Regional News


June 2014

Realcorp introduces AAC in Bahrain

Realcorp has introduced in Bahrain its AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) construction technology, which is described as being economical, safe and energy- and time-efficient.

Realcorp is looking at popularising AAC in Bahrain and Qatar through its division Espac Bahrain in conjunction with Espac Saudi Arabia.

AAC, which has been in use in the GCC since 1975, is being widely used across the globe. Due to its high thermal conductivity value, lighter weight, fire resistance and many other features, this technology is used in construction projects in more than 80 countries across the world, according to Allam Hanbali, general manager, Espac-Bahrain.

The launch was held following Realcorp’s participation at gulfBID, a premier building and construction show, held in Bahrain last month.


Work on steel mill to start in Oman

Work on a major integrated steel mill in Sur in the South Sharqiya governorate of Oman will soon get under way following the signing of two key contracts.

Oman-based Sun Metals has signed the contracts with South Korean engineering and construction giant Posco Engineering and Construction and Japanese trading conglomerate Sojitz Corporation, to set up this mammoth venture in Sur Industrial Estate.

While Posco is the technology partner for this venture, Sojitz Corporation has been roped in as the product offtaker, P T Sivarajan, director operations, Sun Metals, told the Oman Observer.

“Our goal is to establish a modern plant with a capacity to produce 2.5 million tonnes per year of liquid steel, which will be converted into finished saleable products, such as TMT (thermo-mechanical treatment) rebars, low alloy rounds, carbon construction and low alloy sections, and stainless steel seamless pipes. The total investment in the venture is estimated at $400 million,” he said.


Bus assembly unit to be built in Oman

A bus assembly unit, which will be the largest of its kind in Oman, will be constructed on a one-million-sq-m area in Al Sharqiyah region.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Oman Investment Fund (OIF) and Mowasalat, a national transport company of Qatar.

The facility will be constructed in Al Mudhaibi at a cost of $160 million, Khalid Al Yahmadi, OIF general manager, said.

“Initially, it will start with assembly and later on will be turned into a full-fledged production facility. We will get the parts from the suppliers and will assemble the buses,” said Al Yahmadi.

Once operational, the unit will assemble 2,000 buses every year, he noted, adding that the target markets are the GCC and North Africa.


L&T secures Saudi and Oman orders

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won new multi-million-dollar contracts from Saudi Arabia and Oman over the past two months.

Contracts worth Rs754 crores ($126 million) were secured by the power transmission and distribution business of its construction division.

The orders received in Saudi Arabia include one from National Grid, a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company, for the construction of two 115/13.8-kV substations at Dammam Industrial Estate and Al Majeedia, Qatif. The other order is for the construction of a new 106-km, 132-kV double circuit transmission line in Wadi Dawasir Area.

In Oman, L&T has received an order from the Oman Electricity Transmission Company for the design and construction of the new 400-kV Izki grid station near Nizwa. This is the first 400-kV grid station bagged by the company in the Gulf region. The contract encompasses supply and erection of 400-kV gas insulated switchgear, 500 MVA transformer and control relay panels and substation control system.


Perkins+Will sets up design division

Perkins+Will, a global multidisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm, has set up a new urban design division to strengthen its regional presence.

“The decision to expand our core services to include a dedicated urban design team is a logical next step in our expanding Middle East presence and fits seamlessly with the economic and development vision of the region’s governments as they look to create vibrant sustainable city environments of the future,” said Steven Charlton, managing director at Perkins+Will in Dubai, UAE.

The urban design team is headed by Steve Velegrinis, an urban planner and landscape architect with more than 19 years experience in the Middle East and the rest in Australia, Singapore, Brazil and Nigeria.


Oil pipeline contracts to be tendered

Construction contracts for a new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are expected to be tendered by the end of the year, said a report.

The front-end engineering and design (Feed) for the pipeline has been completed.

The Feed has been done by WorleyParsons of Australia and the next step would be to release the tender for the engineering, procurement and construction contract, an Aramco official said. The cost of the project is estimated at $350 million. The 115-km-long pipeline would run overland for 74 km, with the remaining 31 km being sub-sea. It will transport crude from Aramco’s Abqaiq plant to Bahrain.

The pipeline is expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of 2016. With a capacity of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), the new link will replace an ageing 230,000 bpd pipeline, said the report.

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