UAE's Excel Astra to build $5.4m fabrication hub at Kezad

The 45,000-square metre facility is expected to create 400 jobs and will support the Make it in the Emirates initiative

Harish Bashir, managing director of Excel Astra, and Fatima Al Hammadi, chief commercial officer of Kezad Group, during the signing ceremony. Photo: Kezad
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UAE's oil and gas contractor Excel Astra Engineering and Construction Group will build a Dh20 million ($5.4 million) fabrication factory at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (Kezad), which is expected to boost the emirate's non-oil exports through its locally-made products.

The 45,000-square metre facility, to be built at Kezad Al Ma’mourah, is expected to source about Dh80 million worth of goods and services from the local market annually, “thereby strengthening the local economy”, Kezad Group, the largest operator of integrated economic zones in the UAE, said in a statement on Friday.

The agreement is part of a 50-year lease agreement and is expected to create 400 jobs.

Excel Astra, which has offices in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, predicts that the hub will deliver sales of more than Dh200 million a year, underpinned by the company’s “Made in the UAE” products.

“Kezad always strives to provide an ideal infrastructure to a diverse range of industries, including metal, petrochemicals, oil and gas, food, logistics and construction materials, with all the benefits of setting up business in Abu Dhabi,” Mohamed Al Ahmed, chief executive of Kezad Group, said.

Companies tapping into the strength of the domestic market will help bolster the growth of the Emirates' industrial sector and position it as a global trade hub, he added.

The government's Make it in the Emirates campaign invites investors, innovators and developers to contribute to the UAE’s industry and advanced technology strategy Operation 300bn, which aims to position the country as an industrial hub by 2031.

The 10-year plan focuses on increasing the industrial sector's contribution to gross domestic product to Dh300 billion in 2031, from Dh133 billion in 2021.

The development of key economic industries also aligns with the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy to strengthen the emirate’s manufacturing sector by enhancing innovation, creating skilled jobs and boosting international trade.

Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy expanded 8.6 per cent in the first nine months of the year and by an annual 7.7 per cent in the third quarter, compared to the same periods in 2022, Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said on Friday.

The performance was driven by Abu Dhabi’s “comprehensive strategy aimed at fortifying its standing as a prominent economic powerhouse”, Scad said.

The emirate's GDP for the January-September period also grew by 2.8 per cent on an annual basis, despite fluctuations in the oil and gas global markets, the centre said.

The “comprehensive agreement” between Excel Astra and Kezad will help “foster growth” and add to the Make it in the Emirates initiative, said Excel Astra managing director Harish Bashir.

Excel Astra provides engineering, procurement and construction services to national energy providers and international contractors serving the UAE's oil and gas, petrochemical and power industries.

Mega solar power plant is inaugurated in Abu Dhabi

Mega solar power plant is inaugurated in Abu Dhabi

The strategic position of its fabrication yard will help the company compete globally in the manufacturing sector, it said.

“Its partnership with global companies will also help in bringing expertise and will contribute to the fabrication of value-added products, thus supporting the industrialisation of the entire Mena region,” the statement said.

Kezad Group is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports Group and its infrastructure and services span 12 economic zones in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Al Dhafra Region, covering a total of 550 square kilometres.

Updated: December 29, 2023, 12:13 PM