Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox hails further evidence of ‘UK’s global leadership in sustainable engineering’, as UK government provides export finance support to high profile project
UK-based construction firm Carillion and Zaha Hadid Architects have today secured a multi-million pound contract to build one of the greenest buildings in the Midde East, having been appointed by UAE waste management specialist Bee’ah to deliver its new headquarters in Sharjah.
The project, which has been backed by the UK government’s UK Export Finance (UKEF) credit agency through its Direct Lending Facility, will result in the first building in Sharjah to be powered entirely by renewables and recoverable energy sources, including solar power and waste-to-energy technology.
It will also make use of energy efficient equipment and natural lighting to further reduce its energy needs, while utilising recycled materials in the construction of the building.
The deal, full financial details for which have not been disclosed, was announced by UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, who hailed it as evidence of “the UK’s global leadership in sustainable engineering, and our pioneering expertise in developing smart cities and green buildings for the future”.
“The UAE is a key partner in the region and 5,000 UK companies work in there,” he added in a statement. “Through UKEF, the government is ensuring that British firms can be the first choice to support the country’s ambitions.”
His comments were echoed by Zafar Khan, group finance director at Carillion, who said the contract “cements Carillion’s position as a market-leader in the Middle East, as well as our credentials in sustainable construction”.
“Our ability to offer our customers in the region the support of UK Export Finance is an invaluable asset, making our bids more attractive and helping us win contracts in a competitive global marketplace,” he added.
The building is now scheduled to open in 2018 before becoming fully powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2021.
The project is the latest in a string of high profile green investments from Middle Eastern states, several of which have recently announced multi-billion dollar low carbon investment programmes in a bid to diversify their fossil fuel-reliant economies and tackle escalating climate risks. Alongside the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Jordan have all announced major clean energy investment programmes in recent years.
HE Salim bin Mohamed Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, said the development of the company’s new headquarters promised to “a significant moment in the history of the region”.
“It demonstrates Bee’ah’s dedication and commitment to delivering on promises to the people of the UAE by providing tangible solutions to the greatest environmental challenges that face modern civilisation,” he added.