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Middle East Growth Plan

24 June 2010

Costain Abu Dhabi is pressing ahead with plans to win more business through focusing on the refurbishment of giant oil storage tanks in the desert emirate.

Home of the United Arab Emirates' federal capital, Abu Dhabi has vast reserves of oil and Costain's activities focus on providing services to the various operating companies that form the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Much of Costain's work is concentrated on Das Island in the Arabian Gulf, around 150km off Abu Dhabi's coast. There, a team of personnel under Costain Abu Dhabi's General Manager, Alastair Smith, works to ensure that the process of refurbishment of the tanks - typically up to 25 metres tall, 80 metres in diameter and each holding up to half a million barrels of crude oil - progresses smoothly.

"The tanks must be drained down, checked and have both their shell and bottom plates repaired every few years." says Alastair. "The tanks are located within vast hydrocarbon processing plants and are connected to the rest of the facility by a mass of pipework that has to be sealed off to allow work to begin."

The Costain team is close to completing a contract to refurbish three of the vast tanks and the company is hopeful of winning further contracts which it has recently bid.

Costain Abu Dhabi's projects are carried out year-round in temperatures that can exceed 45 degrees Celsius in summer, and continues to bring in a steady flow of contracts - £6m in the past 10 months.