Saudi Arabia advances green energy goals with new renewable projects

Saudi Arabia advances green energy goals with new renewable projects
Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, speaking at the NIDLP annual ceremony, explained that the program acquired five new renewable energy projects to ensure reasonable costs.
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Updated 26 December 2023
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Saudi Arabia advances green energy goals with new renewable projects

Saudi Arabia advances green energy goals with new renewable projects

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is on track to access green energy at competitive prices thanks to agreements signed by the Kingdom’s National Industrial Development and Logistics Program.  

According to Al-Ekhbariya, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, speaking at the NIDLP annual ceremony, explained that the program acquired five new renewable energy projects to ensure reasonable costs.  

This aligns with the Kingdom’s goal of deriving half of its energy mix from renewable sources by 2030.  

“NIDLP signed agreements to purchase five new renewable energy projects that will produce energy at competitive prices,” Alkhorayef said.  

He added: “NIDLP program built integrated equipment in the ministries capable of implementing projects.” 

The minister said the program adopted the first natural gas storage project in the Kingdom. 

Additionally, it contributed to the crown prince’s launch of four economic zones and 59 logistical plans to develop infrastructure, Alkhorayef highlighted. 

The minister noted that the NIDLP program has significantly contributed about 35 percent of the non-oil gross domestic product, making up to SR345 billion ($92 billion). 

Furthermore, NIDLP announced investments worth SR206 billion in non-oil export activities and SR97 billion in nongovernmental funds, Al-Eqtisadiah reported. 

Lauding Saudi Arabia’s outstanding industrial achievements, Alkhorayef highlighted the mining sector’s record revenues of over SR1.45 billion for 2023. 

He highlighted that the Industrial Development Fund was able to fund 119 projects in 2023, providing finance of SR12.7 billion and investments exceeding SR51 billion, as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious aspirations to build 500,000 electric cars by 2030. 

The minister also noted: “The nation’s young men and women are a milestone in the maturity of government systems and are capable of turning dreams into reality.” 

He added: “The maturity of the executive bodies is the real guarantee of the sustainability of the sectors and the achievement of the nation’s aspirations.” 

Also speaking at the same event, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Sector Saleh Al-Jasser reiterated: “In cooperation with NIDLP, we are continuing to achieve the national transport strategy.” 

In addition, the CEO of NIDLP, Suliman Al-Mazroua — who was also present at the event — shed light on the program’s executive performance during 2023. 

“The program’s executive performance increased to 87 percent and by more than 17 degrees since the beginning of the year,” Al-Mazroua disclosed. 

He also tackled exports, saying: “The Kingdom’s non-oil exports achieved historic numbers that had never been achieved before.” 

As for job creation in 2023, the CEO projected it would be the highest standing at more than 200,000 jobs. 

The NIDLP’s objective is to transform the Kingdom into a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub by maximizing the value of its mining and energy sectors while unlocking the full potential of additional local resources.


Energy security is vital for prosperity among Arab citizens, says top official 

Energy security is vital for prosperity among Arab citizens, says top official 
Updated 17 sec ago
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Energy security is vital for prosperity among Arab citizens, says top official 

Energy security is vital for prosperity among Arab citizens, says top official 

RIYADH: A comprehensive and integrated approach is needed to ensure energy security amongst citizens, according to the Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Economic Affairs Sector at the Arab League, Ali Al-Maliki.

During the 12th celebration of Arab Energy Efficiency Day, Al-Maliki urged the adoption of new measures to address this critical issue.  

“Energy security is a fundamental issue due to its direct impact on economic growth, national security, and the well-being of all Arab citizens,” he stated in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director of the Energy Department at the General Secretariat of the Arab League, Jamila Mattar.

“We are all aware of the challenges we face in terms of energy security and the transition to more sustainable sources,” the speech said.  

“To confront these challenges, the world needs to adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to energy security that takes into account the need to increase energy efficiency, develop renewable energy, protect vital energy infrastructure, and work to reduce harmful carbon emissions,” the text added. 

Al-Maliki emphasized that efficiency is one of the basic pillars of energy security, according to a report by Bahrain News Agency. 

He noted that achieving energy security involves providing services at the lowest cost without compromising quality and managing demand by introducing various concepts related to efficiency.

This approach aims to reduce consumption without conflicting with the developmental plans of each country.  

Al-Maliki highlighted the council’s efforts to monitor the stages of efficiency in the Arab region. This includes developing, implementing, and monitoring national efficiency plans.  

The council has also prepared the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Guide in Arab Countries, which provides statistical information on policies and programs adopted in nations to enhance the efficiency of production and consumption and the use of renewables.  

