x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

ADSB profits increase to $13m

Abu Dhabi Ship Building, the emirate's supplier of naval and commercial vessels, doubled its profits in the most recent quarter as it attracted new contracts from navies around the Gulf.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), the emirate's supplier of naval and commercial vessels, doubled its profits in the most recent quarter as it attracted new contracts from navies around the Gulf.

Net profits rose to US$13 million (Dh47.6m), led by a 36.8 per cent increase in revenues from new contracts to $118m. Riad Kahwaji, the chief executive of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said ADSB had established itself as a strong regional competitor in recent years, attracting contracts from a number of Gulf navies, including Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

"They've managed to gain miles over the years and have their footprint on various vessels in the region, whether being built by them or elsewhere," Mr Kahwaji said.

But the company shelved plans to build 12 patrol boats for the UAE Coast Guard, which cancelled the contract, saying it was "currently reconsidering their design requirements". Each of the 34-metre light attack craft would have contained a smaller interceptor vessel that could be launched from a ramp at the rear. Military analysts said the move to scrap the patrol boats and retrofit others reflected the UAE's changing security needs in guarding the Straits of Hormuz.

Paul Burke, a former military intelligence officer and the managing director of Middle East Security, a company based in the UAE and the UK, said: "What they'll probably be doing is looking to re-role them with a different weapons fit or different capabilities, different radar equipment." Mr Burke said the UAE recognised a need for fast-intercept boats to deal with many smaller threats.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the Middle East's biggest thoroughfares for commercial shipping, carrying about 90 per cent of all the region's oil and 31 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year. William Saltzer, the chief executive of ADSB, announced last Sunday he would stand down when his contract expired at the end of the year.

 

ghunter@thenational.ae