Efforts to increase production capacity result in UAE oil project surge

04 February 2019
The closing date for entries to the MEED Projects Awards 2019 in association with Mashreq is nearly upon us, so it is a good time to look at trends highlighted by this year’s awards

Amid volatile crude prices, the UAE has invested heavily in energy in order to increase production capacity and this has been reflected in the boom in the value of oil projects completed in 2018.

Projects worth a total of $11.3bn were finished in 2018, more than double the $4.5bn completed the previous year – and far more than any other year in the past decade.

The boom in oil projects helped to push the total value of projects completed to $58.2bn for the year, up 11 per cent from 2017.

Other sectors that saw an increase in the value of projects completed were gas, power and transport.

The 10 biggest projects completed in the UAE in 2017-18
ProjectProject sponsorSectorValue ($m)
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 3Barakah OnePower4,400
Nasr field development: phase 2: full-field developmentAdnoc OffshoreOil4,300
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 1Barakah OnePower3,400
Nasr field developmentAdnoc OffshoreOil3,000
Mafraq-Ghuweifat road development (Sheikh Khalifa Road)MusanadaTransport2,800
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 2Barakah OnePower2,700
Aluminium complex: Al-Taweelah alumina refineryEmirates Global Aluminium (Emal)Industrial2,000
Strategic tunnel enhancement programmeADSSCWater1,730
Dubai theme park: phase 1Dubai Parks & ResortsConstruction1,700
Mirfa independent water and power projectAdwea/GDF SuezPower1,500
Source: MEED Projects

Driven by a strategic focus on energy security and a planned shift to gas, the total value of gas projects completed in 2018 rose by 24 per cent to $1.4bn.

The value of power projects completed rose by 20.1 per cent to $8.6bn, mainly driven by the completion of large packages for the 5.8GW Barakah nuclear power plant development, which will significantly add to the country’s independent power capacity when it is commissioned in 2020.

The value of transport projects completed in the UAE rose by 27 per cent to $7.4bn.

The biggest project completed over the whole of 2017 and 2018 was the third reactor for the Barakah power station, which had a budget of $4.4bn.

This was followed by phase 2 of Adnoc Offshore’s Nasr field development project, which had a budget of $4.3bn.

The water and construction sectors both saw a contraction in the value of projects completed in 2018.

In 2018, the total value of water projects completed was just $521m, the lowest figure recorded since 2009.

In the construction sector, projects worth $23.5bn were completed, the lowest figure recorded since 2012.

The MEED Projects Awards 2019 in association with Mashreq recognise the best projects in the GCC. Reflecting the latest market trends, this year’s awards feature 17 different categories for entries. If you have been involved in a project completed in 2017 or 2018 that you believe deserves to be recognised, you can submit your entry at: MEED Projects Awards 2019.


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