Brooge Petroleum to list on Nasdaq in reverse merger worth $1bn

Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment Co. plans to list on the Nasdaq this year after agreeing to a reverse merger with Twelve Seas Investment Co. in a deal valued at about $1 billion.

United Arab Emirates-based Brooge operates an oil storage and services business. Twelve Seas is a so-called blank check company, a type of firm that raises money in public markets and plans to acquire or merge with other businesses. Twelve Seas first sold shares to investors in June.

Brooge will own 78 percent of the combined company if the transaction terms are met, according to a statement. The deal is expected to be completed this year at the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter.

Brooge was founded in 2013 with storage assets in the UAE port of Fujairah. The company will continue to be led by its current management team including CEO Nicolaas Paardenkooper, and its headquarters will remain in Fujairah.

Brooge plans to increase its storage capacity to 1 million cubic meters by late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2020

Emirates says $150m Boeing 777 revamp project completed

Emirates Airline has announced that it completed the reconfiguration of its last Boeing 777-200LR aircraft following a $150 million investment.

The Dubai-based airline said it is converting the 10 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft from three to two class cabins featuring wider business class seats in a 2-2-2 format and a fully refreshed economy class cabin.

The reconfiguration was executed fully in-house at Emirates Engineering’s facilities in Dubai which has spent a total of over 160,000 man hours on the project, working with more than 30 suppliers and handling over 2,700 spare parts at any one time.

On average it took about 35 days for the team to completely strip and reconfigure a single aircraft, a statement said.

The first Boeing 777-200LR with the new configuration was rolled out for commercial service in March 2018 and over the course of the next 12 months, Emirates completed the conversion of the remaining nine aircraft in the fleet.

The project was completed almost three months ahead of schedule, the statement added.

Customers can experience Emirates’ Boeing 777-200LR from a number of destinations across its global network including Fort Lauderdale, Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Adelaide.

Emirates also said the upgraded aircraft will start on the route to Riyadh from April 16, while Kuwait will see the new aircraft from June 1, making them the first Gulf destinations.

Emirates added that it is also in the process of retiring the last two Boeing 777-300 aircraft in its fleet.

Emirates’ fleet renewal programme for 2019 includes retiring a total of seven older Boeing 777 aircraft and taking delivery of six new Airbus A380.

Sharjah ruler inaugurates new $1.6bn Khorfakkan highway

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, has inaugurated the new Khorfakkan highway, which extends 89km and has an estimated cost of AED6 billion.

The new highway is the latest addition to the roads network of Sharjah and the UAE, linking the arterial Emirates Road (E611) in Sharjah with Wadi Shi Square in Khorfakkan.

Accompanied by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the two leaders inspected the intersections, tunnels and underground crossings of the new highway that passes through deserts, plains and mountains.

The highway includes 14 intersections, and 7 underground crossings along with five pairs of tunnels dug through high mountains. These include Al Sidra Tunnel, which at 2,700 metres, is the longest covered mountain tunnel in the Middle East.

They also inspected Al Rafisah Dam, one of the most important family tourism destinations in Khorfakkan. Spanning a total area of 10,684 square metres, it includes a mosque, outdoor seating area for 300 people, car parking for 45 vehicle, a walkway, and three playing areas spanning 410 sqm.

The Ruler of Sharjah also laid the foundation stone for the branch of Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Khorfakkan.

The Academy will grant students a bachelor’s degree in applied, theoretical and maritime sciences.

He also inaugurated the Khorfakkan Lakes and Fountains Project at the entrance of Khorfakkan which features four lagoons and a number of fountains,, and unveiled the Resistance Monument, which is a testament to the steadfastness of the Khorfakkan people in the face of the Portuguese invasion in the early 15th century.

The Sharjah Ruler also announced that many more projects will continue to be developed in Khorfakkan to increase the beauty of the city, and provide it with all educational, sports and leisure facilities.

ZonesCorp says to launch Abu Dhabi, Al Ain industrial projects

ZonesCorp, which oversees 50 sq km of developed areas in Abu Dhabi City and Al Ain, is set to announce two new investment projects.

Covering a total area of two million sq m, the new projects will support an extensive range of industrial and commercial activities, it said in a statement.

The first project will be located in Abu Dhabi’s ICAD Zone 3 and will include the ICAD Business Park occupying 1.1 million sq m, ICAD Gate spanning 470,000 sq m, and a 234,000 sq m prefabricated factory project.

The second project – Al Ain Investment Complex in Al Ain Economic Zone – will extend over a total area of 155,000 sq m, it added.

ZonesCorp said each of the projects will include an incubator and specialised units equipped to host industrial activities that cater to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Once completed, the projects will also embrace commercial and residential complexes, shopping and entertainment centres, medical centres and spacious car parks, in addition to organic food centres.

Saeed Eisa Mohammed Al Khyeli, director general of ZonesCorp, said: “ZonesCorp’s strategic planning and objectives aim to attract further local and international investments in line with Ghadan 21, the AED50 billion three-year development program launched in 2018.”

