x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Oil and gas construction specialist Kentz opens Dubai office

The FTSE 250-listed company, which specialises in construction services for the oil and gas industry, said its office, located in the Gold Tower of the Jumeirah Lakes Towers complex, will have capacity for 100 engineers.

The engineering specialist Kentz Overseas has opened a new office in Dubai as part of a company strategy to strengthen its operations in Iraq.

The FTSE 250-listed company, which specialises in construction services for the oil and gas industry, said its office, located in the Gold Tower of the Jumeirah Lakes Towers complex, will have capacity for 100 engineers.

The news came as Kentz announced that its Dubai-based joint venture with fellow engineering firm Foster Wheeler had won a two- year contract from Shell to provide engineering, procurement and other services for the Majnoon oilfield in Iraq.

Kentz said that it had identified the Middle East as a key area of strategic focus through 2014 and beyond, with particular focus on growing its operations in Iraq.

The company, which employs 14,500 people across 36 countries, said in January that its subsidiary Kentz International Ireland plans to open a new branch in Doha, offering services in oil, gas, transportation and infrastructure.

Kentz, which already operates in the UAE through an office in Mohammed bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi, also has offices in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq.

“Kentz has been operating in the Middle East for over 35 years and is committed to sustaining an active presence in the region, where we have recently been successful in winning a number of contract awards,” said the general manager John Walsh.

“These include the ExxonMobil LES Project in West Qurna 1, Basra, Iraq and the Shell Majnoon oilfield project in partnership with Foster Wheeler, also in Iraq.”

In December Kentz launched a US$435 million takeover of the Houston-based gas handling company Valerus Field Solutions just three months after its FTSE 100 oil services construction rival Amec formally withdrew its own takeover bid, which valued Kentz at £700m (Dh4.27 billion).

“Kentz has a high growth track record and specialises in completing construction projects in challenging and remote operating environments,” said Alex Brooks, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity. “Because of the nature of its work, it has a very decentralised management and so it needs the infrastructure locally to support its operations. The Middle East is a growing part of Kentz business with new contracts such as this new one in Iraq, and so it is not surprising that the company is expanding in Dubai.”

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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