Taqa and Dutch company EBN yesterday said they signed their first three customers for a major gas storage facility they are building in the Netherlands, in contracts worth up to $1 billion (Dh3 billion). Statoil, Vattenfall Energy Trading Netherlands, and a third European energy company signed long-term contracts of between four and 10 years, starting April 2015, Taqa said in a statement. The three contracts, based on an annual summer-winter gas trading price spread, are worth between $500 million and $1 billion, Taqa spokesperson Allan Virtanen said. The Bergermeer Gas Storage facility will be Europe\'s largest open-access gas storage facility, and is planned to become operational in 2014. It will double the Netherlands\' total seasonal gas storage capacity, according to Taqa. Apicorp Saudi Arabia-based Arab Petroleum Investments, or Apicorp, yesterday said it has arranged the first tranche of financing, worth $61 million, for the construction of an oil terminal in the UAE. Apicorp, a multilateral development bank owned by the 10-member Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, was mandated as the sole arranger of the loan by Socar Aurora Fujairah Terminal, or Saft, which is building an oil terminal in Fujairah. It said the total size of the two-tranche loan will be $110 million. Saft is a joint venture between Socar Trading, the international marketing, trading and development arm of the State Oil of Azerbaijan; Aurora Progress, a Swiss-based commodity trading house and the government of Fujairah. Etihad Atheeb Telecom Article continues below Saudi Arabia\'s Etihad Atheeb Telecom has received regulatory approval to launch a 1.175 billion riyal (Dh1.1 billion) capital increase, paving the way for the loss-making firm to resume trading on the kingdom\'s bourse. Atheeb, 15 per cent owned by Bahrain Telecommunications, will issue the 117.5 million shares at a nominal value of 10 riyals per share to raise its capital to 1.575 billion riyals, the operator said in a statement to Reuters. Atheeb, which operates under the brand name GO and was awarded a fixed line licence in 2009, will hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting to decide at what price to sell the new shares, with the rights issue restricted to existing shareholders. Commercial International Bank Egypt\'s central bank has approved the appointment of Hesham Ramez as vice chairman and managing director at Commercial International Bank, the Cairo-based bank said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Ramez, who will start his new appointment today, was previously the Egyptian central bank deputy governor. Orascom Construction Orascom Construction Industries, or OCI, Egypt\'s biggest publicly traded builder, has won a development contract for the $93 million Village Garden Katameya project in east Cairo. The contract was awarded to OCI by Palm Hills Development, which is developing the project jointly with UAE-based Burooj Properties, the real-estate investment arm of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Burooj said in a statement. The project is due to be completed in 2014. The mixed-use development, which spans 284,796 square metres, includes standalone villas, town houses and apartments as well as green spaces, according to the statement. Kuwait National Petroleum Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is planning to partially shut its Mina Al Ahmadi refinery in January for planned maintenance, industry sources said yesterday. One of the sources based in the Middle East said that two crude distillation units (CDU) with a combined capacity of about 250,000 barrels per day will be shut for about 20-35 days for maintenance. A source at the KPNC confirmed the shutdown will take place in January but declined to say the duration or which units will be affected. KNPC last shut a CDU at Mina Al Ahmadi in mid-September for a month due to maintenance. The total capacity of the three CDUs in Mina Al Ahmadi is 466,000 barrels per day (bpd), making it Kuwait\'s largest refinery.