x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ducab's $29m China contract

Ducab, the cable maker jointly owned by the Governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has won a Dh110 million contract from China.

Ducab, the cable maker jointly owned by the Governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has won a Dh110 million (US$29.9m) contract from China.

China Petroleum Engineering & Construction has awarded the group the task of providing cables for the strategic pipeline that will be the first to deliver UAE crude directly to the Arabian Sea coast, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.

Hundreds of kilometres of cable will power the pumping stations that keep oil flowing through the pipeline and convey signals to monitoring stations on the pipeline's condition, says Laith Madi, a Ducab manager.

"This is a very fast-track project," Mr Madi said. "We are starting to receive delivery [of materials] and will soon finalise the schedule for completion."

The Abu Dhabi Government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is in charge of the project to build a pipeline from Habshan, the site of Abu Dhabi's biggest onshore oilfield, to the port of Fujairah.

When completed, probably in the fourth quarter of next year, the pipeline should be capable of transporting up to 1.5 million barrels a day of crude, or more than half the UAE's current oil output, to the Emirates' east coast.

The project has grown in urgency in recent months as Iran has ramped up its nuclear and armaments programmes, raising concerns it will try to carry out threats to close the Strait of Hormuz should hostilities erupt with a western power or Israel.

Last month the UAE opened a naval base at Fujairah, emphasising the Government's determination to establish a lifeline for international commerce, should shipping through the Gulf be disrupted.

Mr Madi said that Ducab won its latest contract in competition with international companies.

The company was established in 1979 with a single factory at Jebel Ali in Dubai, and has since added two more manufacturing facilities in Abu Dhabi. It also operates in Qatar and Kuwait.

tcarlisle@thenational.ae