Baker Hughes has emerged as preferred supplier to deliver key equipment enabling Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc’s) liquefied natural gas expansion plans, the US-based oilfield services contractor said on Wednesday.

Adnoc subsidiary Adnoc Gas awarded Baker Hughes a contract for the provision of two electric liquefaction systems to be deployed at the Ruwais LNG project in the United Arab Emirates, the parties announced at the ADIPEC trade show in Abu Dhabi.

The Ruwais gas export terminal project, at Al Ruwais in Abu Dhabi, has a nameplate capacity of 9.6 million tonnes per annum LNG, and is top of the list of Adnoc’s LNG expansion plans.

The development confirms previous reports from Upstream, which last June stated that two international contractors were preparing technical offers to submit to Adnoc for its project.

Baker Hughes’ electric trains will make Ruwais “one of the first all electric LNG projects in the Middle East”, the company said.

Adnoc has stated previously that it aims to “more than double” its LNG production capacity to meet rising global demand for natural gas. It already produces about 6 million tpa of LNG from its facilities on Das Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

The two-train Ruwais facility will be geared for exports towards several major markets, including Europe — where expectations are for bullish demand for LNG to persist in the medium term as the European Union diversifies away from Russian gas.

Analysts at Kpler Insight told Upstream recently they expect European LNG imports to increase further in 2023 against the record of last year.

Abu Dhabi’s LNG plans are a part of its drive to become a key gas exporter in the long term and to reduce the UAE’s dependence on imported Qatari gas.

Last month, the company signed an LNG supply agreement with PetroChina International. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.