May 4, 2014

W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA), with Joint Venture partner, Abu Dhabi-based Al Dahra Agriculture, today officially broke ground on phase one, the infrastructure to support the first Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst manufacturing operation in the Middle East. 

The investment makes the Joint Venture the latest tenant to build in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and moves the operation a step closer to becoming an ongoing customer of services at the Khalifa Port in the Taweelah area, with the site located only 70km from the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. 

In addressing a gathering of regional business leaders, Grace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Festa was joined by H. E. Khadim Al Darei, Al Dahra’s Vice Chairman, Mohamed Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and Engineer Khaled Salmeen Al Kawari, Chief Executive Officer of Kizad. The groundbreaking ceremony followed the announcement almost exactly one year ago of the Joint Venture agreement.

“We’re excited to put a shovel in the ground and move forward with our commitment to serve the leading refiners in the region,” said Festa.  “We’re pleased to play a part in the development of Kizad and Khalifa Port and to take our place within Abu Dhabi’s vibrant business community.”

“This is the first step in the project that utilizes important foreign investment to create a local source of FCC catalysts.  This will bring new jobs and technology to the UAE,” said H.E. Khadim Al Darei.

For decades, Grace has served the world’s leading petrochemical companies and its catalysts are used to process nearly 40 percent of transportation fuels worldwide. Grace is the global leader for FCC catalysts and additives. Grace’s research leadership and flexible manufacturing system support catalysts technologies tailored to the individual needs of its customers. 

Commenting on the latest high profile ground breaking at Kizad, Engineer Khaled Salmeen said, “The Grace Joint Venture with Abu Dhabi’s Al Dahra Agriculture is a strong and important partnership economically, industrially and commercially. It is one that will serve the refining industry in the UAE and beyond. It will allow for knowledge transfer and bring leading catalyst processing technology vital for the transport as well as petrochemical industries in the UAE.” 

Al Dahra Agriculture has demonstrated strong support for the long-term growth and diversification of the UAE economy, including a partnership with the Emirate’s government to develop a strategic food security program. The company continues to increase its international presence as a leader in the global food supply chain sector.