US construction company Bechtel to train Emirati engineers

The engineers will spend at least 12 months on deployment on some of Bechtel’s major projects.

Windows on the Bechtel headquarters in San Francisco reflect a blue sky. Noah Berger / Bloomberg News
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Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) has arranged a deal with the US construction company Bechtel to provide in-depth training for up to 100 Emirati engineers.

The engineers will spend at least 12 months on deployment on some of Bechtel’s major projects, with a view to help improving skills and knowledge of working on major projects.

David Welch, the president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bechtel, said that it had developed a dialogue with people at the DMA, whose senior officers had identified “a strong need in Abu Dhabi for the training and development of middle management”.

He added that although engineers were well-educated and in service, many had not had the practical experience their positions would benefit from.

The new programme has begun with a pair of initial placements. One engineer is working on the new Taweelah alumina refinery being built by Bechtel for Emirates Global Aluminium. Another is at Bechtel’s Global Centre of Engineering Excellence in Dubai, which designs ports and rail projects around the world.

Mr Welch said other engineers would be placed directly on Bechtel projects all over the world. Where they would be placed will depend on “their area of interest, their qualifications and their discipline”.

“These people will be going to work as Bechtel people. They’ll put on a hard hat, workboots and do the same sort of work as any Bechtel person,” he said.

Bechtel specialises in large-scale engineering and construction projects. Alongside the new alumina refinery, it is building the Borouge 3 petrochemical plant in Abu Dhabi, leading a consortium delivering a US$10bn contract package for the Riyadh Metro and a long-standing programme for the development of Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia.

Khalifa Mohammed Al Mazroui, the undersecretary of the department of Municipal Affairs, said: “Working with a reputed and specialised company such as Bechtel adds considerable value to our training initiatives.”

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