He added: “Our new projects offer immense potential in terms of market access and growth opportunities for businesses and innovators looking to establish or expand their presence in Abu Dhabi’s rapidly growing non-oil sectors, including ventures led by Emiratis as well as SMEs.

“We will provide facilities, logistical support and a full range of world-class services based on our understanding of investor requirements throughout the establishment, construction and operational phases of these projects.” 

In addition to its new investment clusters, ZonesCorp has also launched the second phase of Rahayel City, an integrated auto hub located at the nexus point of three of Abu Dhabi’s main urban centres – Khalifa City, Shakhbout City and Mohammed Bin Zayed City.

Spanning 12.3 sq km, Rahayel City will serve as a focal point for automotive manufacturers, distributors, new and used cars showrooms and auction marts, service providers and dealers and is scheduled for completion in Q1 2020.

Dubai’s Tristar inks deal for six oil, chemical tankers

UAE-based oil and gas logistics firm Tristar Group has signed firm contracts for six new build oil and chemical tankers with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The vessels will be delivered between the middle of May 2020 and the first week of January 2021.

The vessels have been ordered on the back of long-term charter contracts with oil major Shell, Tristar said in a statement.

This follows Tristar’s acquisition of six new build tankers from the same yard in 2016, also with long term charters with Shell.

“Our business model will continue to be built around the needs of customers and we are confident that if we continue to offer best in class services at competitive pricing there will be immense opportunity to leverage the brand equity that we have built over the years,” said Eugene Mayne, founder and group CEO of Tristar.

The ships are expected to be on the water starting from May 2020, he added.

Established in 1998 with headquarters in Dubai, Tristar is a fully integrated liquid logistics company specialising in petroleum and chemical handling and distribution.

Tristar has an operating presence in 20 countries and territories in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas, with a workforce of about 2,000 people.

UAE sees pick up in new real estate projects despite subdued market

New real estate project launches have picked up again in 2019 despite concerns about oversupply in the UAE, according to new research.

Asteco’s Q1 2019 – UAE Real Estate Report said that despite prevailing soft market conditions, new project launches, particularly from top-tier developers, have picked up again, after slowing towards the end of 2018.

“This trend is somewhat suprising given prevailing oversupply concerns,” said John Stevens, managing director of Asteco.

New supply also increased with the delivery of approximately 6,700 residential units in Dubai – 5,800 apartments and 900 villas – and 3,600 properties in Abu Dhabi – 2,800 apartments & 800 villas.

These figures have nearly doubled compared to last quarter, which is due to previously delayed projects handing over but can also be attributed to the increased delivery of properties with extensive post-completion payment plans, he added.

Asteco said commercial handovers were limited in Dubai but are expected to pick up with the imminent release of more than 750,000 sq ft of office space in Silicon Park. Office completions in Abu Dhabi included Al Jewn Tower in Danet Abu Dhabi.

As a result of this new inventory, and in line with continuous economic uncertainties, rental rates and sales prices recorded further declines across all emirates, Asteco noted.

It said Dubai rental rates contracted by 3 percent for apartments, 3 percent for villas and 2 percent for offices over the last quarter, and by 11 percent, 9 percent and 15 percent respectively since Q1 2018.

Sales prices declined by 2-4 percent during Q1 and 14-15 percent annually.

“It is important to note that “interest in off-plan projects as well as secondary properties was somewhat buoyant, aided by competitive, more affordable pricing and attractive payment plans,” the Asteco report added.

Apartment and villa rents in Abu Dhabi decreased by 2 percent and 1 percent on average in Q1 and 9 percent and 5 percent over the year.

Overall, apartment rental rates in the Northern Emirates contracted by 3 percent in the first quarter and 11 percent year-on-year, with high-end properties in Sharjah and Ajman proving to be the most resilient with marginal quarterly decreases of 1 percent and 2 percent.

Annually, Al Ain apartment and villa rental rates decreased by 2 percent and 8 percent, while retail rents dropped 5 percent. Office rates remained unchanged mainly due to the lack of activity in the market, the report said.

Pakistan Navy successfully test-fires missile in Arabian Sea

The Pakistan Navy successfully test-fired a missile capable of hitting targets from sea to sea as well as sea to surface, according to a Navy spokesperson.

The locally developed missile was tested from “Fast Attack Craft” in northern Arabian Sea, and it successfully hit its intended on-land target, the spokesperson said.

“This test is a testimony of Pakistan’s proficiency with high-tech weaponry and Pakistan Navy’s operational capability,” he said, adding that it also “is a clear manifestation of the government’s resolve to achieve self reliance in this field”.

Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral, Kaleem Shaukat, observed the test-firing from PNS Moawin and expressed his satisfaction with the operational preparations of the Nave’s fleet.

