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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 February 2019

Adnoc is fuelling the engine of the UAE's growth

Artificial islands for gas exploration are stepping stones to the nation's long-term prosperity

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc Group chief executive, and Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Chairman of NMDC, shake hands after the signing of a Dh5bn contract to construct artificial islands in the Ghasha offshore concession. With them are Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Acting Secretary General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, right, Abdulmunim Al Kindy, Adnoc Upstream Executive Director, second right, and Yasser Zaghloul, NMDC CEO. Courtsey: Adnoc
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc Group chief executive, and Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Chairman of NMDC, shake hands after the signing of a Dh5bn contract to construct artificial islands in the Ghasha offshore concession. With them are Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Acting Secretary General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, right, Abdulmunim Al Kindy, Adnoc Upstream Executive Director, second right, and Yasser Zaghloul, NMDC CEO. Courtsey: Adnoc

When Sheikh Zayed established the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in 1971, his vision was that the company would not only utilise fuel reserves but would also play a part in the social and economic growth of the UAE. The news that the bulk of the Dh5 billion that Adnoc is investing in developing its offshore gas reserves will be pumped into the local economy shows that, nearly 50 years on, the company remains committed to that vision. Adnoc has chosen the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company as the winner of the contract to prepare the way for the exploitation of the vast untapped gas fields off the coast of Abu Dhabi’s Western Region. The task is breathtaking in its scope and implications. A total of 10 artificial islands are to built, up to 60 kilometres offshore, eliminating the need for expensive drillings rigs and environmentally destructive dredging of the seabed.

As part of its core mission to stimulate growth and create jobs, Adnoc's tender process prioritises “in-country value”, which is precisely what the contract will deliver. More than Dh3.62bn will be invested in local materials and suppliers while more than 3,500 jobs will be created. This is a mega-project whose importance for the economic future of the UAE cannot be overestimated. By the middle of the next decade, the islands will be producing enough gas to supply more than two million homes a day with electricity, setting the UAE on course to become not only self-sufficient in gas, but ultimately an exporter.

Three foreign companies have been appointed as partners in the project. Sharing risk and pooling expertise is a fine but necessary line that Adnoc learned to tread with skill long ago. But crucially, 70 per cent of the benefits will remain within the UAE. Adnoc has fuelled the growth of Abu Dhabi and the nation for the past 49 years. Today it prepares to embark on its second half-century as the undisputed engine of the UAE's future.

Updated: February 7, 2019 06:22 PM

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