Global construction giant Bechtel has announced that it has set-up a regional office in the UAE for its mining and metals business, to better service its clients in the GCC.
The US-based company said that the GCC mining and metals sector has been identified as one of the main pillars of industrial diversification in the region and this trend is reflected in the scale of awards made during the last 12 months, which reached around $6bn.
The company is currently constructing one of the world's largest greenfield aluminium smelter projects - Ras Al Khair - for the Maaden Alcoa joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
David Welch, president, Europe, Africa, Middle East at Bechtel, said: "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."
He added: "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 has completed several hundred major mining and metals projects and more than 1,000 studies across six continents around the world.
Projects have included 26 aluminium smelters, 42 major copper projects and 36 major coal projects.
Bechtel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in the UAE in 2012, opened a centre of engineering excellence in the UAE in May of this year.