21 June 2006

Amiantit's Indian Joint Venture Wins $22.5 Million in Contracts to Supply Pipe Systems for Oil Refineries, Power Projects and Tank Systems for Petrol

Amiantit Fiberglass Industries India Limited (AFIIL), Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company's joint venture in partnership with the Salgaocar Group of Goa, is forecasting a record 90 percent growth in sales for 2006 as the manufacturing facility steps up production to meet increasing demand from India's booming industrial sector.

Orders from two of India's leading oil refineries highlight the type of large scale contracts that AFIIL is winning. In March AFIIL completed a $6.5 million contract from Essar Oil for engineering, supply and installation supervision of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes for the sea water intake and outfall system at its upcoming refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat. The project started in October 2005 and was finished to the client's satisfaction in only six months.

This has been followed by an even bigger order from India's largest petrochemicals and refining company which specified Amiantit GRP pipes for its sea water intake and outfall system. Worth $10 million, this supply contract is for a complete system and is to be completed within 2006. In addition, an order valued at $2.5 million for GRP intake pipes for a 2x125 MW power plant has been received.AFIIL has also been awarded new orders worth $3.5 million for the supply of double wall GRP underground fuel storage tanks to Dutch oil major, Shell India which has a license to open 2,000 retail outlets. Amiantit's Goa plant is the world's biggest manufacturer of GRP single and double wall storage tanks and previously received the world's largest ever order for 5,000 single wall GRP underground fuel storage tanks from Reliance, the first 2000 of which were delivered in the record time of only nine months.

Apart from private sector orders, AFIIL also serves the public sector and has supplied GRP pipe systems for many drinking water projects in rural India, and also for a drinking water project in Turkmenistan.

Commissioned in December 2003, the AFIIL plant is making a significant contribution to local employment and the economic development of Goa, which is India's smallest state in terms of area and the fourth smallest in terms of population. Classified as a biodiversity hotspot rich in tropical flora and fauna, and renowned for its beaches and world heritage architecture, Goa has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for hundreds of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists.

Amiantit environment friendly GRP pipes and single and double wall storage tanks are corrosion-resistant, strong, lightweight and easy to install, have a long service life, and offer a cost- efficient solution for municipal, industrial, agricultural and marine applications.

Note to Editor:The Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company was established in 1968 at Dammam as a limited liability company and was converted into a joint stock company in 1994. It started with a paid-up share capital of SAR 4 million, which is currently standing at SAR 1.155 billion. Its shares are traded on the Saudi Stock Exchange. The prime activity of the company is to initiate and manage new industrial projects, and market its technologies and products. The company also monitors and controls the business of all the Amiantit Group subsidiaries through its corporate management office in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The Amiantit Group is a leading industrial organization with global strength and is comprised of companies in the Kingdom and abroad that manufacture various kinds of pipes, joints, fittings, tanks, rubber products and related accessories. Other activities include own and transfer technology, and water project consultancy and management all around the world.-(2006 Al Bawaba)

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.