ENOC Expands outside of UAE with Jeddah launch

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has formed a joint venture with Arabian Aircraft Services Company (Arabasco) to offer refuelling services in Jeddah.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  December 30, 2003

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has formed a joint venture with Arabian Aircraft Services Company (Arabasco) to offer refuelling services at King AbdulAziz International Airport, Jeddah. The partnership is ENOC’s first fuelling venture outside of its core UAE market, and the company sees it as a launch pad for other international opportunities. ENOC, which is owned by the UAE government, currently stores and supplies aviation fuel at Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah Airports. However, it is now seeking to become an international player in this sector, starting with its joint venture with Arabsco, which is called United Gulf Aircraft Fuelling Company (UGAFCO). “We have been in aviation for 10 years now and we have always said that we were ready to go into joint ventures,” says Hussain Sultan, chief executive, ENOC. “Over the years we have made many surveys about airports and we are still looking at airports all around the world.” ENOC chose to begin its regional aviation fuelling drive in Saudi Arabia, due to the potential market in the Kingdom and because it is already active there through its other business divisions. “Saudi Arabia is an important market for us because it is a big market,” says Sultan. “We are also already there in terms of lubricants, so aviation completes what we are trying to do there,” he adds. The company is now seeking to replicate its joint venture partnership across the region, and it is talking to a number of potential partners. “I certainly think Saudi Arabia is a stepping stone for us [ENOC] to move into the GCC countries and Africa,” says Sultan. “We are talking to people in the GCC because the Middle East’s aviation market is growing in leaps and bounds. We have also had discussions with companies in North Africa,” he explains. “We’re hungry for business just like everyone else in Dubai. We don’t stop at one deal.”

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