Call for unified efforts to achieve net-zero goals

The vice chairman of the American finance and insurance company S&P Global was speaking at a plenary session titled “Energy volatility, security and access” at the 44th conference of the International Association for Energy Economics in Riyadh on Sunday.
The vice chairman of the American finance and insurance company S&P Global was speaking at a plenary session titled “Energy volatility, security and access” at the 44th conference of the International Association for Energy Economics in Riyadh on Sunday.
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Updated 05 February 2023

Call for unified efforts to achieve net-zero goals

Call for unified efforts to achieve net-zero goals

RIYADH: Highlighting the challenges on the road to the energy transition, energy expert Daniel Yergin called for making concerted efforts and setting realistic goals to achieve success in this regard.

The vice chairman of the American finance and insurance company S&P Global was speaking at a plenary session titled “Energy volatility, security and access” at the 44th conference of the International Association for Energy Economics in Riyadh on Sunday.

Yergin identified the main challenges as energy security, the size and scale of the transition, net zero goals, and government intervention.

He expressed his concern over the different timeframes set by various countries to achieve net zero.

Yergin said it was confusing to note that some countries have set to achieve their net-zero goal by 2050 but China’s goal is 2060 and India seeks to achieve it in 2070.

He also laid emphasis on government intervention in effectively achieving the net-zero goals and fighting climate change.

“A good example of this is the British government’s windfall taxes on North Sea oil,” he stressed.

The S&P Global’s top official also highlighted the importance of increasing copper production to help the energy transition goal but he also expressed concern over different countries’ respective capacities to boost its production as “it takes a long time to open copper mines.”

He said in addition to these challenges, there is a lot of uncertainty nowadays. Yergin said nobody expected the outbreak of COVID-19 or the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It would be difficult to predict what lies ahead, he added.

“The IAEE was founded in 1977 which was a time of energy turbulence and time of energy uncertainty and here, we are in 2023 — a new age of energy turbulence and energy uncertainty,” Yergin said.

“The complexities in the energy transition calls for deeper thinking and analysis.”


Saudi Venture Capital launches $80m Saudi fintech fund 

Saudi Venture Capital launches $80m Saudi fintech fund 
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Venture Capital launches $80m Saudi fintech fund 

Saudi Venture Capital launches $80m Saudi fintech fund 

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s booming fintech sector is set to be boosted by an $80 million investment fund launched by Saudi Venture Capital Co..

The ‘Investment in Fintech VC Fund’ was launched in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority and the Financial Sector Development Program to preserve the Kingdom’s fintech industry growth that attracted almost 25 percent of all Saudi venture capital funding last year. 

SVC aims to stimulate and sustain financing for startups and small and medium enterprises from early stage to initial public offering by backing venture capital and private equity firms all around the region. 

The firm has been keen to empower the startup landscape in the Kingdom, and also signed a memorandum of understanding last month with the Saudi stock market Tadawul to support SMEs going public. 

The company will strategically place the new fund to support Saudi Arabia’s fintech ecosystem which raised $239 million in funding in 2022, according to venture data firm MAGNiTT. 

Saudi Arabia’s venture capital market has been one of the most attractive markets globally, capturing $987 million in funding last year, a 72 percent increase from the year before. 

The Kingdom’s 2022 funding boom came as investment across the world decreased by 35 percent year-on-year, while the US venture market experienced a 37 percent drop, according to Crunchbase. 

The UAE and Egypt, which are the region’s leading venture markets, also witnessed a decline in funding activity last year. 

Founded in 2018, SVC is a government investment company under the SME Bank and has invested in 35 funds which financed 525 companies through 904 deals. 


Oil Updates — Crude down; Venezuela president accepts resignation of oil minister  

Oil Updates — Crude down; Venezuela president accepts resignation of oil minister  
Updated 21 March 2023

Oil Updates — Crude down; Venezuela president accepts resignation of oil minister  

Oil Updates — Crude down; Venezuela president accepts resignation of oil minister  

RIYADH: Oil drifted lower on Tuesday as more than a week of banking turmoil kept weighing on market confidence. 

Brent crude futures for May settlement dropped 84 cents, or 1.14 percent, trading at $72.95 per barrel at 11.00 a.m. Saudi time.  

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 56 cents, or 0.83 percent, to $67.08 a barrel. 

In the previous session, both Brent and WTI fell about $3 a barrel before settling higher. That followed Swiss bank UBS throwing a lifeline to Credit Suisse and major central banks saying they would enhance market liquidity and support the banking system. 

Venezuela’s Maduro accepts resignation of oil minister El Aissami 

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Monday accepted the resignation of the country’s oil minister Tareck El Aissami, following the detention of at least six high-level officials amid a corruption probe focused on state-run company PDVSA and the judiciary. 

El Aissami had said earlier on Monday on Twitter he would resign to fully support the investigations. The probe especially touches PDVSA, which is supervised by the oil ministry. 

Maduro did not immediately name a replacement for El Aissami, who has served as vice president, and as a minister and mayor over the past two decades. 

Brazil environment agency asks for more info from Petrobras  

Brazil’s environmental regulator Ibama has asked Petrobras for additional information on its plan to drill at the mouth of the Amazon river before authorizing the company to test its emergency oil spill response, the agency’s president told Reuters. 

