With the proposed project, the emirate marks yet another advance in its bid to diversify its economy
A deal has been signed with a UAE authority to build the nation’s largest tissue paper manufacturing facility that will serve markets in the GCC states.
Jordan’s Al Nakheel Hygienic Paper Manufacturing Company signed up with the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (ZonesCorp) to build a new production facility in Abu Dhabi with capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of hygienic household tissues in the first phase and 120,000 tonnes in the second.
The plant will be set up on a plot of 144,000 sq m at Icad-2, the Industrial City Abu Dhabi-2, at an initial investment of Dh335 million ($91 million).
Al Nakheel is a producer of ‘Fine” tissues, a well-known brand of hygienic household tissues in the Middle East and North Africa region, and has two facilities in Egypt, of 80,000 tonnes and 70,000 tonnes annually, from which it supplies the Mena region.
Khalid Banat, project manager at Al Nakheel Hygienic Paper Manufacturing Company, signed the deal with Saeed Issa Al Khaili, the acting chief executive of ZonesCorp at a ceremony at the Hannover Messe Industrial Fair in Germany.
ZonesCorp took part in the world’s biggest industrial trade fair in Hannover with a high-level delegation of 19 important industrial manufacturing companies as part of its drive to promote its partner firms.
“Its impressive high-tech facility in Icad 2 will be the biggest tissue paper manufacturing plant in the UAE and an important addition to our existing paper manufacturing cluster,” said Al Khaili, commenting on the new operation. The official added the hub was looking forward to working closely with Al Nakheel to help it fully realise its ambitions.
Banat gave additional details of the new facility. He said it will be fitted with the most advanced tissue-making technology devised by Swedish company Valmet that can produce 2,200 m of product per minute.
It will generate employment for approximately 500 people in Abu Dhabi and serve the UAE and wider GCC markets.
“Once Phase One gets completed, the facility will be the biggest tissue paper manufacturing plant in the UAE and represent a 40 per cent increase in production for Al Nakheel globally,” he stated.
Banat praised Icad 2, saying it was the most attractive proposition for its new facility. “Of all the potential sites we looked at for this investment, it has the most sophisticated infrastructure and offers a ‘plug and play’ model that will allow us to be up and running in a relatively short time.”
Additionally, the combination of low energy costs, ready availability of quality labour, the strategic location of Abu Dhabi to serve target markets and the pro-industry business stance of the Abu Dhabi government made ZonesCorp and Abu Dhabi the ideal choice, he added.