Read the September 2023 MEED Business Review

30 August 2023

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Decarbonisation has increased the stakes for nuclear energy despite the perceived risks.

With the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region set to register a rise of at least 30 per cent in power generation capacity by 2030, a strategy is required to advance energy security while reducing carbon emissions and fossil-fuel dependence.

If hydrocarbons are to be scaled back and battery energy storage remains expensive or untested, nuclear is an obvious solution. 

Nuclear energy’s benefits have been consistently recognised in the Middle East.

Iran, despite sanctions, has pressed ahead with its nuclear power projects. On the other side of the Gulf, Abu Dhabi signed contracts in 2009 with a South Korean consortium to build its first nuclear power project in Barakah.

More recently, Egypt has started work on its own nuclear project at El-Dabaa.

More projects are planned. Most notably, Saudi Arabia is advancing early plans for its nuclear power projects.

In the latest issue of MEED Business Review, MEED's energy editor Jennifer Aguinaldo looks at the case for adding nuclear to the energy mix and analyses the progress being made as the Mena region pushes for a nuclear future.  

She also discusses small modular reactors and their importance in offsetting concerns about capital expenditure, construction delays and spent-fuel reprocessing.

This month's exclusive 14-page market focus, meanwhile, examines the ambitious plans laid out by Kuwait's new cabinet as it enters office with an expansionary budget and programme of strategic projects.

MEED's latest issue also includes a comprehensive report on the future of engineering, procurement and construction in a sustainable world. 

We hope our valued subscribers enjoy the September 2023 issue of MEED Business Review. 

 

Must-read sections in the September 2023 edition of MEED Business Review include:

> AGENDA: Mena pushes for nuclear future

> TECHNOLOGY: Small reactors top nuclear agenda

> CURRENT AFFAIRS: Saudi Arabian economy shows signs of weakness

INDUSTRY REPORT: The future of EPC in a sustainable world
Key highlights from the MEED-Mashreq Contractors Forum on 30 May 2023, which discussed how the engineering and construction sector can enable the delivery of large-scale solar, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects in the region.
> A new era for EPC contractors
> Government support vital for clean energy growth
> Private sector vital for sustainable development
> Green energy drive requires adequate financing

> INTERVIEWAcwa Power zooms in on global water opportunities

> RAILGCC's ambitious railway project gains momentum

> REAL ESTATE: UAE real estate construction returns to record highs

> INTERVIEWEuroChem eyes Mena food security opportunity

> INTERVIEWKuwait's Gulf Centre United sets course for expansion

> MARKET TALKNBK anticipates project revival in Kuwait

> KUWAIT MARKET FOCUS:

> COMMENTKuwait lays out ambitious plans
> POLITICSStakeholders hope Kuwait can execute spending plans
> ECONOMYKuwait enjoys sustained non-oil growth
> BANKINGKuwaiti banks enter bounce-back mode
> ENERGYKuwait’s $300bn energy target is a big test
> POWER & WATERWarming erodes Kuwait’s power and water reserves
> CONSTRUCTION: Kuwait poised for renewed construction activity
> DATABANK: Kuwait’s headline growth dips

MEED COMMENTS: 
Mena solar awards trajectory improves
Abu Dhabi seeks control of pipelines
Time for Riyadh to prove its mettle
Dubai plots major projects comeback

> GULF PROJECTS INDEX: Gulf index climbs higher in August

> JULY 2023 CONTRACTSRegion records $12bn of deals signed

> MARKET SNAPSHOTMena rail projects

> OPINIONGulf funds help reshape football

BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts

To see previous issues of MEED Business Review, please click here
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Marianne Makdisi
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    23 April 2024

     

    The Gulf projects market grew for the 13th straight month in March, rising by 2.4% and adding $93.6bn in value from 15 March to 12 April as the Saudi projects market returned to positive growth. The kingdom added 2.7% or $48bn in value. 

    The growth in Saudi projects was driven in part by the launch of the front-end engineering and design of $9.7bn-worth of pumped hydropower storage projects by Enowa, the utility subsidiary of Neom.

    The total budget and scope of the Mecca Gate project in Jeddah by the Al Shamiyah Urban Development was also significantly increased.

    Beyond the kingdom

    The UAE projects market also continued to grow quickly, adding 3.4% or $26bn in value over the same period.

    The value addition was led by the ongoing revival of the Al Maktoum International airport expansion and the reactivation of several project packages that had previously been considered on hold. 

    Phase one of the airport’s strategic expansion plan now has a total of $16bn-worth of work actively under study or in design, including an estimated $7bn concourse building and $3.5bn new terminal, alongside $2.7bn in sub-structural works.

    Elsewhere in the GCC, Oman’s projects markets also grew by 2.3%, adding $5.5bn, while Kuwait’s grew by 2.1%, adding $3.7bn. 

    The Qatari and Bahraini projects markets shrank, shedding 0.3% and 3.5%, or $0.8bn and $2.5bn, respectively. 

    Outside of the GCC, Iran’s projects market added 4% or $11.5bn in value, driven by the launch into execution of a $16bn pressure-boosting project at the South Pars gas field, while Iraq’s projects market added a marginal 0.5% or $1.8bn in value. 


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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  • Neom tenders desalination EPC package

    22 April 2024

     

    Saudi Arabian Neom's utility subsidiary, Enowa, has issued the request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to build a new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant with a capacity of 150 million litres a day (MLD).

