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Robi and Montabert discuss demolition attachments

Experts explain why the GCC needs smarter demolition attachments

ANALYSIS, PMV, Demolition, Gcc

The Middle East is one of the most rapidly developing regions on the planet. Between 1990 and 2010, the local population grew by a massive 52%, according to a 2013 report from IACEW Economic Insight.

This rate of expansion has required the region’s construction industry to build big and to build fast. The result has been a line of unprecedented megaprojects across the GCC, with further record-breaking developments still in the pipeline.

When taken in combination with the raft of infrastructure initiatives that will cater for upcoming events such as the UAE’s Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, it’s safe to say that market growth is unlikely to slow any time soon.

Of course, in order to make way for the new, it is often necessary to dispose of the old. As such, demolition equipment has a vital role to play in the continued development of the Middle East.

Even so, demolition is not simply a matter of knocking down structures and sweeping up the debris. Jobs such as these must be conducted in a way that is both safe and environmentally friendly.

In the following special feature, PMV speaks to two industry experts about the kit that is allowing the region’s construction sector to continue building upwards and outwards.

Greener, safer, and quieter than ever

Salamah Group’s Sherif Selim tells PMV why today’s demolition practitioners require smarter equipment

Finnish firm Ramtec began life as a supplier to machinery manufacturers. After spotting a gap in the market, the company began to produce its own hydraulic demolition attachments under the brand name Robi.

As authorised Ramtec dealer in the Middle East, Salamah Group supplies Robi attachments to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Yemen. Whilst KSA currently represents the firm’s biggest market, demand for Robi products is also increasing in the UAE and Kuwaiti demolition sectors.

“Demolition equipment in the Middle East is very fragmented,” Sherif Selim, managing director of Salamah Group, told PMV. “Nobody is the clear market leader. Different companies tend to offer different attachments. Robi is one of the first outfits to offer a complete range of products to the sector.”

Robi construction equipment attachments can be used for a broad array of demolition and recycling applications. This distinction, however, is not as clear-cut as it might seem. Demolition and recycling often go hand in hand, especially when it comes to conforming to regional regulations, such as those set out by Abu Dhabi’s Estidama rating system.

Another important consideration for designers of demolition attachments is that of onsite safety. If they are not performed in the correct manner, and with appropriate equipment, demolition tasks pose the threat of serious injury to construction professionals.

“It is crucial for users to pay attention to health and safety issues when selecting an attachment,” explained Selim. “Demolition can be very dangerous indeed if attachments are not sufficiently powerful, or if they are not suitable for a particular application.

“Historically, the preferred method of demolition – in many instances – has been to use controlled explosions,” he continued.

“Nowadays, however, quieter alternatives are required; especially when working in residential neighbourhoods.”

Selim is confident that Robi attachments are well suited to the requirements of today’s demolition practitioners. His immediate priority, therefore, is to increase market awareness for his partnered brand across the region.

“Robi and Salamah Group are working to reach more end users operating in the local markets,” he concluded. “I think that rental companies represent a very interesting group, as they allow potential customers to try before they buy. Encouragingly, the demand for demolition equipment in the Middle East is increasing, and Robi will participate in that growth.”

Breaking new ground in the Middle East

Montabert’s Karl Fakhoury says that the anticipated infrastructure boom in the Middle East is likely to involve a diverse range of new projects that require an equally broad array of demolition attachments

Montabert offers a range of hydraulic rock breakers, crusher buckets, and drilling attachments for surface or mining and quarrying activities. The manufacturer’s products are being used across the region for a diverse range of applications, as Karl Fakhoury, Montabert’s district manager for the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and India, explained.

“At present, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman are the countries in which we are experiencing greatest demand,” he told PMV. “Demolition professionals in these areas require our breakers to operate in medium-to-hard soil conditions, and sometimes underwater. The applications for which Montabert products are being used include railway and metro developments, port projects, trenching and pipeline installations, and even the demolition of mountains to accommodate new roads.”

Fakhoury believes that emerging trends within the Middle East’s construction market spell good news for Montabert’s regional business over the coming years.

“We anticipate sustainable growth in this region, and we expect continued gains in terms of Montabert’s market share, both in the Middle East and beyond,” he said. “Personally, in light of upcoming projects in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, I predict that 2014 will bring with it a surge for the region’s construction industry.

“Montabert will be ready to capitalise on this return,” Fakhoury continued. “In the longer term, I expect to see an infrastructure boom in the Middle East. Again, customers will need breakers and supplementary attachments to get their jobs done.”

In the meantime, Fakhoury and his colleagues are working to strengthen their operations across the region. With appropriate foundations in place, the Montabert team is confident that it can meet new demand for demolition equipment as and when it arises.

“One of our top priorities is to help grow the sales and aftermarket capabilities of our appointed distributors in the region,” he concluded.

“Together with our respective regional partners, we outline customised sets of actions and constructive initiatives to ensure that we remain focused on customers’ and end users’ needs. This means that Montabert always has a suite of products available with applications to suit the day-to-day operations of the Middle East’s demolition community.”

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