Wadi Degla Club’s new pitch in Cairo ... artificial turf installed.

Wadi Degla Club’s new pitch in Cairo ... artificial turf installed.

TenCate’s turf gives natural look

TenCate Grass has been promoting synthetic turf to address the growing demand in the sports sector and a host of new residential and commercial landscaping applications.

August 2011

TENCATE Grass, the global market leader in the field of synthetic turf systems, is promoting the benefits of its product portfolio, which includes innovative and durable fibres, robust backing and sustainable infill, while keenly eyeing the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region as a potential market.

“There is a need to increase awareness about the benefits of synthetic turf systems,” says Marco Reefman, project manager with TenCate Grass Middle East. “While there are a lot of companies who are into landscaping and promoting artificial turf, the market here is not yet completely familiar with real synthetic turf and its sustainable aspects. People here are more familiar with astroturf material that was invented in the 60s and looked more like plastic.”

TenCate Grass, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, has been at the forefront of research and development since the earliest years of synthetic turf. Its innovative product portfolio has been specially developed for landscaping applications and various sports applications, such as soccer, hockey, golf, rugby and tennis facilities.

The company is also the largest manufacturer of yarns required for synthetic turf systems, with production facilities in the Netherlands, the US and Dubai. Together with its downstream partners GreenFields, TigerTurf, Edel Grass and its loyal customers worldwide, TenCate is bringing high quality turf systems and products to the market.

“Our facility in Dubai is the biggest and most modern yarn manufacturing plant in the world. We have set up here in the emirate to be closer to the raw materials market as the main products required for producing the yarn are polypropylene and polyethylene – products that are derived from oil. Being closer to the source significantly lowers the cost of raw materials. Another advantage is lower labour cost,” he points out.

The company first set up a facility in Saudi Arabia in 2003 and subsequently moved to Dubai in 2005. “We have been supplying to our Middle East customers even before setting up our plant in the region,” says Reefman. “Most of the local production is for the export market as we have few customers in the Middle East, with our main market being in Europe and the US.”

Synthetic turf ... offers a green surface all year round.

According to Reefman, the global market for synthetic turf is growing with the greatest demand coming from soccer, American football and recreational applications, including landscaping. The recent advances in synthetic turf technology and design have given rise to a host of new residential and commercial landscape turf applications. Residential lawns, airport sideways, roadway medians, rooftop gardens and playground areas can now all enjoy the same comfort, natural look, and low maintenance as the average synthetic sports turf surface.

Unlike natural grass, synthetic turf requires less maintenance. There is no need for water, fertiliser, pesticides and fuel for lawn equipment and no emission of exhaust fumes from mowers. Another key advantage of the product is that it offers a green surface all year round. The product is also durable and can last at least 10 years with normal usage and its colour too does not fade.

“In regions such as the Middle East, synthetic turf also serves to conserve valuable water resources and money. But not many people in this region are aware of synthetic turf and the advantages it offers,” he says.

As with natural grass, the appearance of synthetic turf is most important and to achieve this, TenCate has developed several turf variations with more natural cross-sections and colour combinations.

The company offers yarns of various qualities and colours to meet different requirements. Reefman elaborates: “Sports fields have certain requirements while those of landscaping are different. For residential use, aesthetics is more important whereas for sports fields the technical properties are crucial.

“For example, Fifa’s focus is on durability, quality and technical characteristics, such as ball roll, ball rebound and shock absorption of soccer fields. Similar requirements are set by other sports associations.”

TenCate’s high quality turf systems ... winning loyal customers worldwide.

TenCate Grass has been leading the way in the synthetic turf market for many years now with new developments and innovations that aim to provide durability and quality.

“We have achieved this by developing products that have long-term improved sustainability and performance. Synthetic turf fibres and backings meet all the requirements, not only when they are first delivered but also offer the desired performance over the years.”

“Formulations are prepared in-house. That gives the fibres a high degree of wear resistance and makes them soft and resilient. Our focus is on developing a safe product to help prevent sports injuries,” he says.

Worldwide, sport is the biggest market for artificial turf, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the business, according to Reefman.

TenCate Grass is also working on the different components and the overall performance of the integrated turf system. It has recently launched the TenCate ‘performance warranty’, becoming the first in the international synthetic turf industry to offer a five-year warranty and insurance on the performance and durability of synthetic turf pitches that are solely made with its components, based on its innovative system approach.

Commenting on the company’s plans for the Mena region, he says: “Together with our customers and partners, like GreenFields, TigerTurf and Edel Grass, we are working on a programme that will help raise awareness on synthetic turf systems. We will be approaching decision makers and giving presentations on the applications and advantages of synthetic turf systems, so that next time when there is a project they can look at our integrated systems as the leading approach.”

Some of the projects within the region for which TenCate material has been used are the rugby field at Jebel Ali Club in Dubai; sports fields at Al Khobairat British School and Al Jasmina School, both in Abu Dhabi; Al Najma football club and Isa Town stadium (Fifa-recommended field), both in Bahrain; Baalback football stadium in Lebanon (located 1,200 m above sea level); and landscaping and recreational projects for numerous villas in the entire GCC region.

“Not every company can install sport fields as preparation of the sub-base and installation of the turf pitches for sport applications requires experience, technical skills and engineering knowledge concerning our system approach in sports. Hence our partners and customers offer the necessary support in this regard,” says Reefman. “Most landscaping and recreational installations are straightforward and relatively easy, but for bigger landscaping and recreational installations practical experience and profound technical knowledge are needed.”

In addition, he says, a number of factors need to be considered while installing a grass carpet as part of the integrated turf system, for example, lines in the sport field should be very straight, seams between the carpet roll must not be visible and sand and infill, which is generally used to fill sport fields, should be equally spread and levelled over the field.

TenCate Grass develops and produces synthetic turf components and systems for top-flight sports, recreation and landscaping projects. TenCate ( has establishments in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.

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