Additionally, the guide details the institutional and legal frameworks and the necessary financial incentives implemented or planned in these fields. 


Saudia orders additional 105 aircraft from Airbus

Saudia orders additional 105 aircraft from Airbus
Updated 10 min 28 sec ago
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Saudia orders additional 105 aircraft from Airbus

Saudia orders additional 105 aircraft from Airbus

RIYADH: Saudia Group has signed an order for an additional 105 A320neo family aircraft, marking the largest aircraft deal with Airbus in the Kingdom’s history.

Announced at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, the order comprises 12 A320neo and 93 A321neo aircraft, and increases Airbus aircraft order backlog from the Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier to 144 A320neo family aircraft.

Saudia Group is set to receive the first aircraft in the first quarter of 2026. These aircraft will be distributed between Saudia and flyadeal, the group's low-cost carrier.

The agreement was announced in the presence of Minister of Transport and Logistic Services Saleh bin Nasser AI-Jasser, Director General of Saudia Group Ibrahim Al-Omar, and Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, executive vice president sales of Airbus.

Al-Omar said: “Saudia has ambitious operational objectives to meet growing demand. We are increasing flights and seat capacity across our existing 100+ destinations on four continents, with plans for further expansion.

“The progress of Saudi Vision 2030 is attracting more visits, tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims each year. This motivated our decision to secure this significant deal, which will create jobs, increase local content, and contribute to the national economy.”

De Saint-Exupéry said the new aircraft will play a “vital role” in contributing to Saudi Arabia’ ambitious Vision 2030 plan.

He added: “It will enable Saudia Group’s strategy to advance the Kingdom’s aviation capabilities while enabling both airlines to benefit from the A320neo Family’s exceptional efficiency, superior economics, highest level of passenger comfort as well as lower fuel-burn and emissions.”


Saudi-Chinese financial ties to strengthen as top officials meet in Beijing

Saudi-Chinese financial ties to strengthen as top officials meet in Beijing
Updated 20 May 2024
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Saudi-Chinese financial ties to strengthen as top officials meet in Beijing

Saudi-Chinese financial ties to strengthen as top officials meet in Beijing

RIYADH: Saudi and Chinese top officials are holding joint meetings in Beijing focused on fostering international economic growth.

The sessions, which are slated to take place from May 20 - 21 in Beijing, include the Kingdom’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the newly appointed Vice Minister of Finance Abdulmuhsen Al-Khalaf, along with officials from the Ministry of Finance, the National Center for Privatization, and the Saudi Central Bank.

Officials from the Capital Market Authority, Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority as well as the National Development Fund, are also part of the delegation, as well as representatives from the Saudi Fund for Development, and the National Infrastructure Fund.

In a post on his X account, Al-Jadaan said: “Today (May 20), as part of my visit to China, I met with the Chinese Minister of Finance, Lan Fo’an. We discussed ways to enhance the finance, trade and investment cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China to advance prosperity and growth for the global economy.”

The Saudi finance minister and his Beijing counterpart co-chaired the third meeting of the Financial Sub-Committee for the High-level Chinese-Saudi Joint Committee, where Al-Jadaan emphasized that China is a key partner in the Kingdom’s transformation under Vision 2030, according to a statement by the Saudi Finance Ministry.

The release added that the minister would participate in a roundtable discussion organized by the NCP in cooperation with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Al-Jadaan will also speak with various Chinese ministers, officials, and investors, focusing on recent economic and financial developments, shared interests, and investment prospects in Saudi Arabia, aligning with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.

Meanwhile, Al-Khalaf and the Chinese Vice Minister of Finance, Liao Min, will co-chair a roundtable meeting hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Finance and organized by the China Development Bank and the China Investment Corp.

Al-Jadaan’s visit to the Asian powerhouse comes after he used a panel discussion at the Qatar Economic Forum on May 14 to urge financial planners to optimize their strategies to curb “economic leakage” and prevent resources or funds from being wasted.

Calling for the adoption of prudent fiscal policies, the minister said at the event that spending during a time of global inflation results in increased project costs, which he believes further fuels inflation and “overheats” the economy.

Diplomatic and economic ties between Saudi Arabia and China have been strengthening in recent years, and in November the Kingdom’s central bank, also known as SAMA, and the People’s Bank of China signed a local currency swap agreement worth $6.93 billion.

The agreement will last three years, but China’s central bank said at the time it can be extended after two years by mutual agreement.


Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer on its way after Aramco, Pascal deal

Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer on its way after Aramco, Pascal deal
Updated 20 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer on its way after Aramco, Pascal deal

Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer on its way after Aramco, Pascal deal

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's first quantum computer is set to be installed after energy giant Aracmo signed an agreement with computing firm Pasqal.

