Aramco ExPats

Category Archive: Pipeline

Employee’s Idea Wins on ‘Dragons’ Den’ Show

28 January 2011 | comments (1) | Saudi Aramco News | by

JIDDAH, January 26, 2011 – Ali Al-Zahrani from the EXPEC Advanced Research Center was one of the winning entrepreneurs during Saudi Arabia’s first season of the popular television show, “Dragons’ Den.

Dragon Ali Al-Zahrani said he got the idea for a floating plant watering system during a visit to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

After pitching his business idea, “Planting Without Water,” to a panel of Saudi venture capitalists, Al-Zahrani was able to secure investment financing to realize his vision.

Al-Zahrani’s idea reveals a novel method to grow plants offshore without the need to water them directly.

“I was thrilled when they announced I won, as the competition was intense,” said Al-Zahrani. “With this generous venture capital, I am now able to build prototypes of floating platforms in different sizes and turn my vision into reality.”

Al-Zahrani’s invention uses water surfaces, such as seawater, and strong sunshine to irrigate the plants. Using floating platforms with a mesh floor, fresh water evaporating from the seawater’s surface can be collected.

den Ali Al-Zahrani’s dream of building a floating platform upon which plants can be grown without watering may soon become a reality.

Due to the temperature difference, water droplets accumulate under the mesh floor, which contains plant seeds. In theory, these condensed water droplets will be more than the required water supply for the seeds.

The new technique could be of great help to farmers with limited access to water or during droughts. 

“The idea came to me when I participated in a visit last year to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers,” explained Al-Zahrani. “During the visit, I learned of a new research area at the university where they are growing wheat with seawater.”

“Launching my project will be very challenging. In order to gain support and make the project happen, I competed in the show to gain the backing of powerful business people who could convince the governor of the value of my idea,” Al-Zahrani said. “Their support helps in obtaining the permit to utilize the Kingdom’s shorelines for this project, and their scrutinizing questions helped me further solidify my plan.”  

“Al-Zahrani’s achievement illustrates the value that can result from sharing ideas and investigating the challenges others are facing in cross-disciplinary settings,” said Samer S. AlAshgar, EXPEC ARC manager. “He also sets a fine example for Saudi Aramco in his desire to bring new solutions to humanity.”

 “Dragons’ Den” is a series of reality television programs featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure financing from a panel of venture capitalists.

The show originated in Japan in 2001 and has been adapted by countries all over the world. Saudi broadcaster STV1 started the local production of “Dragons’ Den” last February.

Wasit Gas Bidders Selected

26 January 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, January 25, 2011 – Saudi Aramco has finalized its bid selection process for the Wasit Gas Program onshore facilities, selecting SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd and SAMSUNG Engineering Ltd.

The contract packages to be awarded are as follows:

Inlet and Gas Facilities 

Saudi Aramco has selected SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd for a Lump Sum Turn Key (LSTK) contract to perform the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work for the inlet and gas facilities. The scope of this package includes building four (4) gas treating trains, flare and burn pit facilities, related electrical and control system including substations and process interface buildings.

Cogeneration and Steam Generation 

The company has selected SAMSUNG Engineering Ltd for a LSTK contract to perform the EPC of the cogeneration and steam generation facilities. The scope of this package includes building four (4) 150-megawatt cogeneration units, three boilers, central control building, and electrical and non-electrical utilities.

SRU and Utilities 

SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd was selected for a LSTK contract to perform the EPC for the sulfur recovery units (SRU) and utilities facilities. The scope of this package includes building four (4) SRUs, sulfur loading facilities, main pipe way, utilities, related electrical and control system including substations and process interface building.

NGL Fractionation 

Saudi Aramco has selected SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd for a LSTK contract to perform the EPC for NGL Fractionation.  The scope of this package includes NGL Inlet facilities, NGL fractionation facilities, product treating and storage, LT flare, control systems including substations and process interface buildings.

