Al Naser ... technically challenging project.

Al Naser ... technically challenging project.

News in brief

January 2016

DSI projects till reaches $722m

Drake and Scull Engineering (DSE), a subsidiary of Drake and Scull International (DSI), has been awarded two multi-million-dollar contracts in the UAE taking its total tally of project awards across the Middle East and Mena region and Asia to $721.6 million.

In the first contract worth Dh245 million ($66.7 million), DSE will  deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works for a project in Abu Dhabi. According to the scope of works, DSE will render engineering, detailing, procurement, testing, commissioning, and handover services for the project’s MEP, fire protection and natural gas systems.

“The project is very technically challenging and will be a showcase of our core engineering (MEP) and design expertise, and we will endeavour to exceed our clients’ expectations as well as deliver a memorable project,” says Ahmad Al Naser, DSE’s managing director.

The second contract is a Dh121-million EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract to design and install a chilled water distribution network for a prominent mixed-use development in Dubai.

DSE will design and build an underground chilled water pipe network in the mixed-use development which will feature pre-insulated pipes varying in sizes ranging from 100 mm to 1,200 mm for an approximate total length of 32 km. In addition, it will also deliver all related civil works with a scheduled completion slated for 2018.

Al Naser says The UAE remains DSI’s primary market.

DSI is a regional market leader in the integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of general contracting, MEP, water and power, rail, oil and gas and water and wastewater treatment.


L&T secures $120m deals

The regional subsidiaries of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), a major Indian technology, engineering, construction, and manufacturing conglomerate, have secured two key contracts worth a total of $120.18 million in the GCC last month.

Larsen & Toubro (Oman), the Omani subsidiary of L&T, has won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order worth $63.58 million from Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industrial Company (Orpic) for a petroleum coke handling and storage project.

The scope covers design, engineering, procurement, supply, construction, erection, installation and commissioning of the facility at Sohar, Oman.

The major petcoke handling and storage facility will come up at Orpic’s Sohar Refinery complex. Orpic is investing in an elaborate system of facilities for handling, storage, transport, and discharge of the sizable volumes of petcoke that will be produced as a by-product of refining operations following the completion of its multibillion-dollar Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), said the report.

Meanwhile, fully owned Saudi subsidiary Larsen & Toubro Saudi Arabia has bagged an order valued at SR212.26 million ($56.6 million) for the construction of two 115 kV substations in the Dammam area from National Grid, Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company.

The scope involves detailed design, engineering, installation, testing and commissioning of 115 kV gas insulated switchgear, 115/13.8 kV, 50/67 MVA power transformers, 13.8 kV switchgear, control and protection systems, substation automation systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), Novec fire-fighting systems with associated auxiliary systems and other civil works.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 22 months.


Uncertainty forces SBG to cut 15,000 staff

Saudi construction company Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) plans to cut about 15,000 staff, the Reuters news agency said quoting sources.

The possible layoffs at SBG, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest firms and among the Middle East’s largest builders, represent a small fraction of the group’s total workforce, which is around 200,000.

“The Saudi construction sector is definitely soft. There’s general uncertainty and it’s very difficult to plan where to focus on because companies are not sure which projects will go ahead,” the report quoted a source as saying.

Some of the 15,000 workers will be laid off immediately, while others will be transferred temporarily to work on a multi-billion-dollar airport project in Jeddah, another source said.

Labour market reforms, designed to push more Saudi citizens into private sector jobs, have since 2011 made it more difficult and expensive for construction firms to hire foreign workers, pressuring the industry.

In September, the Saudi royal court said SBG had for now been suspended from taking new contracts after a crane toppled into Makkah’s Grand Mosque during a dust storm, killing 107 people. An initial government probe found SBG had not properly secured the crane. The company did not issue a public statement in response to the suspension. The biggest long-term challenge for the business of SBG and other Saudi construction firms, however, may be government spending curbs in an era of cheap oil.

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