Clarkebond to oversee construction of Yahsat satellite station, UAE

UK engineering and management consultancy Clarkebond has been appointed as project manager for the delivery of two ground satellite tracking stations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

"There are enormous challenges associated with any form of construction in the desert" said David Harding, CEO, Clarkebond, "let alone satellite tracking stations which will house delicate high-tec instrumentation under highly secure conditions. Ground temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius and frequent sand storms are only some of the problems which we will need to overcome. This is a major project with enormous significance for the UAE, which must be delivered on time. To facilitate this we have put in place a highly skilled team of experts selected from around the world."

The appointment comes just months after Clarkebond opened an office in the UAE. It follows the recent announcement that Yahsat has awarded a contract to build, launch and manage two satellites system for commercial and government use to a joint team comprising of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. The first satellite is scheduled for launch in the last quarter of 2010 and will provide the region with speed voice, data, video, and internet connectivity solutions, as well as secure military satellite communications for clients in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South-West Asia.

Covering a built area of approximately 15,000 m2, the ground stations will house both technical and administrative buildings along with supporting infrastructure, including a number of large antennae. One Station will be built approximately 40km from the city centre of Abu Dhabi, while the second station will be situated near the city of Al Ain.

As project manager, Clarkebond has been responsible for coordinating and directing the design and procurement process to date. Already conceptual designs have been completed and more detailed designs are in progress with a view to commencing site works in early 2009. During construction Clarkebond will provide an onsite team to coordinate, manage and monitor the construction and commissioning processes to ensure delivery of the project in time for the first Yahsat satellite, (Yahsat 1A) in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"Abu Dhabi has one of the largest construction programmes in the Middle East which, after only five months in operation, Clarkebond is now part of. We have the expertise, experience and resources to help realise medium to large-scale projects fulfilling our ambitions for growth in the most exciting dynamic construction market in the world."

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