Aramco Licenses NOMADD for Waterless Solar Cleaning System

Aramco Licenses NOMADD for Water-less Solar Cleaning System

Dammam– Saudi Aramco signed a licensing agreement with NOMADD Desert Solar Solutions granting the company the right to develop and manufacture solar array cleaning technology that was developed in-house by Aramco’s research and development team based at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

NOMADD is locally-owned and funded by KAUST and created to commercialize the NO water Mechanical Automated Dusting Device

The technology will integrate with NOMADD’s fully automated waterless solar cleaning system.

This is the first commercial licensing agreement between Aramco and a KAUST funded start-up company. NOMADD will distribute solar cleaning technology in Saudi Arabia and serves as an example of how a technology can be developed, commercialized, manufactured and sold creating local jobs and providing value to the Kingdom.

Vice President of Technology, Oversight and Coordination, Ahmad al-Khowaiter, said that the commercialization of technology positively impacts the Kingdom and is a great achievement and demonstrates Aramco’s commitment to a clean energy future.

Founder and chief executive officer of NOMADD Jos van der Hyden declared that NOMADD is excited to partner with Aramco, KAUST and other local institutions to bring this vision to fruition.

“NOMADD is gaining strong commercial traction in the solar industry, winning several industry awards for technology and leadership in the field,” he added.

In other news, Aramco sponsored the first of its kind Materials Performance and Welding Technologies Conference & Exhibition 2017 taking place between September 11 and September 17 in Dammam.

The event is co-organized by National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International West Asia & Africa Area and American Welding Society (AWS) Saudi Arabia section.

The event presents three keynote speeches, 81 technical papers, and six highly specialized workshops with participation by subject-matter experts and professionals from Saudi Aramco.

Dow to Increase Investment in Saudi Arabia

Dow sign on wall

Riyadh- The Dow Chemical Company is planning to increase its foreign investments in Saudi Arabia along with its Saudi exports worldwide. Dow also intends to enhance its activities aiming to develop global high-quality systems in rationalizing energy consumption, electronic industry and water.

Dow Center for Innovation and Development in the Middle East is expected to kick off its operations in the second half of 2018 to boost its exports all across the world.

Chuck Swartz, president for Dow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia told Asharq Al-Awsat that the company seeks to increase its investments in Saudi Arabia aiming to enhance the Kingdom’s policy of economic diversity by supporting research and development, technological industries and water treatment. He lauded their joint project with Aramco, the Sadara Chemical Company, considered Dow’s biggest foreign investment in the Saudi chemical sector.

Swartz said that Dow insists on moving forward in supporting the Kingdom in its 2030 vision by participating in the National Transformation Program. He said the company seeks to convey the vision by applying the best scientific creative solutions in cooperation with the private and public sector.

Swartz said that his company is ready to diversify its investments in order to back the kingdoms’ efforts of economic diversification and the reduction of its dependency on oil and gas to secure a sustainable future.

He noted that Dow has recently held a number of workshops and that their conclusions will be adopted in promoting energy efficiency and developing local industries. Furthermore, he asserted that the company is committed to contribute to supporting plans of sustainable growth in the Kingdom as part of its partnership in the national development.

Swartz noted that Dow was the first company to receive an authorization of foreign investment in Saudi Arabia as a reward for its old growing role in the Kingdom.

The president said that in the few past days, the upper stage of Dow’s Middle East headquarters was inaugurated at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and expected the other part to begin its operations in the second half of 2018.

Swartz described KAUST as a strategic partner and hoped for Dow to help in encouraging people on innovation and on settling major challenges.

He also expected 2018 to see significant achievements in the field of technology, rationalization of energy consumption, and infrastructure along with other sectors of rapid growth like electronics, water, power and agriculture.

Finally, Swartz said that Dow has been an influencing member in KAUST Program for industrial cooperation, which aims at marketing researches as part of the cooperation agreement it inked with the university in 2009.

Saudi Arabia’s Solar Future

Mideast Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—In the sunny skies of Saudi Arabia, and amid temperatures topping 45 degrees Celsius, solar energy is considered among the most important alternative sources for producing electricity. It is one of the fields that is capturing growing interest among advocates and scholars of what is known as “clean energy” in the kingdom and abroad.

This follows predictions from experts that Saudi Arabia possesses the potential to become one of the most important producers of clean solar energy in the world, as Riyadh allocates billions of dollars midway through this year to kick-start plans for major solar power projects.

According to the latest reports, Saudi Arabia’s solar power infrastructure will be developed enough to achieve high levels of electricity production by 2032, perhaps meeting more than 30% of the country’s needs. Dr. Osama Al Falaly, a professor of economics at King Abdulaziz University, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia has the second-highest potential for solar energy in the world, surpassed only by Chile’s Atacama Desert. Accordingly he said that future prospects for solar power in the kingdom were promising, despite disappointing results in recent years.

