US-based Bechtel has set-up a regional office in the UAE to support its mining and metals business in the GCC.

“We recognise the growing importance of the Gulf region as a strategic hub for our business. The opening of a regional office for our mining and metals business is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to this region,” says David Welch, president – Europe, Africa, Middle East, Bechtel.

Bechtel is currently working on one of the world’s largest greenfield aluminium smelters at Ras al-Khair in Saudi Arabia for a joint venture of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and US-based Alcoa. It is also working on Maaden’s Waad al-Shamal phosphates mining development.

“Our mining and metals business has a rich history here,” he added. “Bechtel has been present in the region for around 70 years. We are optimistic about the business opportunities in the region and we believe the outlook is strong. In addition, the region has excellent connections to European and North African markets. The regional office puts us closer to our customers.”

The new regional office will offer services from master planning studies through to engineering execution.  Bechtel says it has worked on 26 aluminium smelters, 42 major copper projects and 36 major coal projects across the world.

The company also opened centre of engineering excellence in Dubai in May of this year.