Khalid Al Falih, the Saudi minister of energy, wants the kingdom's electricity sector to operate on a commercial basis. Delores Johnson / The National
Khalid Al Falih, the Saudi minister of energy, wants the kingdom's electricity sector to operate on a commercial basis. Delores Johnson / The National

Saudi Arabia sees progress in electricity privatisation



Saudi Arabia's deputy electricity minister said on Wednesday he hoped for progress next year in privatising the power sector including the unbundling of state-run Saudi Electricity (SEC).

"There have been some developments that required us to wait," Saleh Al Awaji, who is also chairman of SEC, told an industry conference in Riyadh.

Awaji said factors impacting privatisation included the Citizens Account - a government plan to compensate low- to medium-income citizens - and revisions to energy prices.

"We hope to see some achievements during 2018," he said, referring to requirements for the sale of SEC's generation assets.

Electricity tariffs still do not match the cost of producing electricity in the kingdom. The Saudi government has said energy prices will be subject to gradual increases until 2020.

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"The creation of generation companies will transform the sector into a sector that relies to a large extent on government support into a sector that operates on a commercial basis," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said on Tuesday.

Raising power prices gradually are among the structural reforms cited by the minister "while taking into consideration the ability of consumer sectors to absorb the increase and maintaining economic growth and the competitiveness of national products and industrial investments."

The establishment of an account for power tariffs is another reform that aims to cover the deficit between the commercially expected income from power and the income from the officially approved tariff, while taking into consideration the amendments to power consumption tariffs, the minister added.

Investments of more than 250 billion riyals (Dh245bn) are expected to be made in the electricity sector by 2022 to cover a peak load of 80,000 megawatts.

The restructuring of the sector includes an energy mix that relies more on gas and less on liquid fuel. It includes renewables and nuclear too.

SEC expects to save about 320-340 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by 2020 through efficiently generating power, its CEO said.

Power demand grew slightly this year compared to last year said Abdulla Al Shehri, the head of the electricity regulator.

Company profile

Name: Cashew
Started: 2020
Founders: Ibtissam Ouassif and Ammar Afif
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $10m
Investors: Mashreq, others

Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

MOST POLLUTED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

PETER PAN & WENDY

Director: David Lowery

Stars: Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Joshua Pickering

Rating: 3/5

Gully Boy

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producer: Excel Entertainment & Tiger Baby
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi​​​​​​​
Rating: 4/5 stars

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Top goalscorers in Europe

34 goals - Robert Lewandowski (68 points)

34 - Ciro Immobile (68)

31 - Cristiano Ronaldo (62)

28 - Timo Werner (56)

25 - Lionel Messi (50)

*29 - Erling Haaland (50)

23 - Romelu Lukaku (46)

23 - Jamie Vardy (46)

*NOTE: Haaland's goals for Salzburg count for 1.5 points per goal. Goals for Dortmund count for two points per goal.

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

'The Batman'

Stars:Robert Pattinson

Director:Matt Reeves

Rating: 5/5

Company profile

Name: Steppi

Founders: Joe Franklin and Milos Savic

Launched: February 2020

Size: 10,000 users by the end of July and a goal of 200,000 users by the end of the year

Employees: Five

Based: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai

Financing stage: Two seed rounds – the first sourced from angel investors and the founders' personal savings

Second round raised Dh720,000 from silent investors in June this year

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

ABU DHABI'S KEY TOURISM GOALS: BY THE NUMBERS

By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

Non-oil trade

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Japan grew by 34 per cent over the past two years, according to data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre. 

In 10 years, it has reached a total of Dh524.4 billion. 

Cars topped the list of the top five commodities re-exported to Japan in 2022, with a value of Dh1.3 billion. 

Jewellery and ornaments amounted to Dh150 million while precious metal scraps amounted to Dh105 million. 

Raw aluminium was ranked first among the top five commodities exported to Japan. 

Top of the list of commodities imported from Japan in 2022 was cars, with a value of Dh20.08 billion.

SANCTIONED
  • Kirill Shamalov, Russia's youngest billionaire and previously married to Putin's daughter Katarina
  • Petr Fradkov, head of recently sanctioned Promsvyazbank and son of former head of Russian Foreign Intelligence, the FSB. 
  • Denis Bortnikov, Deputy President of Russia's largest bank VTB. He is the son of Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB which was responsible for the poisoning of political activist Alexey Navalny in August 2020 with banned chemical agent novichok.  
  • Yury Slyusar, director of United Aircraft Corporation, a major aircraft manufacturer for the Russian military.
  • Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva, chair of the board of Novikombank, a state-owned defence conglomerate.
The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

And Just Like That...

Director: Various

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis

Rating: 3/5

Stage 2

1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) Alpecin-Fenix 4:18:30

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLV) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:06

3.  Primoz Roglic (SLV) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:06

4. Wilco Kelderman (NED) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06

5. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:08

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

While you're here
J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"


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