Concrete Technology

AKBMC ... concrete position.

AKBMC ... concrete position.

Al Kifah enters new phase of growth

After consolidating itself as the leader in concrete supply in Saudi Arabia, AKBMC is now aiming at global expansion and aspires to be the number one producer in the Arab world.

September 2011

FOLLOWING the successful conclusion of its five-year plan launched in 2006, Al Kifah Building Materials Company (AKBMC) is embarking on the next phase of its growth strategy, which aims to position the leading concrete specialist firmly on the path towards global expansion.

AKBMC has come a long way to establish itself as the leading concrete producer in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its wide experience and the support of its loyal partners. One such partner is Saudi Aramco, with whom the firm has shared a strong relationship since it was founded by Sheikh Hassan Al Afaleq more than 33 years ago, according to Rami Adra, marketing manager of AKBMC.

“Al Afaleq had received strong support from Saudi Aramco in the early years,” says Adra. “He was granted a study scholarship to Beirut. On his return, he established a bricks factory in 1979, which was opened under the patronage of Saudi Aramco in Al Ahsa.”

AKBMC has succeeded in consolidating its position as the leading supplier of concrete, upon which Saudi Aramco’s most important projects depend. Among its biggest challenges was in constructing a concrete plant at Shaybah field in Rub’ Al Khali for Saudi Aramco. The firm, however, was able to win the confidence of all contractors involved in the project as well as of Saudi Aramco officials despite problems posed by the remoteness of the project’s location, Adra says.

The Manifa oilfield development ... one of Kifah’s many projects.

The company has also worked on developing Saudi Aramco’s Manifa oilfield, supplying more than 189,000 cu m of concrete in a challenging environment that required total control of logistical operations.

“We also helped build bridges to offshore fields, which included reclamation and other works using the latest technologies to meet the project’s requirements. We are still supplying to the project, which is being executed by MMG Contracting Company, Sinopec and STFA Marine Construction Company,” Adra says.

AKBMC continues to be involved on a number of other Saudi Aramco projects, the most important being Jubail Refinery, which requires more than 53,000 cu m of concrete. “We are working alongside a number of contractors on this project, including Katana Contracting, Astaldi Company and Kil Jin Kang Construction Contracting.”

Other projects include the Karan gas station project, which requires more than 245,000 cu m of concrete and is being executed by Al Khudairi Company, MMG, Consolidated Contractors Company and Hyundai.

AKBMC is also part of Saudi Aramco’s many projects in Dammam. These include the oil conglomerate’s headquarters being undertaken by Al Yamama Contracting, to which it is supplying more than 5,000 cu m of concrete; a power station by Raissy HGPT Company, which requires more than 7,000 cu m of concrete; and the GOSP One and Two projects by Nasmah and Partners for Contracting.

Commenting on the secret behind the continued strength of the partnership between Saudi Aramco and Al Kifah, Adra says: “Saudi Aramco is keen to achieve the highest standards of quality and accurate specifications in all its operations – and in this Al Kifah Building Materials has been a good partner.”

He also attributes AKBMC’s success to its reputation in the construction market. The firm’s concrete division has witnessed remarkable growth and development over the past five years, thanks to its long history in the industry. Development and expansion have become its top priorities in order to maintain its status in the market and AKBMC now aspires to be the number one company in the concrete sector in the Arab world within the next decade.

He says the past five years have seen a major transformation within AKBMC. In 2006, the firm had eight factories including four in Al Ahsa (Hofuf, Salwa, Batha and Altarf), and one each in Dammam, Jubail Industrial City, Kharasaniya and Hail. Today, it is present in 27 different regions and governorates around the kingdom.

“This expansion is the result of the five-year plan to be present in all parts of the country, which the company has implemented under the direct supervision from Sulaiman Al Afaleq, chairman of AKBMC’s board of directors,” Adra says. “Before chalking out the long-term expansion-centric strategy, a feasibility study was conducted on the Saudi market to ensure that the company’s strategy kept pace with the expansion witnessed by the country and the market demand. Today, AKBMC is undisputedly one of the top concrete companies in the kingdom – a fact confirmed by the size of projects executed by the company.”

He continues: “What ensures its leadership position in the market is the confidence of its clients built over more than 33 long years, its wide experience and its eagerness to attract top talent and specialists in this field, in addition to its credibility in its dealings, its work ethics, and application of high quality standards.”

Following the successful implementation of its five-year plan – which has seen the company grow in stature, number of clients and output capacity, AKBMC is on the threshold of embarking on its next five-year plan – one that focuses on maintaining its status, building stronger ties with its customers and developing mechanisms that ensure their satisfaction and increasing awareness about the company and its standards.

In addition, the company is planning to increase its focus on training and development of staff and keeping them abreast with the latest developments in their field. A training centre has, therefore, been established at the company’s headquarters in Al Ahsa.

Furthermore, its growth strategy focuses on refurbishment and renewal of fixed and mobile equipment, integration of new technology into production lines, control of product quality and the speed of service delivery to the customer.

At the administrative level, AKBMC is working to improve the performance of its factories and reorganising the company’s organisational structure, if required. “As our vision and mission is reviewed from time to time, the organisational structure must be amended as well in order to fit in with the new strategies and keep pace with our aspirations to ensure that we can achieve the goals set for the next period,” he adds.

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