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Hungary says Russia oil ban lacks ‘guarantee’ for energy security

Hungary on Wednesday said it saw no guarantee for its energy security in a proposed EU ban on Russian oil.

“We don’t see any plan or guarantee on how even a transition could be managed on the basis of the current proposals, and what would guarantee Hungary’s energy security,” the Hungarian government’s press office said in a statement sent to AFP.

Asked if this meant Hungary outrightly rejected the EU’s proposal, the press office did not immediately answer.

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In a document seen by AFP, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal asked that Hungary and Slovakia, both hugely dependent on Russian oil, be given more time to meet the ban.

Ambassadors from the 27 European Union countries will meet on Wednesday to assess her plan, and it will need unanimous approval before going into effect.

Hungary has so far ruled out supporting any import ban with Prime Minister Viktor Orban — who has cultivated close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years – citing the central European country’s dependency on Russian gas and oil.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto reiterated on Tuesday that “currently it is physically impossible to operate Hungary or the Hungarian economy without Russian oil.”

According to government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, 65 percent of Hungary's oil and 85 percent of its gas supplies come from Russia.

Read more: EU to lay out Russia oil embargo, other sanctions over Ukraine war

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OPEC+ to maintain oil output policy, steers away from plans for September

OPEC+ said on Thursday it would stick to its planned oil output hikes in August but avoided discussing policy from September onwards as prices have risen on tight global supplies and concerns about the groups' collective ability to pump more crude.

Thursday’s meeting of the group that includes Saudi Arabia, Russia and other major oil producers was held days before US President Joe Biden travels to the Middle East, including Riyadh where he is expected to press the Kingdom for more oil.

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At its last gathering on June 2, OPEC+ decided to increase output each month by 648,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July and August, up from a previous plan to add 432,000 bpd per month.

Washington welcomed the June 2 decision for a faster production rise, after months of Western pressure on OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Oil prices rocketed to their highest levels since 2008 after the United States and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in February, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

Prices has slipped since then but were still above $115 on Thursday on tight supply and concerns that OPEC states had little extra capacity to raise output swiftly.

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that he had been told Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the only two OPEC states considered to have significant spare capacity, could barely raise output.

According to Macron, Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE was at its “maximum” capacity and Saudi Arabia could raise production by only 150,000 bpd.

This report was refuted by the Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei, who said: “The UAE is producing near to our maximum production capacity based on its current OPEC+ production baseline, which the UAE is committed to until the end of the agreement,” according to the official WAM news agency.

The UAE is able to produce 4.2 million bpd, according to its declared maximum production capacity.

Read more:

Libya suspends oil shipments from key port amid political crisis

OPEC+ set for brief respite before tough decision on new deal

UAE close to OPEC+ oil output ceiling: Energy minister

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Emirates Airline, MBC partner to provide exclusive Shahid content in the air

Emirates Airline has partnered with MBC-owned streaming platform Shahid to offer over 135 hours of premium on-demand content in the flight cabin’s entertainment system from July.

The partnership makes available 15 exclusive shows on the ‘ICE’ system on board, making it the only other platform to offer this content aside from the subscription-based platform, Shahid.

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“We are excited to welcome the world’s leading Arabic streaming service content onboard – so passengers can catch up on all their favorite entertainment inflight, just as they do at home,” Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Retail, IFE & Connectivity, said in a statement.

He added that Emirates looks forward to grow the partnership further, signaling the possibility of a larger content availability on board in the future.

“We are excited to offer Shahid’s content for Emirates’ customers to enjoy, just in time for the busiest travel season of the year,” Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer (VOD) at MBC Group, said.

The Arabic content programs include subtitles to increase accessibly to an international audience, a statement clarified.

The newly added content from Shahid adds to the extensive collection of Arabic content already available on Emirates, including live television channels, films and shows.

Shahid’s biggest original production Rashash will be streamed for the first time by an airline on-board Emirates. Other original titles include Anbar 6, Hell's Gate, Dor Al Omor, Nemra Etnein, al-Shak, al-Jedar al-Rabea, Rahn El Tahqiq, 2020, Bi Saraha Ma’a, Dofa'at Beirut, Aghani Min Hayati, Kaf w Dafoof, and Salon Zahra.

This content originates from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and Lebanon.

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Hajj 2022: Emirates to double flights to Medina, 31 new flights to Jeddah

Renowned TV show ‘The Office’ gets Arabic remake in partnership between MBC and BBC

Twitter, MBC expand partnership to include exclusive content

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Emirates Development Bank Approves Trade Finance Facility for JLW to Execute a Data Center in Masdar

 

EDB offers JLW with financing solution for the execution of a key Data Center project in Abu Dhabi

Ahmed Al Naqbi: EDB empowers the national industrial sector through direct and indirect financing of projects with a clear developmental impact on the economy

The Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the key financial engine of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, has announced the approval of a trade finance facility to JLW Middle East, to design, build and handover a 60 MW data center (with a day 1 capacity of 31.8MW) located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

The facility was signed by Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB, and Michael Boufarhat, Chairman and CEO of JLW Middle East at JLW’s offices in Dubai.

Commenting on the announcement, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi said: “A key element of EDB’s strategy to empower the national industrial sector through direct and indirect financing, is our focus on projects with a clear developmental impact on the economy and that facilitate the adoption of advanced technology. The completion of a data center in Masdar will enhance the UAE’s digital infrastructure and gradual transition to a fully-fledged digital economy which accelerates data sovereignty, possibilities of data analytics and other development in data-centric technologies in the UAE.”

He added: “In today’s technology-driven economy, data centers are vital not only to successful and continuous business operations but to the development of advanced technology ecosystems. The financing requirement from JLW, one of the regions leading specialized electro–mechanical engineering, procurement and construction contractors in this field, satisfied a number of our lending eligibility criteria and scored high on our proprietary developmental scorecard, we are delighted we can support the completion of this start-of-the-art facility.”

For his part, Michael Boufarhat said: “This is an important deal for JLW, as it means we are able to proceed on this project with the utmost confidence. As one of the few large specialist MEP contractors in the Middle East and North Africa region, we understand that accessing the right financing for this kind of undertaking can be a challenging and complex process, but EDB’s flexible and highly competitive solution will ensure we will meet our client’s exacting standards. We are delighted to be putting our expertise to ensure the completion of all elements of this project to the highest standards in the industry and to deliver another landmark project for the UAE.”

As part of its contract, JLW will be responsible for the turn-key design, engineering, procurement, installation, testing, commission and handover of the data center.

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