Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments has signed a joint venture agreement worth $6.8m with Germany’s Herrenknecht for a tunnel-boring machinery and equipment facility in the UAE.

Aabar said the facility will specialise in manufacturing tunnelling technology, vertical drilling rigs and tunnel-boring, to serve customers across the Middle East and North Africa, according to a company statement.

The joint venture will own and operate the facility.

Aabar, whose largest shareholder is the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund the International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), will own 51 per cent of the venture and Herrenknech will own 49 per cent.

Abu Dhabi is planning a number of major projects that include extensive tunnelling, such as a sewage network and a metro system (MEED 7:1:10).