Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) is upgrading its capabilities with an investment of more than $500 million (Dh1.83 billion), chief executive officer Aqeel Abdullah Madhi has said.

"This covers upgrading our onshore marine fleet, increasing yards capacity, augmenting equipment facilities, and in addition, expanding our engineering capabilities," Madhi said at a recent company event in the capital pertaining to health, safety and environment.

Later, Madhi told reporters the total investment in upgrade is planned over the next two to three years.

"NPCC's five-year business plan is being formulated. We have set ourselves an ambitious expansion plan in terms of volume, growth and geographical reach, scouting for opportunities in Southeast Asia, Caspian Sea and West Africa," Madhi added.

He said NPCC is targeting Dh5 billion in revenue this year, up from Dh4.2 billion in 2011.

"Last year, NPCC spent two-thirds locally on purchases of materials and subcontracting services, thus actively contributing to the local economy," said Madhi.

NPCC, established in 1973, is now a large engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in the region.Madhi said at present Abu Dhabi is NPCC's biggest market, though they are bidding for other projects in the region as well, including a storage tank project in Oman.

He said Abu Dhabi is expected to award offshore oil and natural gas projects worth $7 billion to $8 billion over the next 12 months. The major projects that are to be awarded are by Zakum Development Company (Zadco) and Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco).

"We are bidding for the $1 billion EPC-1 project of Zadco which includes building platforms and pipelines. The project will be awarded soon. We will also be bidding for EPC-2, which will be awarded by the end of the year," said Madhi.

Regarding Adma-Opco's projects, he said NPCC will be bidding for Lulu 1 and 2 and Sarb 1, 2 and 3, which comprise different packages for oil production.

Madhi said NPCC will be bidding for projects to be awarded by India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) over the next 10 years.

NPCC in January announced that it had been awarded a Dh550 million EPC contract by ONGC.

The major EPC contract was for the WO-16 cluster and SB-14 wellhead platforms project at the offshore Mumbai High field, NPCC said in a statement at the time.