    Enowa expects to receive proposals from qualified engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies by 22 May.

    According to a source close to the project, the deadline is likely to be extended. 

    The 150MLD project, which is equivalent to a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), was previously known as the Moonlight desalination plant.

    It will be located adjacent to the existing 125MLD desalination plant at Duba on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. 

    MEED previously reported that Neom had received prequalification applications from interested companies in December.

    The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.

    Neom said the plant will treat seawater with a total dissolved solids measure of up to 42,000 milligrams a litre.

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    • reverse osmosis second pass
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    • automated clean-in-place system
    • waste treatment unit
    • reject disposal and outfall

    The selected contractor is also expected to build the necessary storage tanks for the desalinated and stabilised water, an operator control room, programmable logic control and Scada systems, among others.

    In addition, the plant must to comply with Neom’s cybersecurity requirements.

    To meet the short timeline, Neom has asked contractors to confirm whether they already possess a design of an existing plant that can be used for the project.

    This project’s capacity is smaller than the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) desalination plant being developed by Japan’s Itochu and France’s Veolia at Neom’s Oxagon industrial city.

    The ZLD plant’s first phase is expected to have a capacity of 500,000 cm/d.

    A consortium of Enowa, Itochu and Veolia signed the joint development for the ZLD desalination plant in December 2022.

    The planned ZLD plant will be powered 100% by renewable energy and is understood to require an investment of between $1.5bn and $2bn. It is expected to meet about 30% of Neom’s projected total water demand once complete.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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  • Mitsubishi Power wins Al Zour South work

    22 April 2024

    Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity, Water & Renewable Energy (MEWRE) has awarded a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a contract to rehabilitate eight units at the Al Zour South power station.

    The project will include the rehabilitation and upgrade of eight steam generator boilers, replacement of the control system for the boilers, steam turbines and auxiliaries.

    Mitsubishi Power has partnered with the local contracting firm Heavy Engineering Industries & Shipbuilding (Heisco) to implement the contract.

    The work will recover steam generation capacity, increase reliability of the grid and support Kuwait’s growing power needs, according to Mitsubishi Power.

    “By replacing deteriorated boiler components with new and upgraded components and [undertaking] boiler operation optimisation with upgrading control systems and combustion systems, it is anticipated that this large-scale rehabilitation project will increase the boiler efficiency and lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” the firm said.

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    Under the new contract, Mitsubishi Power will provide services for the rehabilitation of the steam units, which is aimed at improving operational reliability by overhauling deteriorated components and integrating a new distributed control system.

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  • Sports ministry tenders Riyadh stadium contract

    22 April 2024

     

    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    Saudi Arabia's Sports Ministry has tendered a contract for the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. 

    It issued the request for proposals on 8 April and expects to recieve bids on 14 June.

    The stadium's current capacity is 22,188 seats and the expansion aims to increase the seating capacity to approximately 45,000. The expansion project comes as the kingdom prepares to host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2027.

    Capital projects

    The project is part of the kingdom's plan to build sports stadiums under its SR10.1bn ($2.7bn) capital projects programme.

    MEED previously reported that the Sports Ministry had tendered an early works contract for the expansion of the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam. The scope of the contract includes the decommissioning, demolition, bulk excavation, relocation and setting up of related facilities for the stadium.

    In July last year, the ministry invited construction companies to submit prequalification documents for the main construction contracts for the schemes that are part of the capital projects programme.

    The projects, which are set for completion before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, include:

    • Increasing the capacity of King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to 92,000 seats
    • Expanding the seating capacity of Riyadh’s Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium to 45,000
    • Increasing the capacity of Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium to 30,000 seats
    • An increase in seating capacity for the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khair to 45,000
    • The construction of a sustainable New Riyadh Stadium in the north of Riyadh with 45,000 seats

    The next main element of the ministry’s projects programme is the construction of 30 new training grounds and facilities in proximity to the stadiums that will be used for the 2027 competition.

    Construction on the schemes is expected to start in July 2024 and be completed by December 2025. A total of 18 facilities will be ready in time for the 2026 AFC Women’s Cup.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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  • PIF buys Saudi towers majority share

    22 April 2024

    Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC Group) have signed definitive agreements for the PIF to acquire a 51% stake in Telecommunication Towers Company (Tawal) from STC Group.

    Tawal is valued at $5.9bn, according to the signed agreement, which the PIF announced on 22 April.

    The PIF and STC Group will consolidate Tawal and the PIF majority-owned Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC) into a merged entity, forming the "largest regional company in the telecommunications infrastructure sector", the Saudi sovereign wealth fund said.

    The PIF will own 54% of the combined new entity, with STC Group owning 43.1% and GLIC owning the remaining minority of the issued share capital. 

    The transactions are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

    It was reported in October 2022 that STC Group had received a non-binding offer from the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle to buy 51% of Tawal.

    A wholly owned subsidiary of STC Group, Tawal designs and builds telecommunications towers and has a portfolio of over 15,000 towers across the kingdom.

    The PIF previously acquired Zain Business, the entity that owns the 8,069-tower infrastructure of Zain Saudi Arabia, for more than SR3bn.

    Following the transaction in 2022, the PIF changed the name of Zain Business to GLIC. Zain KSA received a cash amount of SR2.4bn and a 20% shareholidng in GLIC as part of the purchase agreement.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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