Energy & Utilities
OPWP selects APR Energy to build 32MW power plant
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP) has awarded US-based APR Energy a contract to build a 32MW power station in the sultanate, Muscat Daily has reported. The solution will comprise a turnkey power plant consisting of diesel reciprocating engines, APR said. The 32MW power will be injected into the Sur33 132kV grid sub-station. The plant is expected to start generating power in the second quarter of this year, it said.
SEC awards Siemens SR1bn in contracts
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has awarded Siemens two contracts valued at around SR1bn, Saudi Gazette has reported. The first contract includes the supply of five SGT6-2000E gas turbines, which will add 388 megawatts (MW) to the country’s electricity grid. The turbines will be used to supply power to the Rafha, Qurayyat and Arar areas, while the second deal is for a turnkey project to build the ‘Al-Kharj 2’ 380 kV substation. Under the contract, Siemens will supply all key components such as gas insulated switchgear, transformers, line reactors, switchgear, protection systems, telecoms systems, and will also build the substation.
Shell expects Majnoon greenfield project production within 2-3 months
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Simon Henry, the chief financial of Royal Dutch Shell has said the company aims to start production from a greenfield project in Iraq's Majnoon oil field within the next two to three months, Dow Jones has reported. The ramp up in output from the field was delayed while Shell resolved operational and legislative issues relating to the project such as cost recovery and importing equipment, Henry said. Total output from Majnoon is expected to reach 175,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, he said.
Iran crude exports to S. Korea down 44.4% in April
22 May 2013 at 3:22pm
South Korea’s oil import from Iran have dropped 44.4% year-on-year in April to 4.18 million barrels, Reuters has reported. The country's crude imports from Iran last month rose 4% compared with that of March, data from the state-run Korea National Oil Corp showed.
Saipem awards Oceaneering Egypt offshore deal
21 May 2013 at 3:55pm
Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem has awarded Oceaneering International the contract to supply umbilicals for the Burullus West Delta Deep Marine Phase IXa development located offshore Egypt. The order includes 10 subsea production control umbilicals totalling approximately 84km in length and two electrical power cables totalling around 55km in length. The project is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2014.
Testing Tunisia's stability
22 May 2013 at 10:15pm
For the first time since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, relations between mainstream Islamists in government and radical Salafist Muslim activists have reached breaking point.
New chapter in governance in UAE
22 May 2013 at 9:24pm
Mobile government will work round the clock and will be a one-stop shop for everything, says UAE Vice-President
Prince Saud says Iran indulging in deception
22 May 2013 at 8:16pm
The presence of an Iranian espionage cell in Saudi Arabia exemplifies Tehran's hostile attitude toward the Kingdom, said Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal yesterday.
World Bank proposes USD150m loan to help Jordan with refugees
22 May 2013 at 4:07pm
The World Bank has proposed a USD 150 million loan for Jordan to help it with the cost of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria, Jordanian and World Bank board sources said.
Dubai e-government services have grown from 14 to 2,000
22 May 2013 at 12:26pm
Dubai launched its e-government services in 2000 for the efficient delivery of official services, such as business registration, licensing, immigration and visa-related services, government permits and renewals for healthcare services, driving licences, among others.
Egyptian factories, hit by subsidy cuts, highlight Cairo's fiscal dilemma
22 May 2013 at 7:00am
* Brick, cement makers hit first by govt drive to cut energy subsidies* Cairo needs to cut spending but austerity risks more social unrest* Analysts urge Cairo to move quickly to secure IMF loanBy Asma AlsharifAL-SAFF, Egypt, May 22 (Reuters) - Hundreds of soot-stained factory chimneys dot the horizon in the industrial city of al-Saff, south of Cairo, but only a few spew black smoke.Two years afte
Qatar PM says Assad departure a must for Syria peace
22 May 2013 at 5:23am
Qatar's prime minister said that President Bashar al-Assad's must step down if a political end to Syria's civil war is to be achieved, echoing similar remarks from Britain.
