Saudi Electricity seeks international investors for 2 solar plants

Updated 12 June 2016

Saudi Electricity seeks international investors for 2 solar plants

JEDDAH: Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) is seeking bids from international developers to build two solar-power plants in Al-Jouf and Rafha in the north of the country.
SEC said it is inviting expressions of interest from companies or consortiums around the world in building the two plants.
As much as 50 megawatts of capacity will be developed at each site on land provided by SEC, and the developers will sell the electricity to SEC under long-term agreements.
The tender is the first by Saudi Arabia to seek international partners to cooperate in building and operating renewable-energy facilities, according to the Middle East Solar Industry Association.
One Gulf power industry executive estimated that each plant might cost between $100 million and $120 million to build.
HSBC Holdings Plc’s Saudi unit is acting as financial consultant for the tender, DLA Piper is legal adviser, and DNV GL is technical consultant, Saudi Electricity said.
National Transformation Program 2020 announced last week focused on introducing public-private partnerships in which private companies would provide much of the financing for projects and then operate them to earn profits.
In April, Saudi Arabia said it planned to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 which would help to conserve its oil production for export rather than use in power generation.
Saudi Arabia is developing renewable energy to take advantage of its ample sunlight and to diversify energy supply amid rising demand. Yet renewable resources will only account for about 10 percent of total power capacity compared with the previous target of about 50 percent, Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih said during a recent presentation of the Kingdom’s long-term strategy to overhaul the economy.
The government is now counting on increased output of natural gas to help cut its reliance on crude oil.


Trump advisers urge delisting of US-listed Chinese companies that fail to meet audit standards

Updated 17 min 55 sec ago

Trump advisers urge delisting of US-listed Chinese companies that fail to meet audit standards

  • Growing pressure to crack down on Chinese companies that avail themselves of US capital markets but do not comply with rules
WASHINGTON: Trump administration officials have urged the president to delist Chinese companies that trade on US exchanges and fail to meet US auditing requirements by January 2022, Securities and Exchange Commission and Treasury officials said on Thursday.
The remarks came after President Donald Trump tasked a group of key advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, with drafting a report with recommendations to protect US investors from Chinese companies whose audit documents have long been kept from US regulators.
It also comes amid growing pressure from Congress to crack down on Chinese companies that avail themselves of US capital markets but do not comply with US rules faced by American rivals.
“We are simply leveling the playing field, holding Chinese firms listed in the US to the same standards as everyone else,” a Treasury official told reporters in a briefing call about the report.
The US Senate unanimously passed legislation in May that could prevent some Chinese companies from listing their shares on US exchanges unless they follow standards for US audits and regulations.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, who sponsored the bill described the recommendations as “an important first step,” but said that “without the added teeth of our bill, this report alone does not implement the requirements necessary to protect everyday American investors.”
The administration’s recommendations, if implemented via an SEC rulemaking process, would give Chinese companies already listed in the United States until Jan. 1, 2022, to ensure the US auditing watchdog, known as the PCAOB, has access to their audit documents.
They can also provide a “co-audit,” for example, performed by a US parent company of the China-based affiliate tasked with auditing the Chinese firm. However, companies seeking to list in the United States for the first time will need to comply immediately, the officials said.
A State Department official told Reuters the administration plans soon to scrap a 2013 agreement between US and Chinese auditing authorities to set up a process for the PCAOB to seek documents in enforcement cases against Chinese auditors.
China said on Friday that the two countries have “good cooperation” in monitoring publicly listed firms.
“The current situation is that some US monitoring authorities are failing to comply with their obligations, and what they are doing is political manipulation — they are trying to force Chinese companies to delist from US markets,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing.
The PCAOB has long complained of China’s failure to grant requests, giving it scant insight on audits of Chinese firms that trade on US exchanges.
The report also recommends requiring greater disclosure by issuers and registered funds of the risk of investing in China, as well as mandating more due diligence by funds that track indexes and issuing guidance to investment advisers about fiduciary obligations surrounding investments in China.
The moves come amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over China’s handling of the coronavirus and its moves to curb freedoms in Hong Kong, among other issues.