In particular, Dr. Falaly suggested that the experimental desalination station at Khafji, which operates solely on solar energy, if successful, could be expanded to all desalination stations in the Gulf and Red Sea Coast, allowing oil and gas to be directed to alternative uses, like export. Exporting the technology itself is also potentially profitable.

In response to the growing interest in solar power, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) has begun to implement a national plan aimed at measuring sources of renewable energy nationwide in order to evaluate their potential. These included solar, wind, waste-to-energy and underground energy, in addition to taking ground readings in a holistic manner from sites throughout the kingdom.

KACARE called on the relevant authorities in the energy development sector to participate in a workshop launching the beta version of the Atlas of Renewable Energy Sources. The workshop aimed to introduce the project measuring renewable energy sources, as well as display the pilot edition of the Atlas of Renewable Energy Sources.

The Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning has already suggested lowering the contribution of oil and gas exports to the export structure in the state’s public budget from 65% to 19.5% in the current strategic plan. This comes as the result of an increase of non-gas exports from 24.2% to 80.5% during the same period.

King Abdulaziz University Department of Engineering and Computer Science revealed that sustainable development would first and foremost require preparing the people, and second, hard work and planning. It also stressed the importance of exploiting Saudi Arabia’s large size and of developing its human resources to keep up with the times and major technical progress electronic communications and services. Likewise, Saudi Arabia maintains a strategic location in the middle of the Arab and Islamic worlds, close to parts of Europe, the Indian Ocean, Iran and Asia.

The university went so far as to say that the ministries specializing in planning and economics are completely responsible for the success of the kingdom’s sustainable development program, as they must cooperate to put development plans in place taking advantage of Saudi scholars’ expertise.

Regarding the KACARE plan, the component parts of the National Atlas of Renewable Energy Sources are expected to be completed by the end of the year in order to be used by universities, think-tanks, and the plan’s developers. KACARE says it will establish no fewer than 70 observation stations, of which 10 have already been equipped. The distribution of the stations throughout the kingdom has been carefully planned for the coming period in order to observe all climatic information to identify renewable energy resources in the country.

According to KACARE, enormous amounts of data need to be collected to plan the development of solar power at a particular site. It is important to identify the quality of solar radiation, which requires examining the quality and power of solar projection and the extent of the influence of other geographic and climatic factors such as dust, humidity, surface winds, soil, rust-causing agents, the degree of the Earth’s tilt, availability of water, natural shade created by mountains and other factors that affect electricity production.

KACARE is working with a number of national bodies expected to benefit the most from the plan, including King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and King Abdulaziz Science and Technology University, the General Organization for Technical and Vocational Training, the Saudi Electricity Company, the Saudi Electricity Transmission Company, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

Researchers at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah also say that the development of new technologies like solar power are vital for Saudi Arabia’s future, being critical not only to meet its energy needs, but also as an important factor in its economic development plans.

They say that Saudi Arabia’s existing industrial endeavors are limited, and currently operate at levels far below what is required. Scholars at the university also say that development projects must provide job opportunities in a variety of fields in order to allow for the growth of industrial and commercial structures, which are still in the early phases of development, and are unable to compete with global rivals.

The university warned of the negative consequences of short-term fixes that could produce additional problems. It gave the example of temporarily solving the housing problem by building new homes in areas without any services, meaning new roads and facilities to be built. After a short time, people discover that they need to extend the sewers, power lines, telecommunications, water, tunnels, bridges, and so on and will be forced to dig repeatedly underground at prohibitive costs because of bad planning.

KAUST appoints new president

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, greets guests during the inauguration of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on September 23, 2009 in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (Scott Nelson/KAUST via Getty Images)
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, greets guests during the inauguration of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on September 23, 2009 in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (Scott Nelson/KAUST via Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia’s first co-educational university appointed a new president on Wednesday. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will now be headed by Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau after a unanimous decision by the university’s governing body.

Dr. Chameau, formerly head of the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech), said that KAUST is not simply a university, but also an undertaking of historic importance, thanks to its unique location and its charter as a new international center of learning and research.

Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, chairman of KAUST’s board of trustees and Saudi minister of petroleum and mineral resources, said, “We could not have found a better President for KAUST. Jean-Lou Chameau’s track-record as a researcher, educator and distinguished academic leader make him uniquely qualified to lead the next phase of KAUST’s development.”

Naimi also thanked the board of trustees, particularly the search committee, “for ten months of hard, careful, and now fruitful work to find and recruit the perfect leader for KAUST.”

