Saudi energy minister visits Gwadar oil refinery site

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid A Al-Falih is received by Pakistan Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Port and Shipping minister Ali Zaidi. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar told Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry that Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, and the chairman of the board of Saudi Aramco, arrived in Pakistan on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Pakistan and Saudi officials discuss prospects of oil refinery and development of Gwadar in a meeting held in Gwadar. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistan’s minister of Port and Shipping, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, takes selfie with Saudi minister of energy, Khalid A Al-Falih. (Photo Courtesy: BoI)
Updated 13 January 2019

Saudi energy minister visits Gwadar oil refinery site

  • Pakistan, Saudi Arabia in talks over oil refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district
  • MoU to be signed during visit of Saudi crown prince next month

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and the Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, Eng. Khalid A Al-Falih, on Saturday visited the port city of Gwadar to witness development work and the area allocated for a multibillion oil refinery.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks over an agreement to install the Saudi Aramco Oil Refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district. 

Last year, the Saudis also offered Pakistan a $6-billion rescue package to help shore up the economy. 

The Saudi delegation was received by Pakistan petroleum minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, port and shippings minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and Baluchistan information minister Zahoor Buledi.

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the two sound foundations of peace and stability”, Khalid A Al-Falih, said while speaking to media in Gwadar.

Al Falih said bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are very strong and Saudia Arabai would "play its role for the development and prosperity of Pakistan."

“The Saudi delegation led by Al Falih has come to see the area allocated for the oil refinery in Gwadar. Soon a state of the art oil refinery would be set up in Gwadar”, Ghulam Sarwar said, according to a statement issued by the ministry of petroleum.

The petroleum minister said he hoped that a memorandum of understanding about the oil refinery would be signed between the two governments during the expected visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman next month: “This would be the biggest investment of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan."

The government of Pakistan has already given approval for the MoU.

The visiting Saudi delegation was briefed by the chairman of Gwadar Development Authority, Dostain Jamaldini, about the development of the country’s deep sea port being constructed with the help of China.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Finance minister had said that the Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and the Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, had arrived in Pakistan to meet with officials and new investments would be announced as the "next step."

Umar was speaking at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and called the Saudi minister the "world’s most powerful minister of energy."

“In the next step, the announcement of investment will be made,” Umar said. “The bilateral support our country has received from friendly countries in last five months has never happened in our history."

Saudi Aramco will construct the petrochemical complex which will house the multibillion oil refinery. 

“Overall directions of agreement (MoU) have been agreed upon and the agreement will be signed at the appropriate time,” Haroon Sharif, Chairman of Pakistan Board of Investment, had recently told Arab News.

“I am expecting around $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next three years. The inflow of investments for the oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan is estimated to be between $6 billion to $10 billion,” Sharif said.

Pakistan is hoping to attract more than $40 billion foreign direct investment in the next five years, he said. 

“We estimate that roughly around $40 billion investment will be made by these three countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China) during the next three to five years,” Sharif added.

First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

Updated 22 March 2019

First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

  • Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by Saudi Air Navigation Services

JEDDAH: Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) on Wednesday celebrated the appointment and start of work of the first batch of Saudi female air traffic controllers at an air traffic control center in Jeddah.
Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by SANS in cooperation with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation. This is the first program to qualify women to work as air traffic controllers.
The academy initiative, in collaboration with SANS, seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil. Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Earlier, SANS CEO Ryyan Tarabzoni said the state-owned company was prioritizing the hiring of women in the profession, as the country pushes to extend women’s rights in the country and also recruit more nationals as part of the “Saudization” project.