Talks on for USD 1.5bn renewables-powered Egypt desalination plant
CAIRO, Egypt, 21 February 2022: A consortium of Metito Holdings, Scatec and Orascom Construction are in talks with the Egyptian government about developing a USD 1.5bn renewables-powered desalination plant, according to a report in Energy & Utilities.
The consortium is in discussions with Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund, the Egypt Fund, about the project, which is part of Egypt’s plans to meet the growing water requirements of its population, the report said.
Energy & Utilities reported in August 2021 that the Egyptian government was seeking to secure USD 2.5bn of private investment by 2025 to deliver 17 solar-powered seawater desalination plants to meet the growing demand for water and reduce reliance on water from the Nile river.
Ayman Soliman, Director General, Egypt Fund, said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corporation will provide technical advice and support of the bidding process for the projects, which are likely to be tendered under a public-private partnership (PPP) model, the report said.
The report quoted Soliman as saying that several investors had expressed interest in the desalination programme.
According to the report, the 17 proposed desalination plants would have the capacity to provide up to 2.8 million cubic metres a day cm/d) of potable water for the Egyptian population.
The Big 5 Construct Egypt returns in 2021
CAIRO, Egypt, 7 June 2021: The third edition of The Big 5 Construct Egypt will take place from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC), to facilitate business opportunities in Egypt’s growing construction project market, dmg events, the organiser said through a Press release.
Making the announcement through a Press conference, dmg said Egypt is the third largest construction market in the MENA region, and that activity remains a bright spot for the Egyptian economy with a pipeline of known and un-awarded projects worth USD 354.8 billion in the country*.
Present at the press conference was Khaled Abbas, Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects; Matt Denton, President, dmg events; Mohamed El Dahshoury, CEO, Hassan Allam Construction (HAC)’ Heike Harmgart, Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mohamed Tarek, Area Managing Director of North Africa for Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).
dmg said powerful face-to-face connections between industry stakeholders will be significant for the sector’s sustained development. It is more important than ever for us to offer a safe environment for the community to come together, where they can boost business activities, rebuild partnerships and apply lessons learnt to future projects all in one place, dmg said. To that end, in addition to offering vital trading opportunities this year, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will launch new high-level features focused on strategic industry development and innovation, making it an unmissable business event for the construction sector in the wake of Covid-19 disruption, it added.
The event will launch The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, which dmg described as designed to recognise the businesses and people driving innovation in Egypt’s industry, in addition to The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, a three-day event scheduled to gather regional ministers and international leaders to explore the construction sector’s contribution towards economic growth and diversification in Egypt.
Harmgart, who is set to speak at the conference, said: “The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for policy makers, financial institutions and investors to discuss the priorities for Egypt and to promote sustainable green infrastructure and construction sectors.”
Beyond the conference, the event also will offer free-to-attend, CPD-certified talks and the exhibition area, which dmg said, will gather hundreds of leading brands from more than 15 countries, such as Canada, Germany, Greece, Russia, Italy, UAE and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few. Heavyweights signed up to exhibit include the likes of Hassan Allam Holding, Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond and Al Amal, dmg said.
Speaking on the upcoming exhibition, El Dahshoury said: “The Big 5 Construct Egypt represents a great place for business leaders to discuss, sign agreements and present investment opportunities, at a time when infrastructure projects play a decisive role in the economic recovery, not only in Egypt but around the world.”
UAE, US commit to jointly tackle climate challenge
ABU DHABI, UAE, 5 April 2021: The United Arab Emirates and the United States announced their joint commitment to tackle the climate challenge in a Joint Statement that stresses the importance and urgency of raising global climate ambition. Both countries announced their intent to cooperate on new investments in financing decarbonisation across the MENA region and beyond, and to focus on assisting the most vulnerable adapt to the effects of climate change.
H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, said: “Together with the US, the UAE has affirmed that decisive, proactive climate action can be an engine for economic growth and sustainable development. Building on the legacy and experience of the UAE, which has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to sustainable development and today operates three of the world’s largest solar facilities, we will focus, together with the US, on joint efforts on renewable energy, hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and low-carbon urban design.
“The UAE is rich in opportunities with the world’s lowest solar power costs, and significant carbon capture investments. We look forward to sharing our experience with the international community to turn climate action into economic opportunity.”
Noting the progress made by many leading companies, both countries agreed to work closely with the private sector to mobilize the necessary investment and technology resources needed to stem the climate crisis and support the economy.
At the national level, the United States and the United Arab Emirates confirmed their intent to work towards decarbonising their economies according to their national circumstances and economic development plans, including reducing carbon emissions by 2030.
