Abu Dhabi’s NMDC has ‘eyes on all active markets’ amid expansion plans

The company is experiencing a 'high level' of price increment in the supply chain, chief executive says

NMDC reported a 71 per cent rise in its second-quarter net profit on high revenue from contracts. Photo: NMDC
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Abu Dhabi contractor National Marine Dredging Company has “eyes on all active markets” as it charts its global expansion, the company's chief executive said.

NMDC, an engineering, procurement, construction, and marine dredging contractor in the Middle East, is open to taking up more projects globally, if they fit with the company’s strategy, Yasser Zaghloul told The National.

“The company has great infrastructure [and is] ready for more expansion ... we are not limited to any market global-wise. We are open to any market,” he said.

NMDC and its subsidiary, National Petroleum Construction Company, are looking to expand their operations outside the UAE to tap new opportunities.

Last year, NMDC teamed up with the Dredging Corporation of India to expand its presence in the Indian subcontinent as well as across the Gulf region and Africa.

NMDC reported a 71 per cent rise in its second-quarter net profit on higher revenue from contracts.

Net profit attributable to shareholders of the company rose to Dh577.24 million ($157.16 million) in the three months that ended on June 30, up from Dh337.7 million in the same period a year earlier.

In the first half of 2023, the company generated 79 per cent of its revenue from the UAE and 21 per cent from the international market, mainly Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Mr Zaghloul said the company was experiencing a “high level” of price increment in the supply chain and that geopolitical challenges such as the Ukraine war had added to economic uncertainty.

“We have to be careful, and you have to have a very robust plan for risk management and risk mitigation,” he said.

Interest rates

The Covid-19 pandemic era of near-zero interest rates and fiscal and monetary stimulus came to an end in March last year, when record-high inflation, a supply chain crunch and the war in Ukraine forced the US Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world to hike interest rates to cool their economies amid a cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Zaghloul said the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) announced last month would be a positive for NMDC.

The project will be made up of the east corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and the northern corridor connecting the Arabian Gulf to Europe.

The cross-border, ship-to-rail transit corridors are expected to reduce shipping costs across the network and support trade in goods and services to, from and between the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, and Europe.

The company is open to agreements related to marine and onshore works, Mr Zaghloul said.

“Any kind of [such] initiatives have a positive impact and they create more jobs and more opportunities for the countries [involved],” he said.

NMDC is also working on “many” green energy initiatives as well as “big” hydrogen projects, he added.

Last year, NPCC signed an agreement with French engineering technology company Technip Energies to set up a joint venture to focus on energy transition.

Based in Abu Dhabi, the joint venture, NT Energies, supports energy transition in the UAE and the wider Mena region by providing value-added services in the blue and green hydrogen sector, related decarbonisation projects and the capture of carbon dioxide.

Updated: October 12, 2023, 3:03 AM