Business In Brief [Archives:2006/1003/Business & Economy]

November 30 2006

– President Saleh visits YLNG plant

President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited the Yemen LNG plant located in Belhaf, Shabwa Governorate to inspect the progress of project construction. He was informed that 37 percent of the plant has already been constructed at a cost of around US $1 billion, while the total cost of the project is around US $3.5 billion. President Saleh also gave special instructions to security agencies to be on alert and implement all measures to protect this strategic project, which is expected to be the prime source of income for the government within the next decade.

– Fahem, Gama & Litwin build 480 MW power plant

The Ministry of Electricity and Public Electricity Corporation last Monday awarded to a consortium composed of the Fahem Group, Gama Enerji of Turkey and Litwin of France a mandate to build, own and operate a 480 MW power plant. To be located in Mabar, near Sana'a, the power plant will produce electricity from natural gas to be supplied from the Mareb gas pipeline. This modern, state of the art gas turbine power plant will bring a major contribution to the enhancement of national power supply. This project shows the growing success of the Government's policies to attract private investments into the development of national infrastructure, to favour the cooperation between Yemeni and foreign companies and to attract foreign finance and technologies

– Budget of social funds increases by 89 percent

Prime Minister BaJammal has approved the 2007 budget for the social funds for development with an increase of 89 percent compared to the 2006 budget, reaching YR 27.2 billion financed mainly by the government and also from several development organizations. The fund financed 1,592 small and medium size projects during 2006 focused mainly in rural areas and impoverished communities.

– Final deliberation on Watani Bank bankruptcy

The Specialized Preliminary Court withheld the case of the Watani Bank bankruptcy for final deliberations, the court will issue the verdict on Dec. 12 and will sentence the chairman and the higher administration of the bank, who are being accused of unethical behaviour and violating the code of conduct resulting in the loss of over YR 19 billion from shareholder funds and bank clients.

– New Oil Discoveries in Al-Mahara

The Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources has indicated that several new oil discoveries in Al-Mahara governorate will be announced soon, adding that the year 2007 will be of great momentum for the oil industry in Yemen as it will witness the first off-shore oil exploration activity in Yemen. The minister also indicated that minimum required Corporate Social Responsibility spending by oil companies will increase from US $100 thousand this year to US $500 thousand next year.

– Oil Exports Exceed US $3.5 billion

Oil exports exceeded US $3.51 billion during the first ten months of 2006, compared to US $2.57 billion for the same period in 2005, with an increase of 37 percent, the increase is boosted by the surge in oil prices in the International market in spite of slight reduction in oil production in Yemen.

– Riyadh to host Yemen-Gulf committee deliberations

The Yemeni-Gulf Committee will hold its Yemeni conference in Riyadh on the Dec. 20. The conference for investing in Yemen is deemed to have a great success exceeding that of the donors' conference and will attract large investments especially from Gulf based corporations.

– French Development Agency to expand to Yemen

Following the recent visit of President Saleh to Paris, the French ambassador Gilles Gauthier has expressed the desire of the French development agency to expand operations to Yemen. The French International Cooperation Minister will visit Yemen in December and the Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation will visit France in January to strengthen mutual ties.

– First Fish Farm in Yemen

Ecomars of Germany has announced it will start operating the first closed fish farm in Hadhramout, to produce 500 tons of shrimp and prawn among other types of fish per year. The project utilizes an area of 8.000 square meters with an initial cost US 20 million.