The Business Year

Dr. Ali Obaid Al-Yabhouni

UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining

The High Seas

CEO, National Gas Shipping Company Ltd. (NGSCO) & Abu Dhabi National Tanker Co (ADNATCO)

Bio

Since 1992, Dr. Ali Obaid Al-Yabhouni has worked in a wide range of senior positions in the ADNOC Group of Companies. He became CEO of National Gas Shipping Co. Ltd (NGSCO) in 2007, and since January 2009 has also led Abu Dhabi National Tanker Company (ADNATCO). In addition, he has been involved in OPEC affairs since 1999 and is UAE Governor for OPEC and Chairman of the OPEC Board of Governors. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Tasmania, an MBA from South Eastern University, Washington D.C., and a degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Southern Indiana.

TBY talks to Dr. Ali Obaid Al-Yabhouni, CEO of the National Gas Shipping Company Ltd. (NGSCO) & Abu Dhabi National Tanker Co (ADNATCO), on trading with a diversified fleet of ships, fighting high energy prices, and investing in professionals.

What have been the main achievements of ADNATCO and NGSCO in the petroleum sector, and what role did the companies play in developing the Emirate of Abu Dhabi?

We primarily serve Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its group of companies; however, as a well-positioned and growing regional maritime operator, we also contribute to the trade growth of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Trading with a diversified fleet of ships, which includes LNG carriers, bulk carriers, chemical and products tankers, and container ships provides us the opportunity to extend our services to the different business sectors of the Emirate. Our vessels carry LNG from Das Island in the Arabian Gulf to Japan, while ADNATCO is involved in the worldwide transportation of the hydrocarbon products that are produced by ADNOC Group companies.

How are ADNATCO and NGSCO planning on fighting high energy prices and resolving the need for more efficient and high-tech ships in the market?

We believe that saving fuel consumption and establishing an organizational culture based on energy efficiency is an effective alternative fuel for the future. To achieve this, we embarked on an initiative called the Al Daffah Project, which was aimed at reducing the CO2 emissions generated by the company’s ships. By using new tools and techniques in managing our fleet, as well as installing new measuring instruments to achieve the company’s targets and improve key performance indicators (KPIs), Al Daffah’s ultimate aim is to achieve huge savings in fuel consumption and greatly reduce CO2 emissions.

How do you see the market developing in the medium term, and what will be the strategy of ADNATCO and NGSCO to maintain their leading position in the region?

We always look at the long term. Our strategic objective is to meet the needs for ADNOC and its group of companies for efficient marine transportation. We know that ADNOC certainly remains firmly committed to maintaining a strong presence in the shipping industry. This provides us with numerous opportunities to grow our business and stay in the lead.

The maritime industry faces the increased threat of piracy. Which innovative defensive measures is ADNATCO implementing to ensure the protection of its seafarers and ships?

We remain vigilant and ensure that we have the right preventative measures available to safeguard the security and safety of our crews and ships. We always seek innovative ways to strengthen the defensive mechanism of our ships, and I am happy to say that some of our company’s award-winning innovations in this regard have been adopted by other companies.

Through the Cadetship Program, ADNATCO and NGSCO are strongly committed to the employment of UAE nationals. How are ADNATCO and NGSCO currently investing in the UAE’s capital by forming skilled petroleum professionals?

Our Cadetship Program, which trains UAE nationals to become seamen, is one of our most successful initiatives in developing and employing UAE nationals in key positions throughout the company. Every year, we accept over 40 new young high school graduates to join the program, which offers attractive career prospects. Over the years, we have trained hundreds of UAE nationals as maritime professionals, who today hold senior positions, not just at ADNATCO and NGSCO, but also in shipping and port companies throughout the UAE. As a result of this program, over 40% of our seafarers are Emirati nationals. Over time, our national seafarers are taking increasingly senior positions on-board our vessels and already hold Master and Chief Engineer tickets. We also provide a wide range of other opportunities for office-based UAE nationals. Our Tamkeen program provides a structured training program for onshore UAE nationals to support their long-term career development within the company.

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