The United States and the United Arab Emirates stressed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote the success of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
The Joint Statement emerges from the UAE Regional Dialogue for Climate Action, held on April 4. The event convened climate leaders from across the MENA region and unveiled a new era of cooperation in the region for a future focused on prosperity through climate policy, investment, innovation and sustainable economic growth.
The Dialogue drew the participation of high-level dignitaries from across the region as well as critical global partners and organisations. Participants included COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma and US Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, together with ministers and high-level representatives from the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The event further reinforced the UAE’s regional climate leadership, providing a common ground for participating nations to build a shared vision for climate action ahead of COP26.
Sustainable solutions, digitalisation are the way ahead
As the new BASF Vice President for operations in the Middle East, could you take us through the roadmap of the company?
BASF is an active partner in the industry in the UAE. We have been present in the region for over a century, and our office in the UAE dates back to the 1970s. You can, therefore, say that we are deeply rooted in the region. In addition to our regional headquarters in Dubai, we have offices in Abu Dhabi, Al Khobar and Cairo. In the UAE, we operate a state-of-the-art polyurethane system house in Dubai Industrial City and a production facility for construction chemicals in Dubai Investment Park. Our construction chemicals business also has sites in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. In Bahrain, we operate a production facility for customised plastic additives. We have always aligned our business with the strategic vision and economic agenda of the governments in the region. What the visions have in common is not only a strong drive towards growth and economic diversification but also the realisation that having a commitment to sustainability is key to achieving long-term growth. We see unprecedented opportunities in various sectors to support these national priorities, and hence, we share our knowledge and expertise. After all, our commitment to sustainable solutions is anchored in the corporate purpose of BASF, which is to create a sustainable future.
To what extent is BASF reinforcing its commitment to sustainability, innovation and digitalisation, while also expanding its footprint across the region?
Our new strategy, which we presented in November 2018, aims at profit and a CO2-neutral growth. This means that we will decouple our greenhouse gas emissions from organic growth. To achieve this, we will improve the management, efficiency and integration of our manufacturing sites, and wherever possible, we plan on purchasing a greater share of electricity from renewable energy sources. We have already reduced emissions by 50% in absolute terms, compared to 1990 levels, while doubling our production in this period. In addition, we are working closely with a number of relevant stakeholders to drive sustainable water action and have been awarded a top ‘A’ rating by the international organisation, CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. We also want to grow our share of so-called ‘accelerator’ products, including in the Middle East. Across all customer industries, we have identified 13,000 accelerator solutions. These are products that have made a substantial contribution to making the value chain more sustainable. An example of an accelerator product that is performing very well in this region is Neopor, an insulation material that offers improved insulation performance and contributes to climate protection and energy efficiency. Another example is Elastocool, a system made for the insulation of fridges and freezers. The material has a low-thermal conductivity by approximately 0.5 mW/mK, which enables the achievement of energy classes A++ and A+++. The fast cycling time leads to higher output in production, while high compressive strength values lead to lower material consumption per unit. In addition, digital solutions are helping us achieve our sustainability-related goals. Digitalisation presents opportunities, and by using digital technologies and data, we are able to create additional value for our customers and increase efficiency along with the effectiveness of our process. Digitalisation makes our business smoother and eventually makes it cheaper.
You mentioned that there is a strong drive towards localised, advanced manufacturing. What are the challenges you foresee, and how do you plan on tackling them?
When we look at Egypt, a key market in our region, we are increasingly serving local customers, whereas, in the past, a large part of our customer base was multinationals with a presence in Egypt. Other countries in the region, including countries in the Gulf, are also moving in a similar direction. Therefore, I see opportunities for BASF, rather than challenges. One driving factor will be localisation. We are already producing locally and will expand this in the future with the mixing, blending and packaging of materials. Local storage is also becoming increasingly important.
USD 25 bn Al Faisaliah Project to provide 995,000 housing units by 2050
Dubai, UAE, 21 March 2019: The USD 25 billion Al Faisaliah Project in Saudi Arabia will play a vital role in the country’s move to diversify its economy, said Faizal Babu Pallathody, Managing Director, VTS Clima, naming the project as one of the key developments that will cultivate private-sector engagement as part of Saudi Vision 2030. Pallathody said the city, spanning 2,450 square kilometres, will be located in the western part of Makkah, starting from the Haram boundary and will extend up to the Red Sea coast of Al-Shuaiba in the west. “The project is a giant extension of the Holy City of Makkah and will provide 995,000 housing units and accommodate 6.5 million people by 2050,” he said.
Pallathody said that the country is proactive in its efforts to transform its economy and move to a post-oil era, underpinned by ambitious mega-projects, such as NEOM, which aims to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. The USD 500 billion industrial zone of NEOM, Pallathody said, will feature a 26,500-square-kilometre business zone that will link Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan and aims to be a futuristic hub for both industry and citizens.