Adpico plays the piping tune in Qatar

Feisal Hammude, director of international sales and marketing at Adpico (Abu Dhabi Pipes and Profiles Company), talks to CW about steel prices, the burgeoning Qatar market, and how the firm is ‘giving it everything’ to build working relationships with contractors and suppliers in order to maximise its success in the country.

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By  Zoe Naylor Published  April 29, 2006

|~|119QatarInt200.gif|~|According to Hammude, the Qatari market is a massive growth area for Adpico and the company has been “aggressively investing” in building contractor and supplier contacts in the country.|~|Which markets does Adpico supply to?

Adpico, a part of the Safa Group, is amongst the region’s largest producers of steel tubes and profiles for the construction sector.

With an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes we are now billed as the largest manufacturer of scaffold piping in the region due to our capacity to produce on eight mill lines, and we have two more in the process of being commissioned.

Our products are used throughout the Middle East and GCC regions. And with growing demand for construction material supplies worldwide, Adpico has started its expansion plans into the US, Canada and European marketplaces as well.

Why is Adpico participating in Project Qatar?

We are participating in the exhibition because Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. By 2012 it will be the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier in the world, too. And the government is committed to spending $110 billion over the next five years on infrastructure and large-scale industrial projects.

Petrochemical plants, roads, water sewage, airport expansions and real estate projects such as the Pearl [Qatar] and Lusail urban development project are all part of the plan.

As we are considered the largest pipe production company of our kind for both the construction and oil and gas sectors, it is only fitting that we develop a presence in the market.

Does Qatar represent a growing market for the company?

Absolutely. We have been aggressively investing into the Qatar market by developing and forging relationships with key government, consulting and contracting companies.
We are always aware of the ongoing changes in the region and have a marketing department solely focused on building our presence in such dynamic growth minded regions.

Do you have a manufacturing base in Qatar?

No, we don’t have a manufacturing facility but we are represented by Al Ahmadi steel trading, one of the largest and most respected steel traders and distributors in Qatar.

What major Qatari construction projects has Adpico recently supplied products to?

As we are the largest manufacturer of scaffolding pipe and general pipe for construction, we have distributors who sell our products to contracting companies on our behalf.

But it would be no surprise if our products were found on such projects as the Qatar Financial Center and the Olympic Village, which are currently been built, along with the many other prestigious projects we do here [in the UAE] such as the Burj Dubai.

Has Adpico been hit by rising steel prices?

Yes, we have been hit by increased steel prices but the effect has not been as much as the smaller mills. Our ability to procure enormous quantities, along with our group’s buying power directly from the source gives us added advantage.
This keeps us a step ahead by allowing us to maintain large stocks while keeping our mills running and our clients happy by passing savings on to them.

Which countries do you source steel from?

Currently, we are being supplied with steel from South Africa, Japan, Russia, Iran and Germany.

Do you foresee steel prices stabilising in the near future?

I am sure they will stabilise. Like any commodity of its kind there are fluctuations according to supply and demand. This happens to all commodities, whatever they may be.

The difficulty that consumers face is when to buy, should they buy and if so, how much. There’s a lot of speculation in the industry, but regardless people need to have steel because everything to do with construction — from real estate to industrial and commercial projects — uses it.

Currently there are a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the industry, and those that succeed are those who get their timing right and do something different in order to be profitable.

Does Adpico have any new product launches planned?

Adpico’s new product launches include galvanising capability within the next four months, as well as the ability to provide API pipe up to 24 inches for the oil and gas and construction sectors. We are constantly looking and listening to our stakeholders to fill a gap that is required in any construction sector.

Adpico’s manufacturing processes adhere to stringent standards, and as long as there is an appetite for large-scale projects within the region, there will be a demand for our pipes for scaffolding projects.

Does Qatar’s construction market differ from that of the UAE in terms of the type of projects underway?

For the time being, the UAE’s projects are outpacing those of Qatar, especially in the residential sector. Qatar, however, is pouring billions [of dollars] into its real estate sector and will overtake Iran and Russia, to become the world’s largest
gas producer.

While Qatar’s economy grew by 20% in 2005, it is still heavily reliant on the hydrocarbon industry, even though its government is determined to carry out wide ranging diver-sification.

But Qatar’s private sector, like Dubai, is investing billions of its own money into new residential and commercial projects, as well as additional hotel space to accommodate the unprecedented influx of companies, professionals and visitors.

Do you see Qatar’s construction market overtaking that of Dubai in the near future?

I don’t think Qatar will overtake Dubai’s construction sector,
but it will defintely steal some of its limelight with the projects that are planned or already on the table.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Dubai has been launching projects for a lot longer than Qatar, and it therefore has a lot more projects completed or under construction at the present time.||**||

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