The Vice Chief of the Naval Staff reaffirmed “the resolve of Pakistan Navy to ensure seaward defence and safeguard national maritime interests at all costs”.

He also acknowledged the services of engineers and researchers that played a role in the success of the missile system, the Navy spokesperson added.

PPL becomes pioneer Pakistani company to successfully spud international well in Iraq

Pakistan Petroleum Limited, one of the country’s leading energy companies, made history by becoming the first Pakistani company to successfully spud its first international exploration well in Iraq. This achievement has firmly imprinted PPL’s presence on the global energy map. Pakistan Petroleum Limited works under the guidance and direction of Petroleum Division. The company is operating Block 8. The block is located in Mesopotamian basin and is surrounded by areas that have several large oil and gas fields. The well is named as Madian 1. a Chinese drilling contractor ZEPEC is drilling the well on integrated project management basis. “PPL’s foray into the international competitive energy markets and its success is heartening and a resounding success for this division, the company and indeed the entire nation.” said Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the Federal Minister for Petroleum. He further added that “this feat demonstrates that our nation has a rich pool of talented individuals who, given adequate facilitation are able to overcome obstacles and deliver. The Ministry would harness such talent and efforts would be accelerated to further build on such achievements.” The Madain-1 prospect was managed with the help of a 3D seismic survey carried out by the company over a 300 square kilometers area of the block that spans around 6,000 square kilometers. There are multiple reservoir targets in Madian-1 that will be drilled through a depth of approximately 5,000 meters. Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while appreciating the spudding of first international exploration well noted that the “reform agenda of the present Government including in the Oil and Gas sector would yield dividends”.

CDWP clears BRT Red Line Project, 500 KV HVDC Transmission System for CASA-1000.

Central Development Working Party (CDWP), under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, accorded approval to a project worth Rs.552.708 million and recommended 03 projects worth Rs.209.5 billion to ECNEC. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, senior officials from federal and provincial governments were also present in the meeting. Projects related to energy, transport and communication sectors were presented in the meeting. Three projects related to energy were presented. The first energy project ‘500 KV HVDC Transmission System between Tajikistan and Pakistan for Central Asia-South Asia Transmission Interconnection (CASA-1000)’ worth Rs.45989.084 million was presented by Power Division which was recommended to ECNEC for consideration. The project envisions transmission of electricity from Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan. Energy & Power Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented second energy project ‘Preparation Advance facility for proposed World Bank assisted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower Development Project (PC-II)’ worth Rs.552.708 million which was approved by CDWP. The main objective of the project is to accelerate hydropower development in KP. The World Bank assistance is being sought to accelerate development of hydropower projects in the province. The third energy project ‘Balakot Hydropower Project’ worth Rs.85912.926 million was presented by Energy & Power Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which was recommended to ECNEC for consideration. The project envisions construction of 310 MW Balakot hydropower project on Kunhar river, a major tributary of Jhelum river. The energy generated will provide more reliable and consistent power to local area and the national grid. In the transport and communication sector, Government of Sindh presented ‘Construction of BRT Red Line Project’ worth Rs.77598 million which was also referred to ECNEC for consideration. The project envisages construction of metro bus dedicated corridors measuring 29.1 km in length, from Numaish to Malir Halt depot and common corridor of 2.4 km. The project shall contribute to develop a sustainable urban bus transport system in Karachi with less travel time and enhanced mobility and accessibility. Estimated passengers per day would be 320000. Concept Clearance proposal of FBR’s project ‘Domestic Resource Mobilization’ worth US $ 400 million was also given approval by CDWP. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Planning said that the incumbent Government has the political will and is committed to enhance tax revenue collection by mobilizing internal resources. He expressed optimism that FBR will bring the best policy under the proposal for increasing tax revenue collection. Government of Sindh presented concept clearance proposal of ‘Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)’ worth Rs.65968 which was also approved by CDWP.

IT Minister addresses “Huawei Mobile Summit”

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that the information technology in Pakistan is growing and rising and it has the potential to expand even more in future. The Federal Minister was addressing “Huawei Mobile Summit 2019”. He appreciated Huawei for organizing Mobile Summit and said that this Summit will provide wonderful opportunity to experts of ICT spectrum to interact and promote further development of the sector. He said that IT and telecommunication sector in Pakistan evolved impressively. He said that today is the age of information technology and it is through information technology that we can transform our population into an asset. He said that we have to take Pakistan towards development through information technology. The Federal Minister said the dynamically evolving Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector hold crucial importance globally as one of the key sectors in terms of powering economies and driving efficiencies. The Federal Minister said that ICT entrepreneurs, start-ups and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) are our future. Later, talking to media, Federal Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Cyber Security Policy has been devised and an authority will be formulated under Cyber Security Policy. He said that a regulatory authority on IT education will also be set up. The Federal Minister said that the government is committed for the penetration of broadband in the country so that every Pakistani could get benefit from it. He also emphasized the need of the manufacturing of mobile phones in Pakistan.