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Top of the formworkers

CW speaks to some of the region's leading formwork companies

The $750m King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
The $750m King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
RMD kit on site at the 65,000 seat Basra Sports City Stadium.
RMD kit on site at the 65,000 seat Basra Sports City Stadium.
ANALYSIS, Business, Acrow Co Formwork Technology, Doka Group Middle East, HARSCO, Jalmat, RMD Kwikform
ANALYSIS, Business, Acrow Co Formwork Technology, Doka Group Middle East, HARSCO, Jalmat, RMD Kwikform
ANALYSIS, Business, Acrow Co Formwork Technology, Doka Group Middle East, HARSCO, Jalmat, RMD Kwikform
Sabah Al Salem University.
Sabah Al Salem University.
Jubail Fish Market.
Jubail Fish Market.
Stadium at King Abdullah Sports City.
Stadium at King Abdullah Sports City.
Msheireb Downtown Doha.
Msheireb Downtown Doha.
Jamal Abdul Nasser Street.
Jamal Abdul Nasser Street.
Muscat International Airport.
Muscat International Airport.

CW speaks to some of the region’s leading formwork companies to talk about their current projects and where they believe they have the edge over their competitors in 2013.


“We believe we are seeing the lull before the storm with regard to the volume of work that will become available,” said Chris Valvona, formwork sales manager for Harsco, speaking to our sister magazine CW Qatar.

He was referring specifically to Qatar but the company has impressive project involvement across the region especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Vince Porter, Country Manager, Harsco Baroom, in Saudi Arabia sad:“The construction sector is the fastest growing in the region’s largest economy.

We are benefitting directly from the rebound as projects previously on hold are being reactivated. Greater accessibility to private sector funding for hospitals and schools has enabled the market to pick up pace.”

In Saudi Harsco has been involved in one of the most prestigious projects awards in 2012: the $750 million, King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, a 100,000-spectator stadium which includes an area of some 48,000m2.

Harsco has been engaged to deliver half of the building in packages S1 to S4 with its portion of the project split over six floors with 12,000m2 on each level as part of a project that is being constructed a tight schedule.

The majority of the work will be using cuplok & dual beam to support the slab, but before a raft slab is made 160 drawings have supplied to support this project.

In Egypt, Harsco Infrastructure is also looking forward to a busy year. Ken Norris, country manager, Harsco Infrastructure, Egypt, said: “General construction is being fuelled by international funding whereas power and utilities building remains a priority for the government.

Harsco’s maintenance activity for the Egyptian oil & gas offshore rig market continues to be bouyant. Something that has been observed in the Egyptian construction market is a shift away from traditional timber formwork.

More complex building designs are driving the market towards wider acceptance of systemised shuttering.

Harsco has provided formwork and access scaffolding for Festival City Cairo and the overall project is nearing completion although Harsco is still engaged on a district cooling plant. Harsco Egypt is also delivering formwork for New Giza Power Station and Bahna Power Station.“

Harsco says the Egyptian construction market is shifting away from traditional timber formwork. More complex building designs are driving the market towards wider acceptance of systemised shuttering.

For the next 12 months the company is building Harsco Techno Park its new premises that will be a regional logistics hub at Jebel Ali in UAE. Contractors System Construct began work in 2012 on the purpose-built 63,000m2 yard and Harsco takes possession in Q2.

A company spokesman said: “The new premises will consist of: offices, warehouse, covered store, paint booth, blasting facility, scaffold yard and the remainder is roadways (truck/forklift traffic, pedestrian walkways and training areas).

The work is being managed by Hepher Project Management and the Consultants responsible are Al Wasl Al Jadeed.”

For the future Valvona, like all of the key players in the formwork sector
sees copying as one of the biggest threats to the business.
“Formwork should be viewed as a capital investment and you should expect it to last in excess of 10 years.”

Harsco is also reminding contractors about its Lightshore sytem, designed specifically for the MENA region. It is lightweight aluminium decking that can take a load of 11 tonnes a leg, which has made it a great success in the infrastructure market. It promises just 40% of the materials compared with traditional systems and bring savings in labour and build costs.

RMD Kwikform
In January RMD Kwikform opened its first representative office in Erbil inj the north of Iraq. The new office will act as a base for its operations in the country supporting both new and existing customers.

