Ahmed Al Dhaheri
Abu Dhabi, head office CEO of National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC)
What are the key reasons for the strong growth of NPCC since it started?
Since its formation in 1973, NPCC has set out a clear vision to build a company capable of supporting the critical oil and gas sector, creating the right ecosystem to cope with the growth of the industry.
We had a clear vision and strategy, matched by organic expansion such as setting up the manufacturing yard in Musaffah, which today is the largest in the Middle East at 1.3 million square meters with a capacity to manufacture up to 100,000 Metric Tons (MT) of steel annually.
We have also steadily built our competencies and infrastructure; more recently, with the addition of a new vessel, Delma 2000 with a lifting capacity of 1,600 MT, adding to our flagship vessel, DLS400, which has a lifting capacity of 4,500 MT, enhancing our ability to undertake deep-water projects globally, not to mention increasing our fleet to 23 vessels and barges.
In addition to investing in our infrastructure and creating an exceptional team of professionals, we continuously invest in digital technology that enables us to meet the aspirations of our customers as well as ensuring highly efficient operations.
Our strength is our customer-first mindset. We listen to them, understand their needs and offer solutions tailored to their requirements. With our proven ability to undertake complex projects, today we are regarded as the EPC partner of choice for energy majors globally.
From engineering and procurement, to manufacturing and completion, our integrated approach to project undertaking, backed by strong internal capabilities, endowing us with a strong competitive advantage on the market, and continue to build in this line.
How do you see NPCC developing over the coming years?
We have a clear strategy and roadmap for growth which draws on the enormous regional opportunities and beyond.
Within the oil and gas sector, we will continue to increase our capabilities and expand our presence on both offshore and onshore projects. In addition to projects on markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India, we have recently strengthened our operations in Egypt, and are also seeking to expand our footprint across East Asia and Africa.
Moreover, we are expanding our operations beyond conventional oil and gas to renewables with a focus on offshore wind farms by manufacturing and installing electrical distribution structures an area aligning with our resources and engineering expertise. We have already bid for wind projects in the North Sea as well as to supply equipment for projects in India and Southeast Asia. Our aim is to lead in the broader energy sector (not only upstream and offshore), with the intention of having 20 percent of our portfolio generated by onshore projects as well as strengthening our downstream offering. To support this, we are strengthening our infrastructure as well, through the acquisition of new vessels and our investment in digital transformation.
As we move into the EPC 4.0 era, we have launched a five-year digital transformation program, backed by multimillion-dirham investments, to transform our digital capabilities and meet the evolving needs of our clientele, employees and the region’s oil and gas industry. We are enhancing our internal and customer-oriented systems in addition to a dedicated in-house innovation team working to implement increased manufacturing automation.
What is the role of NPCC in applying In-Country Value in Abu Dhabi?
As the major energy EPC in the region, we are focused on creating In-Country Value (ICV) not only through the direct impact of the large-scale projects we undertake but also through local infrastructure and talent development. An example of the ICV we have created is the completion of the Umm Lulu Super Complex, fully manufactured by NPCC at the Musaffah Yard, for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Umm Lulu Field infrastructure, which will have an oil production capacity of more than 100,000 barrels per day in 2020. The field will have an oil production capacity of over 100,000 bpd in 2020, supporting ADNOC’s strategy of increasing it production capacity from 3 to 5 million bpd by 2030.
This is one of the many milestone projects by NPCC in the UAE, where we have awarded local contracts valued at over AED 2 billion (driven through our local manufacturing yard and our team of professionals, including over 300 Emiratis)– 40 percent of whom are in leadership roles. Through our projects, we also support the local supply chain with small and medium enterprises working with us.
You recently announced that NPCC set the Guinness World Record for the “heaviest single-module topside on a fixed steel jacket” for its Umm Lulu Gas Treatment Platform (ULGTP). What are the main goals of this project?
Over the years, we have executed a significant part of ADNOC’s Offshore facilities and developed a strong understanding of ADNOC’s requirements.
The ULGTP - weighing 32,000 MT and measuring 77.7 meters x 83.5 meters, is one of five platforms manufactured by the NPCC at its 1.3 million sqm manufacturing yard in Abu Dhabi, underlining the “Made in the UAE” competencies.
This is part of an EPC contract awarded by ADNOC to NPCC, in consortium with TechnipFMC, for a large offshore super complex at the major Umm Lulu field. The total weight of the super complex is over 102,648 MT.
The ULGTP will handle gas including compression, dehydration and sweetening, and forms a key part of ADNOC’s Umm Lulu Field infrastructure.
The relationship between NPCC and TUBACEX has risen to a new level since spring 2019 thanks to our investment with Senaat in NTS. What is your opinion about the Tubacex Group and how we could support your success?
We are proud to see such success stories like TUBACEX that add to the “Made in the UAE” offering for the global energy sector. TUBACEX is large industrial group with world-class capabilities to manufacture different products that are crucial for national oil companies. There is a strong synergy between NPCC and TUBACEX since the projects we undertake are complemented by products manufactured by TUBACEX. We also see opportunities for investing together to maximize value across the supply chain.