April 19 - Al Gharbia Pipe Company (Al Gharbia) has started construction of a new pipe manufacturing facility at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).

HLPFI reported that the new facility was going ahead in August 2015.

Al Gharbia's new plant will be the first in the UAE to be capable of manufacturing large-diameter, thick wall, sour service, longitudinally welded steel pipe to service the oil and gas transportation sector, with the infrastructure and construction sectors as secondary markets, which will be interesting news for project forwarders and shipping lines specialising in the movement of finished pipe products.

The plant will be built on a 200,000 sq m plot of land in Kizad and is expected to formally launch operations in 2018.

Once fully operational, production capacity is set to reach 240,000 tonnes annually, of which around 40 per cent will be exported to neighbouring markets in the GCC and greater Middle East, as well as North and East Africa through Khalifa Port, which will also come as welcome news to those involved in the transport and shipping of finished pipe products.

Commenting on the new venture, Eng. Aqeel Madhi, chairman of Al Gharbia Pipe Company, said: "Al Gharbia is set to become a worldwide benchmark with regards to the manufacturing of welded pipes, both in terms of technology and quality, as well as production efficiency. The high calibre partnership forged between Senaat, JFE Steel and MISI shall enable Al Gharbia to secure a leading position in the region."

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, ceo of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: "Al Gharbia's manufacturing facility is on Kizad's Modular Path and connected to Khalifa Port and Abu Dhabi's highway network. This will enable the movement of large loads and structures and help demonstrate the efficiency of the industrial zone's innovative and integrated transportation infrastructure."

Al Gharbia awarded its EPC contract to a consortium formed by SMS Group and Larsen & Toubro Limited in August 2015, who will be responsible for constructing the complete plant on a turnkey basis.

Total investment in the Al Gharbia Pipe Company is expected to reach AED1.1 billion (USD300 million).

Al Gharbia is a joint venture between Senaat, one of the largest industrial holding companies in the UAE, and two of Japan's leading companies in the steel sector; JFE Steel Corporation and Marubeni-Itochu Steel.