Dr. Chameau remarked, “Until recently, I believed I would complete my career at Caltech and retire in Pasadena. I did not expect, however, to be presented with a unique and life-changing opportunity to lead KAUST. Like many other academics around the world, I heard about KAUST not too long after it was founded and was impressed with the clarity of the vision to establish a 21st century university that serves as a beacon for learning and research and for contributions that both make to human welfare.” He added, “As I considered accepting the position at KAUST, and spoke with members of the Board and the academic leadership, I was impressed by the dedication of effort and resources to realize that vision and the attention paid to establishing a culture of excellence.”

Andrew Gould, chairman of BG Group and former CEO of Schlumberger, led the board of trustees’ search committee. He said, “Jean-Lou Chameau quickly emerged as the ideal leader for KAUST and I am tremendously pleased that he has accepted the position.” Another board member, Charles Vest, the president of the US National Academy of Engineering and former president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), added, “Jean-Lou Chameau is one of the world’s most respected academic leaders. He was remarkably accomplished at Caltech and Georgia Tech. He has always been global in his outlook and perspective. I can think of no one better prepared to lead KAUST to fulfilling its goals.”

Saudi Arabia Boosts Defense Capabilities, Signs Agreement with Lockheed Martin

Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp's factory located in Fort Worth, Texas in this October 13, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. (REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Randy A. Crites/Handout)
Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp’s factory located in Fort Worth, Texas in this October 13, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. (REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Randy A. Crites/Handout)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia has boosted its national defense capabilities after Lockheed Martin—one of the foremost aerospace, defense, and security companies in the world—signed a partnership agreement with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) earlier this week. Lockheed Martin also opened its first headquarters in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Lockheed Martin underscored its commitment to enhancing job creation and transferring technology and technological expertise to Saudi Arabia, in addition to helping the kingdom build its aerospace and commercial sectors.

Director of the National Electronics, Communications, and Photonics Centers at KACST, Dr. Hatim Behairy, acknowledged that this partnership will include defense and military training but stressed that it will not be limited to this.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat, “Lockheed Martin has experience in many fields that we can benefit from thanks to this agreement. This company’s presence in Saudi Arabia, after it established its first headquarters in Riyadh, means that they are serious about transferring and localizing technology in Saudi Arabia. We view this development positively.”

Dr. Behairy revealed that the agreement states that Lockheed Marin will train qualified Saudi cadres, transferring its technological expertise to a new generation of Saudi youth. He emphasized that this will include the defense, medical, military and technological sectors, as well as other fields that the American company excels in.

Dr. Behairy also pointed out that Saudi universities will also benefit from the cooperation agreement. He said, “Lockheed Martin will open its laboratories to Saudi doctors, students, and researchers, and there will also be direct meetings with a number of American experts who work in the various sectors that Lockheed Martin excels in.”

For its part, Lockheed Martin emphasized its commitment to providing job opportunities and transferring technology to Saudi Arabia, not to mention helping Riyadh establish a strong national aerospace industry. This is in line with steps to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2020 project and improve national defense capabilities.

Speaking at the inauguration of Lockheed Martin’s new headquarters in Riyadh, CEO Marillyn Hewson said, “Saudi Arabia is a strategically important market for our company and today marks a significant step in strengthening our partnership with the Kingdom. We have been supporting the Kingdom for nearly five decades, and are committed to working with our local partners to develop mutually beneficial business opportunities for the future.”

She added, “The United States has a strong strategic partnership with the Kingdom and we are honored to be part of that team. So, we look forward to working closely with our Saudi partners to support the Kingdom’s efforts to create a more technology-focused economy as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2020. We are focused on developing partnerships that sustain long-term jobs for Saudi people in the security, aerospace, and commercial sectors.”

Lockheed Martin has an active partnership with KACST, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), and Alfaisal University in Riyadh.

The partnership is focused on helping the Kingdom respond to the challenges of the next decade. This partnership will see Lockheed Martin working to empower Saudi youth through education, knowledge transfer and engagement, bringing tangible long-term benefits to Saudi Arabia as a whole.

Lockheed Martin’s official website boasts, “From integrated air and missile defense to maritime modernization to tactical missiles to satellite communications, Lockheed Martin offers the Kingdom the capabilities to preserve peace and stability.”

The website adds, “Lockheed Martin also recognizes that Saudi Arabia requires much more than defense and security capabilities. Our diverse portfolio of programs also includes such offerings in other areas such as health, cyber-health, security, air traffic control, and energy solutions.”

Lockheed Martin is a global security, defense, and aerospace company employing more than 120,000 people worldwide. It is one of the world’s largest defense contractors; in 2009, 74 percent of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales. It has more than 300 partnerships in 75 countries.