Under the deal, the French company will install, maintain and operate a 200-qubit device, scheduled for deployment in the second half of next year, according to a press statement. 

A quantum computer uses qubits to run multidimensional algorithms, and these machines are capable of solving complex problems faster than traditional computers.

Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, executive vice president of technology and innovation at Aramco, said the deal with Pasqal is expected to bring high-performance information processing to Saudi Arabia. 

“In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, we believe it is crucial to seize opportunities presented by new, impactful technologies and we aim to pioneer the use of quantum computing in the energy sector,” said Al-Khowaiter. 

He added: “Our agreement with Pasqal allows us to harness the expertise of a leading player in this field as we continue to build state-of-the-art solutions into our business. It is also further evidence of our contribution to the growth of the digital economy in Saudi Arabia.” 

The quantum computer that will be installed in Saudi Arabia will initially use an approach called “analog mode.”

Within the following year, the system will be upgraded to a more advanced hybrid “analog-digital mode,” which is more powerful and able to resolve more complex tasks, the statement added. 

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed between Aramco and Pasqal in 2022 to collaborate on quantum computing capabilities and their applications in the energy sector.

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO and co-founder of Pasqal, noted that the agreement would see the commercial adoption of quantum computers in the Kingdom. 

“This isn’t just any quantum computer; it will be the most powerful tool deployed for industrial usages, unlocking a new era of innovation for businesses and society,” said Reymond. 

Earlier this month, Aramco also signed three MoUs with US firms, including Aeroseal, Spiritus, and Rondo, to accelerate the development of potential lower-carbon solutions.

In May, Aramco also announced its financial results for the first three months of this year. 

The company revealed that its net profit reached $27.27 billion in the first quarter, representing a rise of 2.04 percent compared to the last quarter of 2023.


Closing Bell: Saudi main index edges down to close at 12,198

Closing Bell: Saudi main index edges down to close at 12,198
Updated 19 May 2024
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Closing Bell: Saudi main index edges down to close at 12,198

Closing Bell: Saudi main index edges down to close at 12,198

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped on Sunday losing 0.06 points to close at 12,198.38.  

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.42 billion ($1.18 billion) as 60 stocks advanced, while 160 retreated.  

On the other hand, Nomu, the parallel market, rose 577.98 points, or 2.18 percent, to close at 27,062.01. This comes as 28 stocks advanced while as many as 33 retreated.

Meanwhile, the MSCI Tadawul Index slipped 1.45 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 1,528.60.

The best-performing stock of the day was Lazurde Co. for Jewelry. The company’s share price surged 10.00 percent to SR16.06. 

Other top performers included Middle East Specialized Cables Co. as well as Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co.

The worst performer was Zahrat Al Waha for Trading Co., whose share price dropped by 10 percent to SR45.45.

Makkah Construction and Development Co. as well as Jazan Development and Investment Co also performed poorly.

On the announcements front, Kingdom Holding Co. announced its interim financial results for the period ending March 31. 

According to a Tadawul statement, the company’s net profit hit SR196 million in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting a 14.6 percent surge when compared to the similar quarter last year. 

The increase is mainly due to a rise in the sale of investment property, a surge in the share of results from equity-accounted investees, and a decrease in financial charges. 

It is also linked to an increase in finance income as well as a drop in withholding and income tax.

Moreover, Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co. announced its interim financial results for the first three months of 2024. 

A bourse filing revealed that the firm’s net profit reached SR153.5 million by the period ending March 31, up 30.57 percent from the corresponding period in 2023. This surge is primarily attributed to higher property sales. 

Furthermore, Middle East Paper Co. announced its interim financial results for the year’s first quarter. 

According to a Tadawul statement, the company recorded a net loss of SR18 million in the first three months of 2024, compared to a net loss of SR7 million in the same period of the previous year.

This is mainly owed to reduced gross profit, a jump in general and administrative dues, and increased finance and zakat expenses. 

Red Sea International Co. also announced its interim financial results for the period ending on March 31. 

A bourse filing revealed that the firm’s net profit stood at SR13.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2024, compared to a net loss of SR19.5 million recorded in the same quarter a year ago. 

This is mainly the result of the strategic business transformation, which included acquiring 51 percent of First Fix and effectively executing and delivering projects.

Meanwhile, Saudi Manpower Solutions Co., announced the completion of the institutional book-building process and the determination of the final offer price for its initial public offering on the main market of the Saudi Exchange.

According to a company statement, the final offer price has been set at SR7.5 per share, with a market capitalization of SR3 billion at listing. The price range for the offering was set at SR7 to SR7.5.   

The institutional book-building process generated an order book of around SR115 billion and was 128 times oversubscribed, indicating strong investor demand.