Iran denies link to group arrested for spying in Saudi Arabia
22 May 2013 at 4:56am
Iran denied on Wednesday any link to members of a spying ring detained by its Sunni Muslim regional rival Saudi Arabia, according to Iranian media.
Syria opposition calls for reinforcements in embattled Qusair
22 May 2013 at 4:04am
Syria's leading opposition group called on Wednesday for rebels across the country to send reinforcements to the strategic border town Qusair.
Jordan says SNB committed to franc cap, could adjust if needed
22 May 2013 at 3:00am
FRANKFURT, May 22 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank is committed to the cap it imposed on the franc in 2011 but could adjust the level of 1.20 per euro if necessary, said its Chairman Thomas Jordan. Jordan also told a Frankfurt journalist club the...
Syria opposition calls for humanitarian corridors for Qusayr
22 May 2013 at 1:36am
Acting opposition chief George Sabra urged rebels across Syria to "rush to the rescue" of rebel stronghold Qusayr under assault by regime troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.
Four dead as clashes rage in Lebanon's Tripoli
22 May 2013 at 1:08am
At least four people have been killed in clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a security source told AFP, as fighting raged into a fourth day Wednesday.
Gaza-Egypt crossing at Rafah reopens - witnesses
22 May 2013 at 12:48am
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip reopened on Wednesday, five days after its closure by Egyptian police angered by the kidnapping of seven colleagues, witnesses said.
Iran's Ahmadinejad says will challenge ally's ban from election
22 May 2013 at 12:12am
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday he would take up the ban of his close aide from the June 14 presidential election with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian media reported.
Intesa Sanpaolo Bank offers a new facility to corporate customers: U Turn Tax...
21 May 2013 at 10:48pm
Bucharest, May 22 2013. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Romania, subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, has become the first bank to make a local agreement with U Turn Tax Refund (UTTR) in order to facilitate the refund of Value Added Tax (VAT). The new facility is an important competitive advantage for all the corporate clients that can optimize their costs on all business expenses abroad, paid in cash or
Saudi fiscal position 'very strong': IMF
22 May 2013 at 3:26pm
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the Saudi economic growth will slow to 4.4% in 2013 from 6.8% last year, due to an expected fall in oil production, and cuts in government spending, AFP has reported. “Overall GDP growth is expected at 4.4%... because oil output is likely to be lower than its average level in 2012 and the growth rate of government spending looks set to slow,” said the IMF. “The fiscal position is very strong. In recent years, the government has run large budget surpluses, reduced debt to very low levels, and built up considerable financial assets,” it said. Saudi Arabia posted massive budget surpluses of $81bn and $103bn in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and is projected to post a huge surplus this year also.
Iraq urged to cut public spending
22 May 2013 at 3:26pm
The International Monetary Fund has urged Iraq to build up its weak fiscal buffers, as the oil producer's economy remains highly vulnerable to the oil market, AFP has reported. Iraq has maintained macroeconomic stability "in a difficult security and political environment," the IMF executive board said. "Risks to the macroeconomic outlook remain high," the board said, also pointing to delays in oil developments and further deterioration of the security situation. The board called for curbs on current spending, including public employment, energy subsidies and transfers to state-owned enterprises, to increase leeway for priority social spending and public investment, and to build up buffers.
Samba soars after Fitch afffirms Saudi bank's investment grade rating
22 May 2013 at 6:02am
The Saudi Stock Exchange consolidated at a 1-year high, closing 0.11% higher at 7,363.13 points. Samba Financial Group gained 0.44% to reach a 3-week high at SR45.90. Earlier in the day, Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed the ratings of Samba. "n view of the Bank's very strong capital ratios, strong liquidity and continually improving asset quality, the Financial Strength Rating is maintained at 'AA-'", said Fitch. At year-end 2012, Riyahd-based Samba ranked as KSA's third-largest bank, with total assets of SR199bn (equivalent to $53.1bn and a market share of about 12%). By total capital (SR31.7bn) the Bank ranked fourth in size among Saudi banks. At the close of the year, Samba operated a network of 72 branches and employed 3,329 full-time direct staff (2011: 3,057).
