National Marine Dredging (NMDC) of the UAE has won a dredging, land reclamation and marine construction contract worth AED5bn ($1.36bn) from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to build multiple artificial islands in the first phase of development of the Ghasha Concession.
The Ghasha Concession consists of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr and Mubarraz offshore sour gas fields.
Under the terms of the contract, NMDC will construct 10 artificial islands and two causeways, as well as expand the Al Ghaf island.
The project is expected to be completed in 38 months and will provide the infrastructure required to further develop, drill and produce gas from the sour gas fields in the Ghasha Concession.
More than 3,500 people are expected to be employed at the peak of construction.
UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “This award accelerates the development of the Hail, Ghasha and Dalma sour gas offshore mega-project, which is an integral part of ADNOC’s 2030 smart growth strategy.
“As one of the world’s largest sour gas projects it will make a significant contribution to the UAE’s objective to become gas self-sufficient and transition to a potential net gas exporter.
“NMDC was selected after a rigorous and competitive tender process. The award of this project to a UAE company will generate substantial In-Country Value, supporting local economic growth.
“In addition, it demonstrates the rapid progress ADNOC is making to leverage and create value from Abu Dhabi’s substantial, untapped, hydrocarbon resources.”
In its bid, NMDC prioritised UAE sources for materials, as well as the use of mostly local suppliers, manufacturers and workforce, which will result in local spend of more than AED3.62bn ($1bn).
NMDC will also work with international partners for the delivery of the project.
Artificial islands provide cost and environmental benefits by enabling the use of lower-cost land-drilling rigs instead of high-cost offshore jack-up drilling rigs and also provide greater flexibility for extended reach drilling when compared to offshore rigs.
In addition, the use of artificial islands will eliminate the need to dredge more than 100 locations for wells and provide additional habitats for marine life.
The names of the new islands in the Ghasha Concession have been drawn from pearl diving sites in the area – Ghanem, Sawalem, Chananiz, Mudaifena, Reeah, Seebeh, Seemeh, Shalhah, Jzool and Duroob.
Image: NMDC wins $1.36bn contract from Adnoc for Ghasha Concession artificial islands. Photo: Courtesy of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.