To meet market needs for local feedstock and support the national economy, the Wasit Gas Program would process 2,500 million standard cubic feet of non-associated Khuff Gas from Arabiyah-Hasbah offshore field with production start-up scheduled in 2014, Ahmed A. Al-Sulaim, manager of Wasit Projects said after the selection process was finalized.

A Leap Forward for Industrial Training

24 January 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, January 19, 2011 – The National Industrial Training Institute (NITI) project took a leap forward Dec. 22 when NITI’s Board of Trustees conducted its inaugural meeting.

NITI, an independent, not-for-profit training institution, is a joint project of Saudi Aramco and the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC).

NITI Saudi Aramco executives and officials from the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. met Dec. 22 at the inaugural meeting of the National Industrial Training Institute’s Board of Trustees in Dhahran. A joint project of the two organizations, the institute will give thousands of young Saudis the chance for meaningful careers in the Kingdom’s energy sector.

Board members are:

  • Chairman — Mohammed A. Al-Omair, executive director of Refining and NGL Fractionation.
  • Vice chairman — Dr. Saleh A. Al-Amro, deputy governor of TVTC.
  • Member — Ali H. Al-Ghamdi, general manager of Southern Area Producing.
  • Member — Fuhaid A. Al-Subai’i, director of the Industrial Training Department.
  • Member — Fahad A. Al-Semari, senior accounting staff consultant, Treasury, Finance.

“There is a lot to do,” said Al-Omair in his welcoming remarks. “There are exciting times to come when we see the first certificate handed to the first NITI graduate. Every day counts. We are ready to serve the country with our minds and hearts.”

Nothing will stand in the way, he said, if it starts with a clear vision and an understandable mission.

Following a presentation on NITI, its background, work in progress, board responsibilities and milestones, the board discussed and issued resolutions on such matters as the charter and bylaws, financial issues, marketing strategy and stakeholders campaign, vision, mission, logo, Human Resources Development Fund representation, Steering Committee and the project timeline.

The steering committee approved NITI’s detailed design, arranged the bidding and set plans for awarding the construction contract. In the meantime, the Project Team has been preparing for marketing, training needs analysis, program development, set-up and readiness plans, and funding sources.

The Project Team holds members from Training and Development, Finance and IT, and has received support from other company organizations.

Also taking part in the meeting were Hamdan Al-Shaibani, NITI Project manager; Fahad Al-Mulhim, Marketing and Programs Development Team leader; Aiyd Al-Otaibi, Engineering, Set-Up and Readiness Team leader; Dr. Abdullah Al-Mulhim, TVTC representative; Mukhtar Haleeb, NITI HR consultant; and Abdulmajeed Seraj of Law.

Board members and meeting participants attended a luncheon hosted by Sameer A. Al-Tubayyeb, executive director of Employee Relations and Training. Huda M. Ghoson, general manager of Training and Development, was present at a reception for the board members.

Gov’t Services Center Opens

19 January 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

KAF_1 Getting assistance with various communications and paperwork needs with the Saudi government will be easier thanks to the new Dhahran Government Services Center. (Photos: Abdulaziz Moaiweed)

DHAHRAN, January 19, 2011 — Government services are now much more readily available with the opening of a Government Services Center across the road from the Industrial Training Center.

President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih met with numerous government officials during a recent tour of the new center in Dhahran to see where those services are offered.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs did its best to achieve success in opening this center through offering the best staff, highly developed cameras and fingerprint devices, said Mohamad Al-Awas, general manager of Civil Affairs in the Eastern Province. The center was dedicated to facilitating all the necessary procedures and people to provide the services of civil affairs.

He added that part of that effort will be the opening of a women’s section at the Ministry of Civil Affairs, a move he said will provide optimum privacy for users. The women’s section will be open every Sunday and Monday.

KAF4 Loss Prevention Supervisor Fawzy Y. Farhan

Meanwhile, Mohamad Abdulaziz Al-Shalfan, general manager of the Passport Department in the Eastern Province, praised the company for its effort.