Ibama has not defined a test date because Petrobras did not deliver all of the documents required, but it will be scheduled as soon as the company provides the information, the agency’s president Rodrigo Agostinho said. 

Petrobas views the mouth of the Amazon as the newest and most important frontier for oil exploration in Brazil and the company planned the test to assess its response in the event of a major spill. 

The company has been working for years to open up a new exploration frontier in a region close to Guyana, where Exxon Mobil has made important discoveries and many wells were drilled. 

Later on Monday, Petrobras said it had just filed details and responses to Ibama’s demands. 

“After analysis and agreement by the environmental agency, the date for carrying out the pre-operational assessment may be defined together with Ibama,” the company said in a statement. 

The area was auctioned in 2013 and Petrobras has planned to explore there for years after BP and TotalEnergies gave up on their assets, even after investing in studies, because of difficulties in obtaining drilling licenses. 

Iran counts on ‘huge volumes’ of oil and gas swaps from Russia 

Iran counts on “huge volumes” of oil and gas swaps from Russia this year, Iranian Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi said in an interview with Russia’s RIA state news agency.  

“This year will witness huge volumes of swap supplies. We are very pleased that Tehran and Moscow have started cooperation on the issue of swap supplies of oil and gas,” Khandouzi was cited as saying. 

There were no details on what volumes of oil and gas Iran is expecting. 

(With input from Reuters)  

 
 

 


Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 
Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 46 new mining licenses in January 2023 – a 33 percent drop compared to the previous month.

The ministry reported that the permits included 31 reconnaissance licenses, 14 building materials quarry licenses, and extra mineral ores license, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

It also reported that there are 2,230 mining licenses valid in the sector until the end of January 2023, with building materials quarry licenses accounting for 1,331.

This was followed by 647 reconnaissance licenses, and then 178 for mining and minor mine exploitation.

Some 42 were issued for observation, and 32 extra mineral ores licenses were granted. 

Riyadh region gained the most mining licenses in the sector, with 507 permits, followed by the Makkah region with 418 permits. The Eastern Province had 369 licenses, Madinah had 242 and 191 licenses for Asir. 

Saudi Arabia's Tabuk region had 139 licenses, Al-Qassim had 102 licenses, followed by 68 licenses in Hail, Jazan had 65 licenses, Najran was issued with 45, Al-Baha had 37 and the Northern Province area had 25, along with Al-Jouf’s 22 licenses. 

In accordance with the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and the National Industry Development and Logistics Program, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources seeks to protect and increase the mining sector’s value. 

To make mining the third pillar of the national economy and seek to harness the Kingdom's mineral resources, which are spread across more than 5,300 sites and are valued at approximately SR5 trillion ($1.33 trillion).


Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister
Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

RIYADH: The number of factories in Saudi Arabia has increased 50 percent since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, according to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral resources Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil.

His comments come after figures released last year showed there are now more than 10,000 industrial facilities in the Kingdom, with 1,023 factories starting operations in 2022 alone.

Speaking during the first day of the annual Saudi Industrial Renaissance Forum that took place in the Kingdom’s Al-Yamamah University, Al-Zamil affirmed reliance on the industrial and mining sectors as economic tributaries.

The deputy minister also use his speech at the event to praise the growing Saudi workforce, saying: “The bet today on our young men and women is a big and winning bet as they are the largest percentage in this country, which makes them the basic base for our transformation and change in all fields and their exceptional capabilities and permanent ambition for positive change constitute a great force for the success of the Kingdom’s vision programs and contribute to the development of the homeland.”

The Saudi Industrial Renaissance Forum focused on the vital role that the industry plays in developing and diversifying the national economy which also contributes to achieving the economic and social goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“The forum brings together a group of speakers, experts and interested persons with specialization in lectures, discussion sessions, working papers sessions and refereed research papers on many topics, and witnesses a number of important sessions,” said Hussam bin Muhammad Ramadan, Al-Yamamah University president and chairman of the organizing committee. 


Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years
Updated 20 March 2023

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

RIYADH: ACWA Power’s CEO Suntharesan 'Paddy' Padmanathan resigned on Monday, reported the Saudi Stock Exchange.

The board accepted Padmanathan’s resignation, and welcomed Marco Arcelli, an energy leader with over 30 years of experience, as the new CEO, revealed ACWA Power.    

Arcelli was previously chairman at Europe’s seventh largest electricity producer Ep New Energy, and had worked at Enel for 16 years where he was CEO of Enel North America and Slovenske Elektrarne.   

ACWA Power assured that Padmanathan will remain in the company serving as a member of the board of directors.   

In a statement, the company thanked the resigning CEO for his 18 years of service, and “his dedication during that period to elevate the company’s status as a leading global company in the field of renewable power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen production which culminated by its successful listing as a public company.”  

ACWA Power is Saudi Arabia’s leading utility service provider with a net profit of SR1.5 billion ($411 million) in 2022, according to a bourse filing. The company reported 103 percent increase in its profits from the previous year.   

In 2021, the Public Investment Fund-backed firm reported a net profit of SR758.8 million.   

The bourse filing further noted that the company’s fourth quarter net profit after zakat and tax surged 94 percent to SR656.6 million, compared to SR338.85 million in the previous year. 

According to the bourse statement, the firm’s financial results in 2022 were backed by higher operating income before impairment and other expenses.   

The profits were also driven by higher contributions from development and construction management services for the projects which achieved financial close last year, adequately supported by lower project development costs.