Adnoc signs agreements worth up to $9.5bn to boost the UAE manufacturing sector

The state-owned oil company signed deals with 25 companies

The Abu Dhabi skyline. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
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Adnoc has signed agreements worth up to Dh35 billion ($9.53bn) that will stimulate investment in the local manufacturing of critical products in support of the diversification of the UAE’s industrial and manufacturing sector.

Siemens, Halliburton, and Schneider Electric are among the 25 companies that have signed agreements with Adnoc, the state-owned oil company said in a statement on Thursday.

The agreements set out the suppliers’ intention to manufacture 21 products in the UAE, supporting Adnoc’s 2030 strategy, as it cements its position as one of the world’s leading low-cost, lower-carbon intensity energy producers.

Among the products which could be manufactured in the UAE are pressure vessels, compressors, pipeline inspection gauges, specialist valves, industrial pumps, switchgears, variable speed drives and flame and gas detectors, said Adnoc.

The agreements could also see investments made in machining, reverse engineering and non-destructive testing equipment.

“The UAE is emerging as one of the world’s major industrial and technology hubs. It has the most competitive industrial sector in the Arab world and is ranked 31st globally in Unido’s Competitive Industrial Performance Index,” Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said.

The UAE last year launched its industrial strategy “Operation 300bn” to position it as a global industrial hub by 2031. The 10-year comprehensive road map focuses on increasing the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product from Dh133bn ($36.21bn) in 2021 to Dh300bn in 2031.

The strategy focuses on boosting production in 11 priority sectors, supporting the growth of national industries, attracting foreign investment, modernising legislation and ensuring availability of dedicated financing for local industrial companies.

Earlier this week, the MoIAT signed a preliminary agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio) to boost incentives for companies in the emirate’s industrial and advanced technology sector.

The agreement aims to “identify investment opportunities in industry and advanced technology and exchange industrial data, in addition to providing qualitative incentives that contribute to Abu Dhabi's position as a regional and global destination for industrial investment”, MoIAT said in a statement on Monday.

“It is not just about joining the UAE on its industrial transformation and development. It is also about accessing and benefiting from our truly unique value proposition,” said Mr Al Suwaidi.

“Companies setting up in the UAE have access to reliable, cost-effective and sustainable energy supplies, including clean energy alternatives such as solar and hydrogen.”

The UAE is investing Dh600bn in clean and renewable energy projects over the next three decades as it aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

In June, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy said it was developing a hydrogen policy with new regulations and standards and aims to become a “leader in the international hydrogen market” as the demand for clean fuel surges globally amid decarbonisation efforts.

Hydrogen comes in various forms, including blue, green and grey. Blue and grey hydrogen are produced from natural gas, while green is derived from splitting water by electrolysis.

Globally, the hydrogen industry is expected to be worth $183bn by 2023, up from $129bn in 2017, according to Fitch Solutions. French investment bank Natixis estimates that investment in hydrogen will exceed $300bn by 2030.

“Adnoc has an exciting vision which will enable us to thrive and grow in a lower carbon future and continue to support the prosperity of the nation in the coming years and decades,” Abdulmunim Al Kindy, executive director of people, technology and corporate services for Adnoc, said.

Adnoc said its In-Country Value programme, which has driven Dh132.5bn back into the UAE’s economy, will be “integral” to its plans.

Updated: November 06, 2022, 1:29 PM