Saudi Aramco is one of the best companies in terms of organization and professionalism said Al-Shalfan, who also spoke of the distinctive roles played by passport officers in the Government Services Office in Saudi Aramco.

Salman Al-Faraj, general manager of the Traffic Police Authority, echoed the other officials’ comments.

He noted that cooperation with Saudi Aramco helps to serve all its members “in a prominent and easy way that takes only few minutes.

In addition to Al-Awas, Al-Shafan and Al-Faraj, Al-Falih also met with the general manager of the Ministry of Justice in the Eastern Province, Shaikh Salem ibn Khalfan Al-Shamsy.

KAF17 Employees can even renew their civil identity cards at the center.

Ahmad Ali Al-Dossary from the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center said that the center’s procedures were easy to understand and well-organized.

Fawzy Y. Farhan from Loss Prevention was surprised by the speed of the service. “After completing the renewal form for passports and having all the necessary requirements, my procedure was done in record time, which saved me time and effort,” Farhan said.

Article by Hawra Ali

Man on the Moon: NASA Legend Visits

19 January 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, January 19, 2011 — Earth may be bigger than Mars, but its sand dunes and volcanoes dwarf ours in comparison, a planetary scientist told a large crowd gathered Jan. 9 in Dhahran.

Egyptian scientist Farouk El-Baz made the remarks during a speech kicking off Dhahran Recreation Library Scientists and Inventors of the World Month. Library officials said they were surprised by the turnout as the audience swelled to more than 500 employees and their dependants.

Baz15 With an image of the full Moon in the background, Egyptian scientist Farouk El-Baz discusses the Moon and Mars and the importance research about them has in giving us a better understanding of the forces at work on Earth. He spoke at a special event sponsored by the Dhahran Recreation Library.

Al-Baz first gained international prominence for his work with the U.S. National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) during the Apollo Program from 1967-1972. His role was to identify lunar landing sites for the program, which eventually placed a total of 12 astronauts on the Moon’s surface. He explained the importance of the Apollo Program.

The Moon is similar to the Earth, but the Moon stopped developing around 3 billion years ago. El-Baz said that there is no atmosphere or wind, so most of the Moon’s features are the same since that time, representing some of the Earth in its early development stages. By studying the Moon, scientists can explain some phenomena in our planet, he said.

He credited the success of that program to the vision of NASA’s administrator at the time.

James Webb motivated them to reach the goal of the Apollo mission of putting a man on the moon within a decade El-Baz said, recalling a meeting with supervisors that set a high standard: “‘If you get from your employees what they think they are capable of, then surely we will fail,’” El-Baz quoted Webb as saying. “‘Only when you get from your employees beyond what they think they are capable of, will we succeed.

Baz3A young student asks Egyptian scientist Farouk El-Baz about life on Mars after a presentation on planetary science at ad-Diwan in Dhahran. El-Baz spoke at the event, which was organized by the Dhahran Recreation Library.

These days, El-Baz is focusing on Mars. He said studying the Red Planet could unlock more of Earth’s mysteries.

For many years, scientists wondered why Mars was red; he said the red comes from the rusty color of minerals in the sands, much like the sands of Saudi Arabia’s Rub‘ al-Khali.

El-Baz said the towering dunes of the Empty Quarter are small in comparison with the dunes of Mars’ North Polar region, and he noted the largest volcano on Mars towers 10 kilometers over the planet’s surface.

He also spoke of the importance of Middle Eastern influence in early astronomy and said the International Astronomical Union has used some early Arab scholars’ names to designate certain areas of the Moon.

El-Baz said he taught Apollo 15 astronaut Alfred Worden some Arabic, enabling him to send a greeting to Earth in Arabic from the Moon.

During a question-and-answer session after his presentation, one boy asked El-Baz if there was life on Mars. The scientist noted that soil analysis showed some indications of life but the question was still an open one.

“Your generation can find the answer,” he said, encouraging young people to pursue their interests in science.

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