Bahrain Bourse gains on IMF's GDP growth forecast
22 May 2013 at 4:36am
The Bahrain All-Share Index finished the trading session on Wednesday with a gain of 0.14%, closing at 1,168.86 points. In its spring update on the Middle East and North Africa, the IMF uograded real GDP growth prospects fro the Bahrain to 4.2% for 2013 from 2.8% amid increased political stability in the Kingdom. In 2014, the IMF said Bahrain's econmy would grow by 3.3%. Shares of Inovest surged 8.93% to reach $0.305. Islamic bank Gulf Finance House hit a 1-year year, closing at $0.175.
Qatari shares gain across the board
22 May 2013 at 3:25am
The QE 20 Index added 0.54% to close at 9,085.90 points Wednesday. Qatar National Bank (up 0.35%), Industries Qatar (0.36% higher) and Ooredoo (gainiing 1.35%) led the gauge's advance. Islamic Holding posted the biggest decline (down 2.87%).
Aldar selects Greek contractor for Bani Yas infra project
22 May 2013 at 3:31pm
Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties has awarded Athena, a subsidiary of Greek firm J&P-AVAX, a €125m contract for the construction, operation and maintenance of marine works, along with roadworks, infrastructure and soft landscaping on Yas Island. The infrastructure works include excavations and earth-moving, roadworks, sanitary and storm water networks, pumping stations, tap water, irrigation and fire-fighting networks, design and construction of natural gas network, high- and low-voltage power networks, fibre optics and telecoms networks, street and traffic lighting, and their connection to Abu Dhabi’s existing infrastructure systems. The project has a 28-month deadline, with an additional 24-month period for the operation and maintenance of all constructions.
Kuwait's ASCO secures $342.2m in financing for Al Amiri Hospital expansion
22 May 2013 at 3:31pm
A joint venture led by Kuwait’s Associated Construction Co (ASCO) has signed a financing agreement with the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) to finance the KD98m ($342.2m) Al Amiri Hospital expansion project, Kuna has reported. The hospital expansion project involves the construction, maintenance and provision of medical equipment for a new tower at the hospital, doubling the existing capacity by adding an additional 460 beds and a multi-storey parking block.
DSI awarded $460m contract in Saudi Arabia
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Dubai-based Drake & Scull International has announced its general contracting unit has won a SR1.73bn ($460m) contract from Lamar Investment and Real Estate Development Co in Saudi Arabia, Zawya Dow Jones has reported. DSC Saudi Arabia will oversee and undertake construction work on the Lamar Towers project in Jeddah, the company said. The project, halted in 2009, was restructured and refinanced in 2013 and is now expected to be completed by the end of 2015, it said.
Arabtec projects 'unaffected' by strike
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Dubai-based Arabtec has said the delivery of projects was unaffected by what it called a partial labour stoppage, adding it was working with authorities in the UAE to resolve the issue, Reuters has reported. "Arabtec reiterates that project delivery timelines have and will not be affected," the company said in a bourse filing yesterday. "Arabtec has been working closely with the UAE Ministry of Labour, the Dubai Police and the concerned security authorities to resolve as soon as possible a partial workers stoppage by a limited number of Arabtec labour employees," it said.
Oman warns firms against violating midday break rule
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Oman’s manpower ministry has warned of legal action against private sector companies who are found to be flouting norms regarding the midday break for construction workers during the months of June, July and August, Muscat Daily has reported. “Work should be stopped for three hours, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, during these three months,” said the director general of labour welfare at the ministry, Salim bin Said al Badi. The ministry will send inspection teams to work sites, and those found violating the system would be dealt with sternly, al Badi added. “Article 118 of the Labour Law states that violators would be penalised either with a fine not less than OR100 and not more than OR500, or a jail term of not more than one year or both,” he said.