ABU DHABI, UAE

The Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to build a strong, highly efficient smart energy and power system utilising diversified sources, particularly clean and renewable energy. The MoU is in line with the overall strategy of the energy sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE to drive sustainable development through energy transition and to achieve net zero by the year 2050.

Abu Dhabi Gas Safety Committee organized the third forum for owners and investors, held in Al Fares Al Shahem Hall in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi. The forum aimed to enhance cooperation and joint efforts between the Gas Safety Committee and the owners of properties, establishments, and buildings to improve the security and safety standards of liquefied petroleum gas systems to ensure the protection of lives and properties.

Dr. Saif Saeed Al Qubaisi, Chairman of the Gas Safety Committee and Acting Director-General for the Regulatory Affairs Sector at the Department of Energy emphasized that the committee has begun reviewing standards and safety of gas supplies, installations, and uses throughout the Emirate to prevent gas accidents. He added that expertise houses have been tasked to inspect gas systems in targeted buildings to ensure they meet safety standards, resulting in the issuance of numerous remarks in the corrective reports, which must be addressed.

Al Qubaisi pointed out that the Department of Energy has initiated contracts for gas system repairs in high-risk buildings, which require relocating the main filling line from inside the building to the outside. He highlighted that the goal of these measures is to maintain the safety of the community in the Emirate and prevent potential accidents.

Engineer Abdul Rahman Al-Alawi, Health, Safety & Environment Director at the Department of Energy and Gas Safety Committee member, delivered a presentation about the committee and its objectives. He mentioned that 2,887 buildings have been inspected so far, gas leaks were stopped in 85 buildings, 221 buildings were identified as high-risk, and 40 buildings are in the repair phase.

Al Alawi highlighted the most common violations detected during inspection campaigns, and stressed the importance of adhering to the issued circulars. This includes not filling the central gas system in any building without first obtaining a certificate of compliance with the building's preventive safety conditions and the prohibition of introducing gas cylinders into buildings equipped with a central gas system.

Engineer Rasheed Al Rashdi, Director of the Emergency and Business Continuity Department at Abu Dhabi City Municipality underscored the Department of Municipalities and Transport's commitment to enhancing community safety and protecting properties to serve the interests of all society segments. He also pointed out the importance of complying with building and public appearance laws, as well as the requirements of all regulatory authorities in the Emirate.

Al Rashdi highlighted that the main challenges and practices observed in buildings include non-compliance with the Emirate's regulations, failure to obtain occupancy certificates, installing unlicensed partitions and barriers, and failure to obtain Civil Defense compliance certificates and Department of Energy conformity certificates. Other issues include overcrowding and improper use of buildings, lack of security and safety measures, installing unauthorized extensions, and construction of informal housing.

At the end of the forum, Major Ali Mubarak Al Rashidi, Director of Qasr Al Bahr Center at Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority, discussed the authority's field survey initiative aimed at ensuring the application of preventive and safety measures in buildings and establishments, enhancing the protection of lives and properties in the Emirate. He also added that the initiative focuses on three main pillars: preventive safety, unannounced inspections, and safety from fire and gas accidents.

Major Ali Al Rashidi urged building and facility owners to comply with fire safety requirements, and ensure obtaining a compliance certificate for buildings and facilities as proof of adherence to the regulations stipulated by the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority.

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