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Green energy is the future, but demand for oil and gas is here to stay: Zamil Group CEO

Oil-real estate investment firm Zamil Group plans to enter the renewable energy market, company CEO Adib Al Zamil said.

“Investing in new sectors is what kept us going as a group. We keep searching, we keep searching,” Zamil told Arab News in an interview.

Leading family business spans a diverse portfolio of owned, joint venture and publicly traded businesses, spanning building materials, manufacturing, offshore, petrochemicals, trading and services, and real estate and investments.

The group, founded in 1920, recorded a net profit after zakat and tax of SR 13.1 million ($3.5 million) for the first nine months of 2021, compared to a net loss after zakat and tax of 125, SR 6 million the previous year. period, according to the company’s financial statements.

However, Zamil said the prospect of investing in green energy does not mean he will abandon investments in oil and related services.

“The drilling we do supports the oil. We were confident that the oil and gas will be there for another few decades,” he added.

Last June, the group acquired one of Egypt’s largest oil and gas producers, ADES, for an undisclosed sum, which Zamil said was a milestone for his business.

“We think it’s very important. I think its importance comes not only from its financial impact, which we think is quite viable, but also from the value it will bring to the Kingdom,” he added.

“The importance of having a complete ecosystem for oil and gas is essential for the Kingdom.”

Zamil also dismissed the idea that major economies’ transition to greener forms of energy will affect the company’s investments in oil.

“The so-called energy transition that everyone is talking about cannot happen without the continuity of the supply of oil and gas in an orderly fashion.”

“I’m not saying nobody really cares; no, who cares. We are doing everything we can to neutralize our carbon emissions,” he said, adding that the fact that there is a need for oil and gas should not be overlooked, and “we need to produce energy for the world continuously”.

“Replacements are not available at the moment. It’s very nice to talk about the future, but today we have one life to live and we need gas and oil.

The CEO added that fluctuations in oil prices would not influence the group’s engagement in the sector.

“We are looking at the long term; we are not short-term players. Oil is a commodity. There are ups and downs, and that’s normal. But when we invest, we invest because we think it’s an industry we want to be in for the long haul,” Zamil stressed.

The CEO revealed that despite holding stakes in listed companies, his group had no plans to go public.

“Zamil Group is a 100% private, family-owned company. Our subsidiaries are listed, but as a group we have no intention of doing so,” he added.

Zamil pointed out that the Saudi economy held up well during the height of the Covid-19 health crisis.

“I think we did a lot better than the others. We lived with that; we have seen the difficulties. But we managed to overcome most, if not all of them,” he said, adding that global trade had not escaped the effect of the pandemic.

“There is a global influence, including logistics, freight, etc. The export and import of goods have been impacted. But when it comes to the local economy, I think that’s behind us,” Zamil added.

The head of the high-profile investment group also likes the look of some of the digital economy startups popping up in Saudi Arabia.

“It seems like everyone is talking about computing and computing-based technologies these days. And I really think that’s where the world will go,” Zamil said.

“Young men and women in this country are very tuned into this industry. They understand it; they like it. I think it could be a fantastic area. Anything related to it, whether it’s artificial intelligence or other applications, it’s just a fantastic field to work in,” he concluded.

About Leni Loberns

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