Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems wins Egypt power station deal

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has signed a contract with Cairo Electricity Production Company (CEPC), a subsidiary of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), for the upgrade of Cairo North Combined Cycle Power Station Module l.

The natural gas-fired gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power station has a rated output of 750 MW and uses two M701F gas turbines as the core component. The upgrade will increase output, improve energy generation efficiency and reduce downtime losses through extension of the inspection intervals, thereby contributing to a more stable energy supply. Delivery and commencement of operations is scheduled for the second half of 2018.

Cairo North Combined Cycle Power Station is located around 20 km north of Cairo, and has been operated by CEPC since 2005. It currently uses gas turbines provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), as well as steam turbines provided by Hitachi. With the integration of the two companies' thermal power generation divisions into MHPS in 2014, MHPS has since taken over after-sales services for the power station.
CEPC and EEHC have developed a high level of trust in MHPS as a result of its outstanding after-sales service, leading to its decision to place the order with MHPS's Egyptian subsidiary, a statement said.

MHPS will supply upgraded parts for the M701F gas turbines, spare rotors, upgraded control system and parts for the steam turbine and generators, etc. required to increase the efficiency of the equipment. MHPS will also dispatch technical advisors to support the installation and commissioning phase. The parts for gas turbines' generators will be manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Melco). Funding for the project will be provided by the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

"We are delighted to continue in our longstanding role supporting the development and upgrade of Cairo North Combined Cycle Power Station Module l, working in close partnership with EEHC and CEPC, with support from JICA," said Satoshi Uchida, executive vice president of MHPS. "Our dedicated local team will deliver the high-tech solutions and technical expertise to support the country's energy needs going forward."

The Egyptian economy grew at an average annual rate of 4.4 per cent from 2004-2014, and peak electricity demand grew at an even higher rate of 6.0 per cent during that period, resulting in a tight supply of electricity. In order to ensure a stable supply of power, it is necessary to further increase the capacity of power generation facilities while also increasing the efficiency and reliability of power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.

MHPS is working not only on the development of new thermal power generation systems, but also on upgrades and continuous innovations for existing power generation facilities, to enhance performance and therefore support more stable and efficient power generation globally. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Dubai Customs deals with 12m passengers in H1

Dubai Customs’ Passenger Operations Department at Dubai International Airport dealt with around 12 million passengers and checked about 18 million luggage items coming through 39,000 flights during the first half of 2017.

A total of 360 seizures and 6,500 customs transactions were recorded.

Ibrahim Al Kamali, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs pointed out that Dubai Customs has made travel an easy hassle-free experience through the application of smart technologies.

Dubai Customs’ internally developed applications and systems have helped streamline passengers’ arrivals and departures.

“The Smart Inspection System, for example, reduces inspection time by 50 per cent to 70 per cent. Al Kashif Inspection Smart Vehicle, the first of its kind in the world, saves clients’ time and efforts. Another Dubai Customs’ innovation; the smart customs clearance vehicle, simplifies and expedites clearance procedures for the disabled, the elderly and VIPs, amongst many other innovative services and facilitations. We also provide advanced training inspectors from different customs departments in the UAE in coordination with Dubai Customs’ training centre,” Al Kamali said.  

The Passenger Operations department is all geared up to deal with the pilgrimage season. Preparations are now in place to help pilgrims travel easily from, into and to Dubai airports. A meeting on this was held in the presence of a number of strategic partners of Dubai airports including the passenger Operations Department, FlyDubai, Saudi Airways, Dnata, Dubai Taxi, etc.

A number of issues were discussed in the meeting but a focus was given to providing pilgrims with preferential treatment in the airport by, for example, dedicating gates and belts for them, and giving them gifts at departure.

Al Kamali pointed out that services provided are of very high quality and represent Dubai in a good way being a preferred destination for business and tourism. There are certain procedures that were taken in the three airport terminals that help towards a smoother flow and passenger traffic without compromising the security side.

Parallel to this, Dubai Customs raises awareness about its role and responsibilities through its “Passenger Guide” on its website. The guide includes all travel procedures such as which materials are permitted, which need to be disclosed and which are prohibited. – TradeArabia News Service



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DP World, Suez Canal set up JV for development

Dubai-based DP World, a leading enabler of global trade, has announced the establishment of a joint development company with the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone in Egypt.

The new venture will develop projects in the Suez Canal Zone, one of the most promising trade zones given the calibre of its logistics facilities and its strategic location.

The announcement of the joint company came during Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's meeting yesterday (August 9) with DP World Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, and the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish.

