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Big 5: USG Boral completes $60mn Oman gypsum plant

Salalah venture was undertaken with the Sultanate’s Zawawi Group and also includes a gypsum mine

Fares Saghbini, general manager of USG Middle East.
Fares Saghbini, general manager of USG Middle East.

USG Boral has completed a $60mn gypsum board plant in Oman.

The Salalah venture was undertaken with the Sultanate’s Zawawi Group and also includes a gypsum mine.

The move complements its two facilities in Saudi Arabia’s industrial city Dammam, which produce mineral fiber ceilings, steel framings for walls and suspended ceilings, and compound joints.

“This gives us access to more projects than we had before and this strengthens our ability to supply a system to the market, as aside from the gypsum board that we are now producing from Oman and from the USG Boral sites, we produce everything else,” said Fares Saghbini, general manager of USG Middle East.

In fact, it has been a big a year for USG Boral, which only formed in the early part of 2014 following a joint venture between America’s USG and Australia’s Boral, to serve the Middle East, South East Asia and Australasia regions.

“The biggest challenge was to just have this integration because you’re talking about two giants. In order to round the edges with the relationship, because although the strategies might be very similar when you go down to the details this is where things make a difference,” said Saghbini. “So this was the main challenge, we wanted to have a smooth transition.”

USG Boral was making its debut at this year’s Big 5 and Saghbini said the recent formation of the joint venture was the catalyst for the appearance.

“Our aim at the Big 5 was not to sell a product. We are known in what we do,” he said. “Our aim was to announce to our customers, to our partners and to our suppliers the fact that USG and Boral are one company. So it’s more to launch the image of the company: this is who we are, this what we do. We have a new face, more to offer.”

The company, Saghbini said, expects double-digit growth this year as it experienced last year in the markets it serves.

“Business has been great. The fact that the Gulf still grows with considerable rates,” he said. “Unfortunately we were hit with our business in the regions. We suffered with Iraq, we suffered with Libya. But in general, with all these hiccups, we still did well.” 

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