Sunday, May 13, 2012

Al-Amoudi to set up first tire factory in Kingdom

Abdullah Al-Amoudi, Nasser Bin Jarallah and Yan Kai, GM, CAMCE-SINOMACH during the contract signing ceremony.


YANBU: Al-Muwakaba for Industrial Development & Oversees Commerce (Holding), a member of Al-Amoudi Group of Companies, has signed an agreement to establish the Advanced Tire Factory. The factory will be set up on a 194,000 square meter area in Yanbu Industrial City and considered to be the first plant of its kind in the Kingdom.

Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, chairman of the board and the main partner for both Al-Muwakaba and Advanced Tire Factory, said he was proud of this great project. The new project is in line with the guidance of the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in ensuring the diversity of industries in Saudi Arabia and the interest in supporting the national economy.

"We also extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the Royal Commission of Jubail & Yanbu and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund as well as industrial Clusters' Program for their support for overcoming the obstacles to access to this vital project. Al-Amoudi also stated that the total cost of this promising project was estimated to be SR900 million. The project provides 600 employment opportunities. Based on the approach taken by the company in all of its projects, Al-Amoudi assured that the preference and priority in career opportunities would be given to young and qualified Saudis, especially from the scholarship program of the king, in addition to training and development programs provided by the company to train technicians to work in the high-tech factory.

The plant will manufacture tubeless pneumatic tires for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Mohammed Abdullah Baraqabah Al-Amoudi, Al-Muwakaba director general and board vice chairman, said the plant was expected to produce 1,800,000 of world-class tires. He added that the manufacturing will be according to the latest world-class technologies applied in tire manufacturing - well-known BCT technology - used in the international standards tire manufacturing. He stressed that the tires would be manufactured as per the European ECE standards and American DOT standards as well as comply with the codes and standards specified by Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO). Abdullah Al-Amoudi added that the project primarily aimed at meeting the needs of the Saudi market and then the rest of the GCC markets and North Africa. According to Abdullah Al-Amoudi, the project has a 34-month completion schedule with commercial production expected to commence by 2015.

The partners recently completed all the statutory procedures for the project. Nasser Bin Mohammed Bin Jarallah, Panorama Group vice president, partner and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Tire Factory, expressed his satisfaction on the efforts made to translate his dream project into reality and implementation. He also explained that Al-Muwakaba owns 65 percent of the total project while Bin Jarallah Group owns the remaining 35 percent in the first phase of the project, and it is expected to enter other international partners in the later stages of the project. He added that the project is funded partially by the Saudi Industrial Investment Fund and a number of Saudi local banks in their efforts to support the project.

According to Waddah Al-Kayyali Alem, deputy director general of the EPC, the contract to design, engineer, supply and plan the building has been awarded to one of the major international companies specialized in the manufacture of tires CAMCE-SINOMACH. The technology for the plant will be provided by BCT that will be supervised by a specialized German consulting firm, Technical Tire Consulting Gmbh (TTC) to ensure the highest quality standards. Waddah also said that Saudi Swedish company MEDROC would undertake all project management processes for Project Management Ltd.

Saudi Arabia keen on African farm investments

Saudi billionaire Mohammad Al Amoudi last year announced plans to invest $2.5bn by 2020 developing a rice-farming project.

Saudi billionaire Mohammad Al Amoudi last year announced plans to invest $2.5bn by 2020 developing a rice-farming project.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging companies to invest in farms in Africa as the kingdom seeks to secure supplies of food imports to replace local production, said Agriculture Minister Fahd Balghunaim.

The government decided in 2008 to gradually phase out all water-intensive crops including grains by 2016 amid commodity price spikes, Balghunaim said at a World Economic Forum meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

Saudi Arabia plans to increase imports of food, including the 3 million metric tonnes of wheat consumed annually, he said.

“Africa is the region that represents the biggest opportunity to increase food production with vast tracts of land and a big difference between existing potential and current productivity,” he said.

“Saudi companies are bringing the technology and equipment to help increase production.”

In Ethiopia, Saudi Star Agricultural Development, a food company owned by billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, announced last year it plans to invest $2.5bn by 2020 developing a rice-farming project on 10,000 hectares of land on lease for 60 years.

It also has plans to rent an additional 290,000 hectares from the government.

Critics of the project including GRAIN, the Barcelona-based advocacy group, argue that domestic farmers are being dispossessed and the country shouldn’t rent land cheaply to foreign investors to grow crops when about 13 percent of its approximately 80 million people still rely on food aid.

“We want to be an assisting player in the African agriculture revolution,” said Balghunaim. “Our ethics don’t allow us to take food from the mouths of people who need it.”

African nations should be able to end their dependency on food imports, become net crop exporters and cut trade deficits by adopting modern farm methods, Balghunaim said.

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