Industrial Construction

The Ducab-HV cable manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali.

The Ducab-HV cable manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali.

Ducab powers ahead with HV facility

January 2012

DUCAB has recently inaugurated its high-voltage (HV) cable manufacturing facility, which is believed to be the first dedicated facility of its kind in the region.

Located in Jebel Ali, Dubai, the Dh500-million ($136 million) facility known as Ducab-HV is a joint venture between Ducab, which has a 50 per cent stake, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea), and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), both of which have a 25 per cent stake each.

Ducab-HV manufactures and sells cable systems in the voltage range from 66 kV to 400 kV covering the highest voltage currently used in the GCC. The new facility will increase Ducab’s production capacity by 15,000 tonnes of conductor. It has a built-up area of 30,000 sq m on a 93,000 sq m premises at the Ducab Jebel Ali site.

Commenting on the new facility, Ahmad Al Shaikh, chairman of Ducab and Ducab-HV, says: “Ducab-HV will benefit the UAE economy by offering an excellent quality alternative to imports. Its products will cover the highest voltages used in the GCC, ensuring that our utility partners and other customers can source vital energy infrastructure cables from a local supplier.”

When fully operational, the factory will also generate 130 new jobs, which means more opportunities to hire and develop UAE nationals, he says.

Ducab-HV was announced during Wetex, a water, energy technology and environment exhibition held in Dubai in April 2009, with a ground-breaking ceremony held in November 2009. Machine installation for the plant was completed earlier in 2011, and extensive commissioning testing was also finished according to schedule. Most of the machinery at the HV plant has been sourced from European suppliers, and their experts provided assistance to Ducab’s project team during commissioning and installation.

The most notable feature of the Ducab-HV plant is its 148-m-tall tower (equivalent to a 44-storey residential tower), which is considered to be the tallest industrial tower in the GCC. Now a Jebel Ali landmark, the tower houses state-of-the-art extrusion equipment and also contains a series of clean room facilities to ensure no contamination occurs during production.

“Ducab-HV will offer the latest in global HV technology to the UAE and the region,” says Jon Vail, CEO of Ducab HV. “The plant is the most advanced in the region and is designed to ensure that the high-voltage products are manufactured to the stringent quality standards demanded both regionally and internationally. All products will be rigorously tested at the state-of-the-art, high-voltage laboratory, a specialised facility that also gives the capability for advanced research and development in HV systems.”

Ducab is equally owned by the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and has one of the most modern manufacturing units in the region. It occupies a land area of 590,000 sq m in Jebel Ali, and nearly 330,000 sq m in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, housing two factories. Today, the company produces over 105,000 copper tonnes equivalent of low, medium and high voltage cables, and is emerging as a leader and the first choice of prestigious customers in the Middle East.

Ducab’s product range covers HV cables up to 400 kV, Ducab Powerplus medium-voltage cables up to 33 kV, low-voltage power cables, control and auxiliary, wiring and lead-sheathed cables, Ducab-Smokemaster (low smoke and fume cables), and Ducab-FR (fire resistance cables), cable components and cable accessories, as well as copper rod that the company manufactures in its own copper rod plant.

Ducab is an ISO 9001:2000-certified company for both its factories. The Abu Dhabi factory was also awarded an ISO 14001 environmental management system certificate and an Ohsas 18001 occupational health and safety certificate by Basec (British Approval Services for Cables). The cables comply with and are approved to the full British Standard of the Loss Prevention Certificate Board (LPCB) and Lloyd’s Register, UK. These certifications are the latest in a string of recognitions achieved by the company, which has twice secured both the Gulf Excellence Award as well as Dubai Quality Award, Gold category 2004 and 1998.

In 2009, Ducab was honoured with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Business Excellence Award for its achievements in the manufacturing sector. It has also won other awards such as the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Economic Value Creation in the Industrial Sector.

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