RMD Kwikform has been involved in construction projects throughout Iraq and the Middle East for 35 years and had an operational presence in that market for a number of years.

In 2010 the team provided a range of formwork and shoring solutions for the 65,000 seat Basra Sports City Stadium and currently RMD Kwikform systems and solutions are helping with the safe and timely delivery of two further sports stadiums and a number of major hotel and infrastructure developments.

Alexis Potter, General Manager – DBME, at RMD Kwikform Middle East said: “The operational re-entry into Iraq stems from a response to requests from our existing clients in the country and in recognition that the formwork and shoring market in the country continues to develop.

“In today’s environment we cannot expect clients to be fully satisfied with support from specialists based in neighbouring countries and instead need to move our services into the countries where we can better support our clients to deliver projects.”

RMD has offices in 17 locations across the MENA region saying “a local presence ensures we are on hand to support clients wherever and whenever needed”.

Potter said: “RMD Kwikform has developed a diverse product range, enabling us to provide safe, cost effective and practical solutions for virtually any application in virtually any sector.

“Our experienced engineering design staff will translate project requirements into unique designs quickly and easily, tailored to the exact needs of the project. Integrating 3D CAD design, coupled with in house design programmes specifically for RMD Kwikform products.

“RMD Kwikform works closely with clients to provide solutions that overcome the challenges and barriers our customers face in successful execution and timely delivery of projects. We possess a ‘flexible can-do attitude’ which stems from not only listening to, but moreover understanding our customer needs.”

Acrow Co Formwork Technology
The company has said that it is aiming to be a key player in the formwork industry in Qatar during the build up to the World Cup 2022.

Ahmed Elhadidy, is the Gulf Regional Manager for Acrow Co Formwork Technology. In an interview for our sister magazine Construction Week Qatar said: “Acrow’s vision is to provide the best engineered cost effective solutions for the special and mega projects is by developing new products and services throughout our R&D department like Acrow’s Ring lock system for shoring, Acrow’s Auto-Climbing system ,and the Tech-Form Panel system to suit the booming Qatari Market.

“Acrow’s vision is to provide the best engineered cost effective solutions for the special and mega projects is by developing new products and services throughout our R&D department like our ring lock system for shoring, Acrow’s auto-climbing system, and the tech-form panel system.”

Acrow Qatar was established in 2005 but Acrow England is one of the oldest formwork companies in the world which started in Egypt in 1979, the country became the base for its MENA operations.

Ongoing major projects include Lusail CP5B with Samsung C&T, the Lusail Expressway P003 with Hyundai E&C, the Doha Expressway -Al Muntazah Extension P13 with Al Jaber & Partners and the Doha Expressway CP6 with Sinohydro.

Elhadidy said: “The Main challenge of doing business in Qatar is dealing with all different types of projects and contractors ranging from top global contractors to local contractors and the methodology to obtain the best performance and a safe working environment with the presence of a very high competition in the Qatar market.”

Acrow’s products range from heavy and light shoring systems to formwork systems for bridges, walls, columns and all types of structures.

Jalmat Qatar branch manager Halim Haddadi was also interviewed in February about the French formwork supplier’s also talkied with our sister magazine CWQ about the company’s moves into Qatar.

He said: “Jalmat is supplying new products and new services bringing a new concept into this field, with more services.

Our products are developed to save labour time by using readymade wall formwork (known as Jalform) and readymade working platforms (known as Jalsec). This makes a huge difference.

Our competitors are working on ‘puzzle formwork’, but we are specialised in readymade systems capable to be deployed as soon as they are delivered to site.

“Our services are also wider because we offer erection and dismantling of horizontal formwork, with our own manpower, which is trained and skilled with our systems.

Our execution speed and the cost, by the way, is much more interesting to our customers. So customers are very interested about these advantages, and that is why we are becoming, in a few years, a leading supplier of formwork in Qatar, as we are in France.”

Jalmat is looking at worldwide expansion and more market shares in the construction market globally. As of now, the Middle East and Qatar are the place where construction is growing faster, with a good vision. It is clear he has a firm eye on the opportunities brought by the World Cup.

Doka Group Middle East

The next 12 months will see an increase in activity for Doka according to Peter Vogel, Director Doka Group Middle East.