During the meeting, President El-Sisi approved plans for establishing the joint development company and affirmed his government’s support for the company to commence its projects. The President also welcomed the cooperation with DP World Group and its integrated investment plan in Egypt.

Bin Sulayem briefed the President about DP World's current business activities, including operating Ain Al Sokhna Port in Egypt and 77 other marine and inland terminals in 40 countries across 6 continents.

The DP World Chairman and CEO stressed the group’s keenness on executing a comprehensive investment plan in Egypt during the coming period to contribute to the sustainable growth of the county. He also expressed pride in Egypt’s ability to complete the new Suez Canal project in record time and secure the project’s financing within a week through local resources.

DP World is looking to enhance its business in Egypt through projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, including establishing a dedicated industrial, trade logistics district. The new district will feature all the required services and facilities in addition to residential and entertainment spaces. This project is in line with the Egyptian Government’s commitment to creating a business-friendly environment in the country.

The Egyptian President also expressed his appreciation for UAE and its leadership, praising their continued support for the benefit of the Egyptian people. – TradeArabia News Service



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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Jeddah airport is 'worst in the world'

Jeddah's King Abdul Aziz International Airport has been ranked the worst airport in the world for 2016, according to the website “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports" which evaluates the overall airport experience based on the views of passengers.

The website, which conducts a survey of the services offered for passengers who spend extended periods within the airports’ premises, released a list of the worst 10 airports around the world with Jeddah at the top followed by South Sudan and Nigeria closing the top three.

"All aspects of the terminals need serious improvement", the website said, describing the facilities at King Abdulaziz International Airport.

"Though JED continually promises that “next year” travellers will see a new terminal, clean toilets, more amenities and a semblance of organization have yet to appear. Instead, when you arrive at Jeddah's Hajj Terminal you walk into a terminal where cleanliness is but a mythical concept. The place is said to be staffed by a team of immigration officers described as “careless”, “arrogant” and “rude”, and amenity-wise, the terminal is devoid of restaurants, shopping and entertainment," it said.

Speaking to Arab News, Abdullah Al-Kharif, an official of the media and public relation Department at GACA, said that the website of “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” was a personal blog of sleeping experiments in airports, and then it was transformed to a website of evaluating airports in the world. The website’s classification is not based on specific standards to evaluate airports.

Al-Kharif said that a delegation of experts will visit international airports in upcoming weeks to evaluate these airports. Al-Kharif, however, said feedback is important to improve services at Saudi airports.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Yas Waterworld announces a new summer experience

Yas Waterworld is adding a new unique experience to its summer offering, inviting guests and water adventure fans to enjoy Neon lit evenings this summer.

Every Friday, starting August 25, the park will extend its operating hours to 10 PM to offer its guests a glowing experience.
 
The new Yas Waterworld Neon Nights bring together a mix of music, performances and light shows with neon vibes spreading throughout the park, while glow in the dark drinks and snacks are served during the night. The lit nights will feature a live DJ set, playing at Amwaj Wave Pool and a unique LED hydrojet show for the entire family to enjoy.

“We are very excited about this new experience at Yas Waterworld. Neon Nights come as the latest addition to our summer activities, giving our guests the chance to indulge in yet another fun and engaging experience that combines spectacular performances and exciting music fusions; illuminating the night at the Park for the first time”, said Bianca Sammut, general manager, Yas Waterworld. “Fridays will be different at Yas Waterworld and we look forward to engaging our guests and lighting up their weekends!”

With the park being open for an additional four hours for Neon Nights, day-pass holders can enjoy the additional night experience at no extra cost. Guests can book their tickets online through Yas Waterworld’s website or at the gate – regular admissions apply.

Neon Nights are available at Yas Waterworld every Friday starting August 25 until September 29, excluding September 15. - TradeArabia News Service



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Drake & Scull gets $27.2m loan from Tabarak

Drake & Scull International, a regional market leader in engineering and related services, has announced that it will receive an interest-free Qard Hasan loan of up to Dh100 million ($27.2 million) from Tabarak Investment as part of DSI’s capital restructuring programme.

The loan will help meet the immediate working capital requirements of DSI until it completes its capital restructuring programme which includes a capital increase of Dh500 million to expedite Tabarak Investment’s entry as a strategic investor, a statement said.

The withdrawal and payment mechanisms of the loan will be mutually agreed upon by the two parties and could be implemented in tranches, said the statement.

Mohammad Atatreh, board member, Drake & Scull International, added: “The extension of this loan from Tabarak Investment will ensure business continuity particularly by addressing our immediate working capital requirements under the initial phase of our capital restructuring program. We appreciate Tabarak’s full support as we realign the company towards long-term financial stability and profitability.”

