Leighton to Build Abu Dhabi Airport Infrastructure

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Midfield Terminal Complex

A subsidiary of Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings is set to build infrastructure integral to the Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion after the group bagged an AED600 million ($AU172.3 million) contract with the airport’s owner.

The group announced earlier this week its Middle Eastern subsidiary Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) had secured an agreement with Abu Dhabi Airport Company (ADAC) to deliver work such as backbone infrastructure installation, MEP works, and interchange, road and bridge construction across multiple fronts.

The contract includes work on airside and landside airport operational areas, within the Midfield Terminal Complex construction site, on the East Midfield Terminal area and along the existing E11 Highway.

The works are part of a broader expansion of the airport, which will boost its capacity to 27 to 40 million people per year by 2030, the centrepiece of which revolves around the creation of a new terminal building located between the airport’s two runways. When complete, it will be the largest overall building within the emirate and will feature a ceiling which is 52 metres tall at its highest point.

As part of its contact, HLG will also undertake design and construction of some key elements of the project.

The win follows Habtoor Leighton’s securing of an agreement last month to construct the next phase of the Jafza One-Jafza Convention Centre complex in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

The new contract also builds on the company’s portfolio of aviation infrastructure-related work in the region. The company is currently involved in a joint venture building a new maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for Saudia Aerospace and Engineering Industries at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia and previously built a new terminal at the Abu Dhabi International Airport to serve the needs of Etihad Airways. Work on that terminal was completed in 2009.

HLG CEO and Managing Director José Antonio López-Monís welcomed the latest win, saying the project aligns with the group’s strategy of targeting large-scale infrastructure opportunities for government clients.

“We are proud to have been selected by ADAC to deliver this important project and be part of the development and success of one of the fastest growing airports in the world,” he said.

Work is set to begin shortly and will involve staged completion over the next 18 to 24 months.

The latest win comes as Leighton has again denied it failed to meet disclosure obligations with regard to an Iraq bribery scandal in which the company became embroiled after it received a writ from Melbourne Lawyer and investor Mark Elliot, who is suing the company over its disclosure practices relating to the scandal.

“Leighton strongly denies Mr Elliott’s claim that Leighton has failed to meet its disclosure obligations,” the company said in a brief statement, adding that the claim will be vigorously defended and that the company had already responded adequately to media allegations.

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Andrew Heaton is an established writer in the building and construction industry. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he worked for many years as a Certified Practising Accountant and business journalist. Having worked for Sourceable since early 2011, Andrew is a senior writer on bo...
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