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JEDDAH: Saudi conglomerate Ajlan & Bros Holding Group has signed cooperation agreements worth $200 million with a trade delegation at the Saudi-Kazakhstan Summit led by Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on July 24.
According to a top company executive, the agreements involved interests in agriculture and clean energy sectors.
“We have signed a couple of agreements in red meat importing, sodium syrup manufacturing, and exploring the field of environment protection and rare metals,” Ajlan Al-Ajlan, the deputy CEO of Ajlan & Bros Holding Group, told Arab News.
US business interests
Coinciding with US President Biden’s visit to the Kingdom last week, the company signed three memoranda of understanding worth $2.1 billion with American companies Specialty RTP, Solar Edge and Lightbeam.
“We have considered that we are going to partner with international players that have successfully implemented their technology and know-how globally to bring them to the region and grow here,” said Al-Ajlan.
Our strategy with these companies is to have a joint venture. Al-Ajlan aims to place these joint ventures in the Kingdom and extend its services to the region as phase two.
“We signed agreements with Speciality RTP, focusing on providing non-metallic pipes in the oil and gas sector, as they have a proven record on approving the pipes industry by providing a unique technology,” said Al-Ajlan.
According to Al-Ajlan, the global market size of metallic pipes is $36 billion, growing by 28 percent annually.
“We believe that there is a demand in the Gulf Cooperation Council region and Saudi in particular, and we aim to be a leading player in that by localizing the technology, transferring the know-how, and creating jobs in the Kingdom,” he added.
The group is currently implementing a major water desalination project in partnership with global energy company ENGIE and contracting firm Nesma, which will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2024.
The plant is located in Jubail with a production capacity of 570,000 cubic meters per day. The project will be based on reverse osmosis technology and supply desalinated water to Riyadh and Qassim. It will also include a 60 megawatt-peak capacity solar photovoltaic facility.
The project will cost around SR2.6 billion ($690 million) to be built and operated by the consortium for 25 years from the commercial operation date.
In 2021, the group acquired a flour milling firm in partnership with Al Rajhi International for Investment, National Agricultural Development Co. and OLAM International Limited for a total value of SR2.1 billion.
“The group will operate the mill from Riyadh, Jazan and Hail with a capacity of 1.3 million tons of flour processing,” said Al-Ajlan.
Investments in Egypt
The group signed agreements worth about $5 billion in June with Egyptian partners in various sectors.
The deal included eight investment partnership agreements with Sami Saad Holding, Triangle Group, Magrabi Agriculture, and Pharco Pharmaceuticals, to name a few. The consortium will develop, finance, and operate a multi-purpose terminal inside Damietta Port.
“We have been in Egypt for more than a decade as part of our diverse growth plan in energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors,” said Al-Ajlan.
The group is keen to ally with leading players in each sector to enhance their financial capacity, including financial institutions.
“All of our agreements for our megaprojects are joint ventures where our partners will also have skin in the game,” he said.
However, a lot of their finances are backed through the group’s existing businesses, said Al-Ajlan.
Ajlan & Bros Group is one of the leading companies specializing in traditional and off-the-shelf clothing products in Saudi Arabia and the GCC region.
Founded in 1979, the group developed from a small shop in Riyadh into a dynamic company capable of delivering its products to many countries worldwide.
“We have been dominating the GCC market with a great market share; we are continuing to provide the best products to the market,” Al-Ajlan Al-Ajlansaid.
The retailer is exploring a new sector of mining and gold exploration.
“We are still in the establishment phase, and we are going to move forward with our international partner,” he said.
The Riyadh-based company will invest $13 billion with the Saudi National Industrial Development and Logistics Program over the next 10 years.
“The group aims to enter a market where its metal value exceeds SR5 trillion; a lot of opportunities haven’t been tapped yet,” he said.
According to Al-Ajlan, the group partnered with Valcambi, a Swiss leader in precious metals refining, to explore the precious metal in the Kingdom.
The partnership involves establishing a $2 billion refinery to be built in phases. The first phase is worth $300 million to be fully operational by the end of 2024, with a production capacity of 250 tons of gold annually.
Aside from that, the group also signed a cooperation agreement on June 17 with a unit of China’s Jilong Gold Mining to establish a joint venture that carries out gold exploration in the Kingdom.
According to a statement, the joint venture is the first to establish a gold exploration company based in Riyadh.
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