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Arabtec starts work on Russian tower project


27.09.2009 by Jason Benham

DUBAI FIRM: Arabtec won a AED50m contract from Russia's Gazprom Neft to build its new headquarters.


Dubai's Arabtec Holding said on Sunday it has started foundation tests on a Russian tower project, after winning a AED50m ($13.61m) contract from Russia's Gazprom Neft.

Arabtec, which in April 2008 won the contract to build the first stage of the 400-metre high Okhta Centre in St Petersburg from the oil arm of Russian national gas company Gazprom, expects to sign the next testing contract by November, it said.

The third testing contract will be awarded by the end of the year, it said in a statement on Dubai's bourse website.

The Okhta Centre, the headquarters for Gazprom Neft, will be highest office building in Europe when built, it said.

"These series of tests are necessary to obtain the building permit from the planning authorities in St Petersburg before the final project permit is issued," the UAE's largest contractor by market value said.

These awards are separate from the main contract and their values are not part of the main contract amount, it added.

The project value is estimated at AED10bn, it said in a separate statement on Sunday.

Gazprom-Neft won the final zoning approval this week from St Petersburg that will allow the project to proceed, Arabtec said.

The planned tower has drawn criticism about its impact on St Petersburg, which is designated a UNESCO world heritage site.

Arabtec's chief financial officer Ziad Makhzoumi told Reuters earlier in September construction on the tower will start in March next year, weather permitting and if the contract had been finalised.

Source: Reuters

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