x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Fujairah gas link finished

A pipeline connection will allow Abu Dhabi to supply natural gas to two plants in Fujairah.

Engineers have completed a pipeline link that will allow Abu Dhabi to supply natural gas to two power plants in Fujairah. Dolphin Energy, the Abu Dhabi Government-linked company that imports gas from Qatar, said yesterday it had completed a key stage of its 244km pipeline to Fujairah from Taweelah, where the company's gas arrives in the UAE. The 128km link, with a diameter of about 1.2 metres, will allow Dolphin to move as much as 350 million cubic feet of gas per day (cpd) to a transfer station, from where it will be piped to the east coast.

A full, direct link to Fujairah with even larger capacity will be completed in the third quarter of this year, when contractors finish a 116km section of the pipeline, a Dolphin spokesman said. "The construction challenge has been phenomenal, considering the timeframe and the tough conditions associated with laying a 48-inch pipeline across the harsh desert and mountainous terrain," said Ibrahim al Ansari, the general manager of Dolphin.

Dolphin is majority-owned by Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. Using a pipeline under the Gulf, Dolphin imports 2 billion cpd that is produced off Qatar's northern coast, and exports 200 million cpd to Oman through a cross-border link near Al Ain. The Fujairah pipeline is needed to supply the huge Fujairah F2 power station, which is due to be completed by the end of this year.

The power plant, the largest in the UAE, will generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity and desalinate up to 130 million gallons of water a day. A second plant, with capacity recently expanded to 760mw, has been operating since 2004. Dolphin said securing crossings over private land was "the most significant challenge" of construction. The link was originally scheduled to be completed in February. cstanton@thenational.ae