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Powerscreen hunts for Saudi partners at INTERMAT

Powerscreen receives promising KSA leads at INTERMAT Middle East 2014

Conor Hegarty talks to PMV Middle East about Powerscreen's hunt for regional partners.
Conor Hegarty talks to PMV Middle East about Powerscreen's hunt for regional partners.

Powerscreen is on the hunt for regional partners at the third instalment of INTERMAT Middle East.

The UK-based manufacturer of crushers, washers and screens is looking to fill the remaining gaps in its MENA distribution network – especially in Saudi Arabia.

Powerscreen is exhibiting at INTERMAT Middle East for the first time this year, and the firm has a clear vision of what it wants to get out of the show.

“We made the decision to exhibit because of our ongoing focus on the Middle East and North African regions,” said Powerscreen’s regional sales manager Conor Hegarty. “We see this as a huge area for growth.

"Powerscreen has already established presences in some parts of the Middle East. For example, we have successful distribution channels in Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. Looking at North Africa, we have a strong presence in Algeria. In order to achieve our growth goals, we’re now focusing on regions such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, and some of the peripheral countries like Kuwait and Bahrain.”

Speaking on day two of the three-day show, Hegarty was pleased with the quality and quantity of contacts that he was making.

“Yesterday was somewhat quiet, probably because of the recent public holiday in the region,” he said. “However, I’ve been impressed by today, both in terms of the quality and the numbers of people who have visited our stand. We’ve had some interesting conversations already, and we’re only a few hours into the show. Things are looking good.”

In fact, Hegarty revealed that he and his colleagues on the Powerscreen stand have already picked up some promising leads in terms of their key target market.

“2013 was a good year for Powerscreen in the Middle East, but the region remains somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of where we’re represented,” he explained. “Like I said, we have enjoyed success in Oman, Qatar and the UAE, but we still want to tap what we see as the biggest market for growth – Saudi Arabia. This is where Powerscreen is looking to secure strong partners, and we’ve already made good progress in this respect today.”

Hegarty seemed more than confident that Powerscreen would secure a deal with the right partner within a relatively short timeframe.

“It will certainly happen before the end of the year,” he said. “Every time you look at the trade press in this region, you read about the various projects that have been announced in KSA. The scale of government spending that is going to take place is huge. Coupled to this, in terms of quarrying and mining equipment, the mobile track concept has yet to take hold in Saudi. When it does, the opportunities for companies like Powerscreen are going to be massive.”

In 2006, Powerscreen became the first manufacturer to offer mobile quarrying equipment in the UAE through its dealer GENAVCO. At present, KSA still favours the conventional static machines, and Hegarty sees this as the ideal juncture to enter the untapped market.

“Whilst it will probably involve a greater initial outlay, mobile equipment makes your overall operation more efficient and much more profitable during the course of a machine’s lifespan,” he said. “With Powerscreen products, you don’t have to move the material to the machine; the machine can be moved to the material. As your quarry face moves further and further back, the machine moves with it. This means that you can eliminate the cost of articulated haulage trucks.”

Hegarty also points out that mobile quarrying equipment makes sense from the perspective of contractors, who often have to move machinery from one site to another. He argues that once the Saudi Arabian market has trialled mobile equipment, it is unlikely to return to the static model.

“The mobile track concept has only really been around for the last 15 to 20 years, but in our experience, once it takes hold in a country, it just grows and grows,” Hegarty concluded. “This is what we’re hoping will happen in Saudi Arabia.”

For full coverage of INTERMAT Middle East 2014, check out the February issue of PMV Middle East.

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