Wael Allan, CEO, Drake & Scull International, said: “Tabarak Investment’s loan is a key development that will further ensure the success of our efforts to direct DSI towards a new period of financial and operational success. We assure our stakeholders that our program is proceeding according to plan and will soon position us for further growth.”

Ahmed Kilani, CEO, Tabarak Investment, said: “Our loan is intended to ensure that DSI’s restructuring programme proceeds as smoothly and as swiftly as possible. We are fully committed to sustaining the company’s industry leadership and pursuing a mutually beneficial future.”

Phase 1 of DSI’s capital restructuring programme is currently under way and will see the company’s capital officially reduced by 75 per cent within a few weeks. The loan from Tabarak will bridge DSI’s working capital requirements and improve its liquidity position as it positions itself to win new project awards, it said. – TradeArabia News Service
 



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Jazeera posts $7.6m net profit for Q2

Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways has recorded a net profit of KD2.3 million ($7.6 million) for the second quarter of the year, up 18.1 per cent over its KD1.9 million ($6.2 million) net profit in Q2 2016.

The carrier's results were driven by higher utilization, improved network planning, and a strong demand for travel during the quarter, which was airline’s best second quarter by flown passengers since Q2 2009.

Operating profit was KD2.2 million ($7.2 million), up 22.9 per cent from the same period last year.

Operating revenue hit KD14 million, up 9.5 per cent from the second quarter last year. Load factor for Q2 was 73.3 per cent, up 1.5 per cent from the same period in 2016. Passenger yield improved 4.7 per cent year-on-year.

Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways chairman, said: “I am pleased to report to our shareholders that we are on track towards increasing shareholder value. The company’s double digit growth at both the operational level and the net level reflects this ongoing commitment.”

The positive results in Q2 were, however, not enough to compensate for the airline’s first quarter KD900,000 net loss.

However, Jazeera Airways’ Q2 results were not enough to compensate for the airline’s first quarter KD900,000 ($2.9 million) net loss.

For the first-six months of 2017, the airline’s net profit stood at KD1.3 million ($4.2 million), down 77.3 per cent from H1 2016. Half-year revenue, at KD24.1 million ($79.6 million), was down 2.4 per cent year-on-year. The airline’s half-year operating profit was also down 65.2 per cent year-on-year, at KD 1.2 million ($3.9 million).

"Our half-year results, however, were pulled down by Q1’s earnings due to a host of external factors, most notably a slowing macroeconomy and the continued overcapacity on our routes. But the turn-around we saw in the airline’s performance in Q2 is very encouraging and we are well-positioned to sustain this positive performance in the coming quarters," Boodai said.

Earlier this month the airline launched a new brand, along with a reengineered jazeeraairways.com, which now has a strong e-commerce infrastructure tasked with delivering a faster and more rewarding experience for the customers.

"Our team is also working hard to further optimize our route network, to increase utilisation of our fleet, to add new routes in the coming quarters, and to deliver the state-of-the-art dedicated terminal at Kuwait International Airport, which we promised to launch in the first quarter of next year,” he said. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Abu Dhabi Airports receives UAE’s first Afis certificate

Abu Dhabi Airports has been awarded the UAE’s first Aerodrome Flight Information Services (Afis) certification from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), for Sir Bani Yas Airport.

Afis is provided at airfields where flight information is required, but where the aircraft traffic does not warrant having a full air traffic control service. AFIS can provide information to pilots about other known traffic that is landing, taking off, or flying in the vicinity of the airfield, as well as relevant meteorological information and status of the runway. Based upon information received from Afis, the pilot will determine how best to safely operate the flight.

Eng. Awaidah Murshed Al Marar, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airport, said: “The successful delivery of this project means that Sir Bani Yas is the first unit within the UAE to obtain this type of certification. We thank all our partners and stakeholders for their kind support, and look forward to the further development of this airport.”

Saif Al Suwaidi – director general GCAA, said: “The Aerodrome Flight Information Service Regulations are the first in this region, and in fact amongst the first in the world. Thus the issue of a certificate for this service is a new concept, and it has taken a great deal of preparation in order to achieve the high standard necessary for the approval to be awarded. Abu Dhabi Airports and GAL Air Navigation Services are to be congratulated for their accomplishment as the first unit in the region to receive this ground-breaking certification."

Mohammad Al Dossari – GCAA director air navigation and aerodromes - awarded the first AFIS certificate in accordance with Civil Aviation Regulations. Al Dossari praised the company for its application and for the significant amount of diligent work that has been applied in order to process the required documentation and procedures.