He told CW that “the market had to bounce back – slowly but surely – and undoubtedly the needs for increased construction are there”.

With huge stock availability across all Middle East branches, Doka has positioned itself to serve from A-Z all aspects of formwork supply to our customers.

Vogel said: “We are addressing all types of construction projects, and we can do that because we are a full solution and system provider. As a market leader for formwork we have to ensure we address customer needs in all sectors of construction – be it high-rise, housing, energy, infrastructure, or civil works.”

He adds that Doka promises clients “full satisfaction of the project consortium, we are engineering the best solution based on the parameters of the project (speed, cost-effectiveness, safety)”.

On safety, he said the company works to an enforced Quality Criteria, safety standards of its products are the same across all markets, meeting the high requirements of Europe and the Americas.

He said: “To further propagate the safety message in the Middle East, Doka formwork instructors and project coordinators are on site to ensure proper workflow and usage of the Doka formwork material by our customer’s site crew.

“We’re reaching out to our customers with the fastest and safest innovations such as the Panel-floor formwork system Dokadek 30 which is erected from below with just two people and covers more slab area with its larger 3m2 panels.

“We are also addressing the need for affordable housing construction across the entire region. Seen for the first time in the Middle East at the Big 5 exhibition 2012, the Dokaflex 15 is the only professional hand-set system formwork which can be used to form in villa projects.

The fantastic advantage for the contractor is that the system can be used by any semi-skilled laborer and offers at least 50% faster forming times than traditional formwork.

Dokaflex 15 operates on its own special grid which can easily be planned by the contractor himself and therefore requires no engineering – just purchase of the system and usage on multiple projects.

Abdulla Al Mubarak Area, Kuwait
Systems in use: Large-area Top 50, Dokaflex tables and Load-bearing Staxo40
Challenge: One side of the building wall features a prism shaped finish, which necessitates the casting of the inclined columns varying form 62 to 70 degrees. As a key part of the design, Doka successfully met the requirements with the flexible Large area Top 50 formwork plus cantilever brackets to help climb the formwork.

Sharjah, UAE
Contractor: Sun Engineering
Systems in use: Dokaflex 20/Tables, Load-bearing systems Staxo 40 and 100, Framed formwork Frami Xlife, Large-area Top. Doka Ready-to-Use preassembly.
Challenge: Supply of fast-shifting Dokaflex slab formwork; Advantage of a fast, easy system for double-height slabs using Staxo 40, and Tailor-made Domes and barrel vault formwork fabricated by Doka RTU.

Jeddah, KSA
Contractor: MSX, JV Besix/Al Muhaidib Construction.
Systems in use: Large-area Top50, Load-bearing systems Staxo 40 and Staxo 100, Stair tower, Framed- formwork Frami Xlife
Services: Doka’s Ready-to-use service was a key factor, engineering huge savings on the time and labour that would otherwise have been needed for the assembly of timber-beam formwork and eliminating onsite storage of materials in colossal quantities.

Doha, Qatar
Systems in use: Large-area Top50, Framax Xlife, Frami Xlife, Dokaflex, Dokaflex table, Load-bearing system Staxo 40, Load bearing system Staxo100, Dam formwork D22, Supporting construction frame, Shaft platform and Stair tower d2
Challenge: The requirements of three different packages, meeting the materials delivery deadline of the contractors. Mandatory high safety standards were met by Doka with integrated safety on all products plus provision of additional safety equipment accessories.

Sabah Area, Kuwait City
Systems in use: Large-area Top 50, Load-bearing Staxo100 and Dokaflex
Challenge: Doka Kuwait has tackled with highly skilled engineering, one of the most challenging projects in Kuwait’s history. One of the key points for the contract award was Doka’s full concept with detailed method statements to set up the formwork and to dismantle it, plus its dedicated onsite support.

Seeb, Muscat, Oman
Contractor: Bechtel & Co. LLC and Enka & Co.LLC Joint venture
Systems in use: Bridge Decking: Doka load-bearing tower d2, Large-area formwork Top 50
Challenges: A supporting system set that can be reused for various bridges with different sections, elevations and weight. The two biggest bridges the top construction areas were hollow-section decks, so due to lack of stripping out physical space in these zones, Doka had to design a special .


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