Precast Concrete

Samsung Naffora Techno Valley, Jubail ... precast elements supplied.

Samsung Naffora Techno Valley, Jubail ... precast elements supplied.

QDC expands to meet demand

Saud Al Ansari, chief executive officer of Alansari Holding Company, the parent company of precast concrete specialist Qanbar Dywidag Precast Concrete Company (QDC), provides an update on the company’s latest projects, new markets and future plans.

October 2011

AS ONE of the leading precast concrete manufacturers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, Qanbar Dywidag Precast Concrete Company (QDC) has since 1981 notched up many important landmarks.

This year has been no different. The company – wholly-owned by the diversified 65-year-old Saudi business conglomerate Alansari Holding, and supported by a technical partnership agreement with Dywidag, one of Germany’s largest general contractors and precast concrete manufacturers – has expanded its manufacturing plants in Jubail and Rabigh, handed over several key projects in the kingdom, commissioned a new production facility in Qatar and taken further steps to enhance its commitment to quality.

For three decades, QDC has specialised in the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of precast and pre-stressed concrete components, from cladding panels, wall frame systems, column and beam systems and hollowcore slabs to double-tee slabs, boundary walls and paving tiles.

To meet soaring demand for high-quality precast concrete in Saudi Arabia, which is currently being driven by a proliferation of major new social and economic infrastructure projects, Al Ansari says QDC recently increased total precast production capacity at its three manufacturing sites in the kingdom from 500 cu m per day to 850 cu m per day, investing in new equipment while improving the productivity of existing machinery.

Explaining the growing influence of precast systems in Saudi Arabia, Al Ansari says: “The kingdom needs fast, high quality construction tools to continue its leading role in the Gulf region and this will definitely be achieved by using precast concrete systems.”

Currently, housing projects account for some 70 per cent of the value of QDC’s precast concrete sales in Saudi Arabia, says Al Ansari, and the company says its economical wall frame systems have been supplied to thousands of villas and apartment projects all over the country this year alone.

“This year we signed contracts for some big housing projects, for example, Phase Two of the Maaden Housing Project,” he explains. This important deal follows completion of the first phase, for which QDC supplied a full-wall frame system for approximately 30,000 sq m of built-up area at the site, a remote mining area in the kingdom’s far north.

Other important housing projects near completion by QDC in 2011 to date include full-wall frame systems and coloured concrete for 538 villas and 10 apartment buildings for the Royal Commission in Jubail; full-wall frame system for 28 three-storey apartment buildings, also for the Royal Commission and Sabic (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) in Jubail; and full-wall frame systems for 384 two-storey villas for Sabic in Yanbu.

Al Ansari.

QDC has also been active in several large non-housing projects this year. It handed over the so-called 5A cooling tower package to Saudi Aramco for its export refinery in Jubail, and also supplied precast elements for the so-called Mechanised Brigade Project in the Al Hasa region, a training facility for the Saudi National Guard involving a built-up area of about 100,000 sq m.

Other projects of note this year include: miscellaneous precast cladding elements for the off-plant facilities for state oil company Saudi Aramco’s Manifa offshore oil field; the supply and installation of around 100,000 sq m of cladding for King Faisal University at Al Hasa and Dammam; the supply of precast elements for Saudi Aramco’s onshore Khursaniyah Gas Plant, using a full-frame system designed to resist blast loads; miscellaneous precast elements for the Samsung Naffora Techno Valley Project in Jubail; precast cladding for the full elevation of the Land Forces headquarters building in Riyadh for the Saudi army; and miscellaneous precast concrete cladding elements with sophisticated design and colour concrete at Taibah University in Madinah.

Having gained strong market acceptance in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its innovative approach to precast systems, Al Ansari Holding Company earlier this year commissioned a new precast concrete plant in Messaieed, Qatar, to serve major industrial, government and private sector projects in the country, currently undergoing rapid infrastructure development.

Representing a timely strategic expansion for Alansari Holding, the Qatar International Precast Company (QIP) plant is the first in Qatar to produce full-frame precast structures such as beams, columns, pre-stressed hollowcore slabs, pre-stressed double-tee slabs, all types of wall system (external solid and insulated cladding, load-bearing/non-load-bearing external insulated walls and internal load-bearing/non-load-bearing solid walls), as well as full frame precast structures and elements required for infrastructure such as manholes, ducts, tunnel lining segments and pipeline racks.

Sabic apartments at Jubail ... a QDC project.

“The factory is currently operational and we already have two small projects ongoing there (in Qatar),” says Al Ansari, of the equal joint venture between Alansari Holding Company and Qatar International Trading Company.

Al Ansari says his company’s confident expansion plans reflect a bright regional demand outlook for precast concrete, particularly from the housing and oil and gas sectors.

“We are targeting big projects that help develop the kingdom – in particular housing and oil projects,” he says. “We want to share in the upcoming construction leap in the kingdom and Gulf region, and with this in mind we are expanding every year. For example, we expect to increase our production to 650,000 cu m by 2014,” he adds.

QDC is also consistently striving to improve its production techniques and the quality of its output, says Al Ansari. The company obtained ISO 9000:2008 certification earlier this year, and says its products now comply with the most exacting international quality standards, including American PCI/ACI and BS. Guaranteed product quality is further complemented by QDC’s insistence that projects are executed in full accordance with international best practice.

“We always seek to develop and improve our products to reach maximum client satisfaction,” says Al Ansari, citing the company’s proactive approach to in-house research and development (R&D), which ensures that products are closely tailored to market requirements.

“In fact to ensure client satisfaction at all times, we focus on all stages of the process, from quotation to construction stages,” Al Ansari insists.

QDC continues to serve major projects of national importance in Saudi Arabia, counting many of the kingdom’s leading organisations, as well as government ministries and private sector projects (hospitals, schools, factories/warehouses, apartment buildings, car-parks, villas, shopping centres and mosques) as valued clients.

Al Ansari says despite some ongoing challenges facing the precast industry such as price volatility of construction materials, the company now aims to build on its solid foundations and rich legacy.

“We have shared the construction rise in the kingdom since 1981, and we intend to continue playing a major role in the current and future construction booms in the country as a leading player in the precast concrete industry,” Al Ansari concludes.

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