions.  

Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions that occur across the value chain and are outside of the organization’s direct control, which includes transportation of purchased fuel, commutation of employees working in the company, etc.  

Similarly, several utility and oil and gas firms in the GCC have set long-term scope 1 and 2 targets, but they have not set scope 3 emission goals.  

“Utilities and integrated oil and gas companies are high contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the GCC, reflecting the scale of their activities,” said Moody’s in the report.  

It added: “National oil companies are also likely to increase production to meet rising demand while investing in renewables to reduce carbon transition risk and support government emission reduction goals.” 

On a positive note, Moody’s said that oil and gas companies in the region are looking at a wide range of options to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which includes carbon capture storage and the production of hydrogen.  

“However, the economic feasibility of these initiatives is unclear given the early-stage nature of these technologies and hurdles in large-scale deployment,” Moody’s added.  

Moody’s also lauded Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, for its sustainability efforts.  

Aramco has set an ambitious target to reach net zero emissions, both scope 1 and 2, across their wholly owned operated assets by 2050, 10 years ahead of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to net zero. The company has also set an interim target to reduce its upstream carbon intensity by 15 percent by 2035.  

Similarly, QatarEnergy is also aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations which includes scope 1 and 2 emissions by 35 percent across its liquefied natural gas facilities and by 25 percent across its upstream facilities by 2035.  

Saudi Arabia leading sustainable journey in the region 

In its report, Moody’s said that Saudi Arabia has established one of the most accelerated timelines in the region to ensure sustainability, as it plans to generate 50 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2030.  

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office has outlined plans to build around 59 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Repdo will spearhead the development of 30 percent of the total capacity through competitive bidding, while PIF will oversee the development of the remaining 70 percent.  

Talking about the role of Saudi Electricity Co., Moody’s said: “SEC is focused on transitioning toward a clean energy mix including the full displacement of liquid fuel by 2030. As the sole transmitter and distributor of electricity in Saudi Arabia, it has allocated substantial capital investment to upgrade the grid’s infrastructure.”  

The report added that SEC has started the rollout of 25 new renewable interconnection projects and is targeting to reach a 100 percent completion rate by 2030.  

Saudi SMEs see $270m boost from government-backed fund

Saudi SMEs see $270m boost from government-backed fund
Updated 05 December 2023

Saudi SMEs see $270m boost from government-backed fund

Saudi SMEs see $270m boost from government-backed fund

More than SR1 billion ($270 million) has been allocated to small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia since 2017 by a government-backed platform known as Forsa.

The Human Resources Development Fund announced in a statement that the platform, part of the “Nine Tenths” program, has witnessed significant growth, with approximately SR500 million being allocated in the year 2023 alone.

Forsa serves as a link between suppliers and buyers, enabling registered entities to electronically review and submit price quotations for government and private sector procurement, according to the statement.

Additionally, it empowers them to issue requests for quotations among themselves. The platform encompasses more than 27 sectors and benefits over 500 major entities.

The platform’s primary goal is to foster and empower businesses by enhancing governance and transparency in submitted bids, supporting local content, and facilitating electronic connections to streamline procurement processes. 

It aims to provide ease of control and access to reports and information through an integrated dashboard.

The Nine Tenths program offers a range of innovative benefits, including the Forsa, Bahr, Zaad, and Tajer platforms. 

These services aim to empower businesses and transform the work culture of individuals and communities by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs. 

The program seeks to enable individuals and entities to create new opportunities and jobs through innovative means.

Initiated in August 2016, the Nine Tenths program is one of the initiatives launched by the HRDF in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

It strives to create and enhance a conducive working environment for small and medium-sized enterprises, turning them into job-producing institutions and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The HRDF aims to support the rehabilitation and employment of the national workforce in the private and non-profit sectors by providing subsidies for workforce qualification, training, and employment.

It also participates in the costs of qualifying and training the national workforce for jobs in the private and non-profit sectors, as well as supporting the financing of field programs, plans, and studies aimed at recruiting Saudis and replacing expatriate workers.