To achieve certification Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officers (AFISOs) had to be trained to GCAA standards, new Afis procedures were introduced, a watch tower built, and technical equipment, including communication and recording systems, installed.  

ADAC successfully obtained the certification after upgrading the service provided by the previous radio operator service. - TradeArabia News Service



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Egypt fund launches $18m development in Aswan

Cairo-based Tahya Misr Fund ’s executive committee recently held a meeting to discuss its investments, including the launch of an urgent development plan worth EGP 320 million ($18 million) in Aswan, a report said.

The meeting discussed cooperation between the fund and the investors willing to support the fund and the launch of a promotional campaign with a number of banks and non-banking financial entities, reported Daily News Egypt.

The development plan in Nasr Al-Nubia is worth EGP170 million and includes housing units, drinking water, and sanitation projects. The fund’s executive committee agreed to direct the rest of the allocated funds to social projects, such as healthcare and hospitals.

The meeting also reviewed the fund’s future plan in the coming period, including the launch of new initiatives in different development fields.



from Construction Realestate

Muscat-Sohar pipeline investments hit $320m

The total investment on the Muscat-Sohar Product Pipeline (MSPP) project has reached $320 million since inception in 2015, including $230 million worth of in-country value (ICV), a report said.

Al Jifnain Terminal is expected to cater to more than 50 per cent of Oman’s fuel demand besides reducing truck movement within Muscat Governorate by 70 per cent, reported Oman Observer.

The pipeline network is split into three sections — 40 km between Mina Al Fahal and Al Jifnain Terminal, 30 km between Al Jifnain Terminal and Muscat International Airport and 220 km between Sohar and Al Jifnain Terminal, the report said.
 



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Western Furniture to furnish Al Ain housing project

Western Furniture, a premier retailer of upscale home furniture in the UAE, has entered into a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority for the Jebel Hafeet Project villas project, a housing project for the Emirati families living in Al Ain.

Western Furniture will provide products from American brand Magnussen Home, a leading full-line furniture supplier worldwide, to furnish the villas with the finest solid wood sofas, dining tables, and beds complemented by the stylish home accents including curtains, pillows, and centre pieces. Each villa’s interiors exude warm hues and along with its contemporary architectural design reflect a modern lifestyle.

Established for more than eight decades, Magnussen Home creates compelling, state-of-the art products and continues to produce innovative furnishings that meet residential and business needs, said a statement.

Mikdad Bhabhrawala, CEO of Western Furniture, said: “For 25 years, Western Furniture has been committed to provide the finest and first class furniture and home furnishings in the UAE through having retail partners who are leaders in innovation and industrial know-how.  It is a great privilege to partner with the Jabel Hafeet Project under the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Pilotless planes can save the industry $35bn a year: report

The aviation industry can save $35 billion per year if it moves towards pilotless planes, a new report has revealed.

According to a UBS analysis of the aerospace, airlines and logistics sectors, reducing the intervention of human pilots on aircraft could bring material economic benefits and
improve safety.

Commercial jets already take off and land using their on-board computers, and the pilot's task is increasingly focused on managing and overseeing the aircraft and its systems.

The pilot role is gradually moving away from actually piloting the plane to optimising the flying mission and trajectory: monitoring, managing and programming more complex and automated on-board systems such as flying in four dimensions and advanced weather tracking systems.

The UBS analysts said the transition to pilotless planes is likely to happen over many years. Cargo planes will likely be at the forefront with commercial flights being the last to go pilotless. Technically speaking, the technology for remotely controlled planes carrying passengers and cargo could appear by 2025, the report said.

Moreover, the number of pilots needed for each flight could be reduced along the way. Airlines typically employ 10 pilots per aircraft, and reducing their number would result in less spending on training, salaries and other staffing costs.

It is likely that there will be resistance to pilotless planes, given the potential for job losses. Nevertheless, pilotless planes would likely reduce the pressure to find future pilots.

While taking the human factor out of the aircraft may generate massive savings and improve safety, a large share of fliers are hesitant to fly 'pilotlessly'.

A UBS Evidence Lab survey of 8,000 people showed that 54 per cent of respondents were unlikely to take a pilotless flight. Just 17 per cent of respondents, who were from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia, said they would buy the ticket.

UBS Evidence Lab also asked respondents how much cheaper a pilotless flight ticket would need to be for them to fly on a regular flight without pilots. Surprisingly, half of the respondents said that they would not buy the pilotless flight ticket even if it was cheaper.

The balance between human and computer control of a flight may have to be an evolution rather than a revolution. - TradeArabia News Service



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