Agricultural produce key for Saudi Arabian market

For Saudi Arabia, agriculture sustenance from its own soil is almost an unattainable dream. This inescapable fact has been the consistent driving force that makes the agricultural produce market highly lucrative for the area.

Water, specifically from renewable water sources, is difficult to come by in the arid countryside. When this lack of water is combined with the ever-growing population of the country – one of the highest growths in the world – it is near impossible to provide enough agricultural resources for the country.

A World Bank report published late last year listed Saudi Arabia’s population rise to be 2.29% in 2011. Using this as a guide, its 2010 population size of 25 million may reach 40 million people in 2025. Agricultural products cannot physically be grown on Saudi land to sustain this level of occupation.

Breaking it down into the needs of an individual person, one human being requires approximately 1,000 cubic metres of water per annum to be able to grow the agriculture produce necessary for that one human being.

Meat consumption, which is on the rise globally, requires a high level of water consumption – the more red meat that is included in a diet, the higher the volume of water consumed.

Given these statistics, 25 million Saudis would need 25 billion cubic metres of this precious liquid to create enough agricultural products for self-sufficiency. For the projected growth of the population – 40 million in 2025 – this water consumption would be astronomical.

This all being said, Saudi Arabia is attempting to redress this balance. It has recently unveiled plans for agricultural projects based on dwindling resources and the rejuvenating of rural economies.

Agriculture Minister Fahd Balghunaim recently said: “Saudi Arabia would like to be an effective element in increasing agricultural productivity… There are many alternatives to fulfil the domestic requirement and the ministry is working out several plans to cover the market demand.”

These plans, however, total self-sufficiency is still some way off; currently, the country produces only 42% of its poultry consumption domestically, and 85% of its vegetable consumption.

Despite these optimistic claims, it is clear that for other Middle Eastern countries, the sale of agricultural produce to the Saudi Arabian market could prove extremely lucrative.

Alternative Power Plants Sought in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia, as one of the world’s foremost producers of energy and energy products, is seeking an alternative to power plants utilising fossil fuel. Having committed to an expansive $100 billion project to increase renewable energy, the nation best known for its oil production is looking to diversify its identity in the energy trade. During the next 20 years, the country hopes to create 54,000MW of capacity for energy created through renewable sources. The move will encourage a significant growth in the consumption of energy products and services within the country, with higher demands for companies such as Tamimi Trading & Contracting Co to provide tangible items such as machinery, as well as services such as maintenance.

As part of this new direction, Saudi Arabia will sell approximately 1,100MW of solar PV capacity and 900 MW of solar thermal capacity in auctions which should be held by the end of this year. SolarReserve, the US solar project developer, has recently expressed interest in the forthcoming sales of solar capacity. Their aim would be to create a 600MW solar power plant to harness the other energy sources that the country has in plentiful supply. The plans for the solar energy power plant will be submitted to the Saudi authorities in due course.

This pursuit of renewable energy by a nation famed for its oil is a strong indication of the current bid by world leaders to use other natural assets. The King Abdallah Centre for Atomic and Renewable Energy was formed in 2010 to develop methods of reducing oil consumption within the state, thus producing further oil for exportation. The developments will work in conjunction with power plants in the state that already employ fossil fuels, such as those created by industry leader Worley Parsons Arabia Ltd. This particular company has already evaluated the possibility of power plants utilising both fossil fuels and renewable energy in the US, with great success. It has been determined that it is possible to generate steam with concentrated solar power, thus allowing current power plants to be retrofitted to be more sustainable. As Saudi Arabia hopes to supply one quarter of its electricity from solar energy, further investigation into adapting current resources may be integral to these significant changes.

The Ambitions of the Energy, Mining, and Infrastructure Industry in the Middle East

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The Middle East has its fair share of problems over the past year, some of which still seem to be present. Yet amid all these, the region has been making good strides to further its industrial ambitions. Though certain states like UAE and Qatar are somewhat years ahead in terms of economic growth, the entire region is seen by many local and foreign investors and a quickly growing emerging economy. Though noted instabilities have been there and some posing dangers of crippling some industrial sectors, the energy mining, and infrastructure industries have grown in the last few years, and the ambitions that key players have for these industries forecast a promising future.

