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Middle East The Clients

This month's clients: Aldar and Qatar Petroleum

Aldar

Developer Aldar was founded by government bodies Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi Investment Company, National Investor, the Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company and the National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels. It floated on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market in April 2005 and now has more than 22,000 shareholders, a land bank of 34M.m2 and a project portfolio worth £35bn.

As a client organisation Aldar is considered to be one of the region's most forward thinking companies. It was the first in the region to introduce open book contracting on its massive £7bn real estate scheme, Al Raha Beach which is being carried out by the firm in joint venture with Laing O'Rourke. Joint venture companies are a preferred method of working with the firm which sees this as a way to share risk and ensure it has contracting resources available for its project portfolio.

It is understood that much of the change towards joint venture working was introduced by chief executive officer Ronald Barrott who joined the company in 2006. Six months after his appointment Aldar signed the first joint venture with Laing O'Rourke and in 2008 it extended its use of joint venture agreements by signing deals with materials manufacturers, in a bid to mitigate the negative effects that soaring cement prices have had on projects.

Also in 2008 the firm formed construction joint ventures with Belgium's Besix and Bahrain's Cebarco, both of which are working on its £22bn Yas Island project.

To populate its developments it has also signed up a range of hotel operator brands including Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Marriott, Accor, Banyan Tree, Intercontinental, Ritz Carlton and Oberoi and it has established an alliance with US-based Warner Brothers Entertainment
Like most Gulf developers Aldar is also diversifying into overseas assets.

Top 3 Projects

- Yas Island
- Al Raha Beach
- Central market

Qatar Petroluem

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is the company responsible for reserves of over 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and the production of 1.2M barrels of oil per day. It began life as Qatar General Petroleum Corporation in 1974, before becoming Qatar Petroleum in 2001.

According to project tracker MEED Projects the firm has more than £16bn of construction activity underway on its energy related infrastructure. Its project volume is so large that consultant Halcrow cites QP as one of its top 10 global and top four Middle Eastern clients.

One of the biggest schemes Halcrow is involved in is the £2.5bn plus expansion of Qatar's Ras Laffan industrial port. At present the port is used to export up to 27M.t tonnes of liquid natural gas (LNG) per year but this is set to increase to 77M.t tonnes by 2010. MEED Projects says the expansion involves the design and construction of four new LNG berths, 11 liquid product berths, six small tanker berths, five container berths, quay walls, breakwaters, a cargo causeway and the widening of the existing approach channel.

Consultant Mott MacDonald also counts QP as a key client. The firm is involved in schemes such as expansion of the Ras Laffan industrial city cooling system and a heavy fuel oil storage facility.
In early 2007 the state of Qatar established an international subsidiary with a remit to invest in energy related projects overseas. Since then Qatar Petroleum International has been working with international oil majors such as Shell, Total and Italian firm Eni on ventures in new markets.
In China it is building an ethylene plant with state oil company Petrochina to open in 2013 and in Tunisia it is building a new oil refinery. It is expected that the firm will invite some of its supply chain into its new international ventures, opening up opportunities in new markets for its partners.

Top 3 Projects

- Ras Laffan port
- Al Shaheen refinery
- The Pearl gas to liquids plant

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