Saudi Aramco has once again been ranked as the most profitable company in the world despite a 38 percent year-on-year decline during the second quarter of this year, according to a new report released by Forbes.
Based on financial data from the last 12 months, as of May 5, 2023, the Saudi oil company had a profit of $156.36 billion.
The $30.08 billion profit during the second quarter of this year was a 38 percent decline during the same period last year. Aramco said the decrease in revenue was due to lower crude oil prices and weakening refining and chemicals margins.
Aramco made significantly more profit than second-placed Apple, which had a profit of $94.32 billion.
Aramco’s market value sits at an estimated $2,055.22 billion, just behind Apple and Microsoft.
Regarding sales, Aramco was second only to Walmart and came in above Amazon.
Aramco, founded in 1933, is headquartered in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran.
Exxon, Alphabet, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Shell rounded out the next most profitable companies in the world, according to Forbes.
Diversification into emission storage
Investors including oil giant Saudi Aramco and technology giant Microsoft have thrown their weight behind a California start-up that wants to help the industry slash its emissions by storing excess renewable energy in superheated bricks.
California-based Rondo Energy announced that it has raised $60 million in new financing, planned to speed the rollout of its Rondo Heat Batteries worldwide.
Rondo has attracted heavyweight investors including Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, Aramco Ventures and Anglo-Australian multinational mining group Rio Tinto – the latter two of which have also joined its advisory board. American venture capitalist John Doerr – chairman of the Silicon Valley-based firm Kleiner Perkins – has also backed the company.
The Rondo system uses electric heating elements, like those in a toaster or oven, to heat thousands of tons of brick up to temperatures of 1,500°C. Rondo says the bricks maintain the heat with less than 1% energy loss daily.
When heat is wanted, air flows up through the brick stack and is superheated to more than 1,000°C, before being delivered to the end point as superheated air or steam.
Rondo says its system is designed to drop into existing facilities or power new-builds, and offers a fast, low-cost pathway to decarbonisation and reduced operating costs.
The bricks can both “charge” and deliver heat simultaneously. Other claimed benefits include the abundant nature of the key materials and the safety of having no moving parts or flammable materials. The batteries boast a 50-year lifespan.
Rondo plans to target its thermal batteries at industrial processes, everything from producing steel to baby food. It says these are powered by high-temperature heat that consumes a quarter of all world energy and emits a quarter of global carbon pollution.
Rondo says its tech can turn energy from cheaper but intermittent renewable power sources into the “continuous, high-temperature clean heat that industry requires, and opens the door to industrial decarbonisation at a fraction of the cost of other technologies.”
Earlier this year Rondo partnered with Siam Cement Group to expand the production capacity for its system at a facility owned by the Thai conglomerate to 90 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year. Rondo said this would be “larger than any current battery manufacturing facility worldwide.”
Mass production is already underway, with a capacity of 2.4 GWh per year online.
Other types of thermal batteries in development include one pioneered by a Norwegian start-up that pumps heat into a concrete-like material.