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NNS To Develop Construction, Repair Facility In UAE

Tenneco, Inc. announced that its shipbuilding division won a major competition to develop a new shipbuilding and ship repair business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE Offsets Group and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) signed a letter of intent to develop a new business venture, Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co. (ADSB), for the construction and repair of naval and commercial ships.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building will be located in the Mussafah Industrial Area adjacent to the Mussafah Channel. It will provide repair services for commercial and naval ships operating in UAE and regional waters. New construction capabilities will include commercial tugs, boats, barges and Naval and Coast Guard ships.

The venture will be a public joint stock company, with the UAE's National Invester, ION, serving as investment advisor and coordinator, and the UAE Offsets Group anticipates that a number of investors from the UAE will be interested in the new company. The investment advisor and coordinator will lead a team which includes the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Ernst & Young, the UAE law firm Hadef-Al-Dhahiri and Assoc. and the international law firm.

It is intended that this new company provide a profitable investment opportunity, with the majority of the shares in the shipbuilding and ship repair business to be held locally," a spokesman for the UAE Offsets Group said. "Other benefits should include the transfer of shipbuilding know-how into the UAE, development of a naturalized shipbuilding workforce, establishment of a local, cost-competitive major refit service for the UAE Naval forces and Coast Guard, as well as civilian operators, and the provision of world-class quality in ship repair and construction." The company's initial focus will be on the ship repair side, expanding to the construction of larger vessels as heavier lift capability and equipment come on line.

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