Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline through the Al Hajar mountains in Fujairah is the largest export pipeline project currently in development in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Pakistani engineering firm Techno Engineering Service has chosen Dubai for its international headquarters and its expansion in the Middle East and beyond, Vishal Nagpaul, head of Techno Engineering's international operations, told Gulf News in an interview yesterday.

The company, which has been in oil and gas plant and pipeline construction for over 30 years and ventured into the UAE three years ago, has won a $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) contract for parts of the construction of the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP), the largest export pipeline project currently in development in the UAE.

Techno Engineering has been chosen for the hardest parts of the pipeline, which leads from Habshan in the Arabian Gulf to the Fujairah export terminals through the rough terrain of the Al Hajar mountains.

"It is one of the toughest pipeline construction projects in the UAE," said Nagpaul. The route of the pipeline crosses "lots of wadis, roads, rocky slopes, ponds, farms and utility lines." The construction included installation of the pipeline on steep slopes greater than 45 degree angles, where Techno Engineering used a specially imported cable system to ensure fast working under these sections. This was the first time such a system has been used in the UAE, Nagpaul said.

Completion

The pipeline construction is on track and expected to be completed before the end of April this year.

The Adcop project is spearheaded by the International Petroleum Investment Corporation (Ipic), along with the China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation. The 370-kilometre pipeline will transport 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. This will allow more than half of the UAE's exports to bypass the strategic chokepoint at the Strait of Hormuz.

Nagpaul said that Techno Engineering is also working on a cross country pipeline in Iraq, the largest pipeline project currently undertaken in the country. "Working in Iraq has been fraught with uncertainties and filled with challenges. However, Techno is confident that they will also complete this project on time," Nagpaul said.

He added that the company is also close to finalising project contracts in Algeria and Turkmenistan, which mark important steps for its expansion in the Mena region.