Steel Fabrication in the Middle East has come a long way in the last decade. Today the Middle East steel fabrication houses are completing complex jobs for local, regional and international owners.

Recently on May 05th, the Lone Star semi-submersible was launched in Abu Dhabi which was built in Abu Dhabi's very own Mussafah industrial yard and completed on site at Port Zayed.

The rig was accepted by its new owners, Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás, and will be put on duty in the waters offshore Brazil, signed to Petrobas on a seven year contract. SBM Offshore led the project in conjunction with IMCC Group and Gulf Piping Co - the platform constructor yard.

In another announcement, the Lamprell/Swiber Offshore Construction consortium has been contracted to supply two new wellhead platforms for a gas field offshore India.

Lamprell will build the two platforms, comprising piles, jackets, and topsides, at its yard in Jebel Ali, UAE. Each completed platform will have a load-out weight (including piles) of 2,000 metric tons (2,204 tons), and both are due to be delivered in December.

Swiber will perform transportation to the offshore site and subsequent installations, including pipelines.

“ These projects emphasize the technical levels and acceptance of Middle East based fabricators” said the organizers of the SteelFab exhibition. “The availability of top-notch technology, high quality brands, varied equipment & machinery resources, can be credited in a big way to the SteelFab exhibition. This is the exhibition which annually provides the regional industry with a wide variety of suppliers and a reach to their latest technology and global improvements” they claimed.

UAE-based Maritime Industrial Services is building five more rigs for SeaWolf Oilfield Services of Nigeria. The Onome, which was delivered and accepted in June 2009, is the second of two rigs for SeaWolf. Five more rigs are being built at MIS' yard in Sharjah and all five are scheduled to be delivered between 2009 and 2010, according to contractual milestones.

“Today, the outlook of the regional fabrication industry has changed, and they are competing for International projects with good success” said the spokesperson. “This changes the perception of our exhibitors as well, as they are now aware that in coming to this market, they are approaching a sophisticated customer who is executing a high quality job on an International level” they added.

In February 2010 Lamprell UAE announced it had won two contracts worth US$320.4 million (Dh1.18 billion) from the Norwegian firm Fred Olsen Windcarrier to design, build and deliver two wind turbine installation vessels.

In addition to these contracts for two units Lamprell and Windcarrier have executed an option agreement for two further vessels. The exercise periods for these units are 12 months and 18 months respectively.

“We can expect to see more global manufacturers and a greater level of preparation as a result of this fabrication-globalization” the SteelFab organizers concluded.