Being the leading export of the world’s oil, the Middle East has been riding on the proceeds that come from the sale of its fossil fuel for many years, and though there are still a couple more of years to enjoy the glory stiff competition from other new oil markets that are also promising should be taken curiously. Hence, the regions ambitions are projected to seek new alternatives that will support its energy industry taking the burden of oil for this commodity to remain an exclusive export commodity. This has brought in the focus on seeking better energy sources and renewable energy is the key areas of focus.

On the flip side, the mining industry is also said to be heading in the right direction as the need to support the booming infrastructure industry keep growing. Construction projects of every kind are underway in many states all in the goal to support and grow the region’s economy. Hence, the demand for raw materials like metals particularly reinforced steel is high and both industries share a mutually beneficial relationship.

Further afield, the region has caught the attention of big global business players, and new big-investors are partnering with the Middle Eastern nations. This comes amid the technological drive that is said to be a key player in the success of many industries and as such the energy, mining, and infrastructure industries in this region are making plans to ensure that they are secure from technological threats even as they strive to use it to adverse further.

Mining Operation In Iran

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Sometimes you might think that only the advanced countries show excellent development in terms of economy and growth. But this is a wrong notion. When you compare the growth of mining industries in Iran and the development of other nations in the world, you will be surprised to note that there are advanced mining plants in Iran. Apart from coal mines, the other special aspects of mines in Iran include metallic mines, gravel mines, chemical mines and so on. Even sand mines are quite famous in middle East countries.

Iran has more than 57 billion tones of reserves and more than 60 mineral varieties.  Iran is ranked at position 15 among the mineral laden nations of the world. When you check out the amount of existing reserves in Iran, you might observe that there are more than 30 billion tones of reserves in Iran. This is quite a large amount of reserve. Though there is a high potential in increasing the mining operations in Iran, government feels that it can achieve more thorough the mining projects and increase the contribution of mining sector to the overall gross domestic product of the country. At present, contribution of mining sector is just 0.6 to 0.7 percent, which is quite low. The main reason which acts as a hindrance to the development of the mining operation is poor infrastructure.

Apart from this, there are so many legal barriers as well. Tough technology has improved drastically; mining operation requires highly sophisticated tools. It is not only enough to purchase the tools, but to train the miners to operate these tools in an efficient manner. Government invests a lot in these mining operations each year, so that it can increase the mineral production. Likewise there are so many practical difficulties associated with mining process. Each one has to be dealt carefully to attain a reasonable mineral production on a yearly basis. Since government has a major control over all these resources, this is an added disadvantage at times. Thus there is yet a lot of scope to increase the mining operation of resources like zinc and copper. 

Mining Gold and Diamond in Middle East

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Mining gold and diamond in Middle East is a popular work. The process of gold mining is surely a very old one as you can see the presence of gold tombs and gold artifacts from different ancient excavations in Middle East.

Gold deposits are found in abundant quantities in Middle East. When the water seepage occurs through the ground and reaches the magma layer beneath the ground, water will absorb all the minerals. There will be heavy pressure beneath the ground. When water reaches the surface, it will become cooler and precipitate these minerals. In this process, a lot of gold deposits or iron ores are deposited. When the presence of such minerals is identified easily, the exact location is found by the mining companies in Middle East. Highly advanced tools are used by the miners in Iran and Iraq. If they are not capable of using such tools, special mining agents are asked to conduct seminars and training about their best practices in mining.

Sometimes the companies in Middle East might require assistance from the western countries, in terms of labor and tools. Apart from these deposits, there are so many regions containing volcanic gold deposits. The molten rock inside the earth will cause all the minerals to get concentrated. As soon as the rocks become cool, precipitation process begins and releases the stored gold deposits in large amounts.

Each and every stage of this process is understood clearly by the mining industries in Iran or Dubai. They will approach the right companies to buy the tools or create their own according to the requirements. The type of tools required will depend on the mineral that is mined, the amount of ore that is mined, and the depth of minerals underneath the top layer of soil and so on. Once the tools are made or bought from various countries, the skilled miners are trained in handling the tool. Mining is surely not an easy job. It involves a huge amount of investment, in terms of time, energy, labor and tools. Thus only those who are highly skilled will be allowed to perform the job at the actual mining site.