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The benefits of locally-sourced building materials

USG Boral Middle East explains how investment in local production facilities can benefit the region’s top-tier construction projects

Fares Saghbini (above) says that locally-produced building materials enable construction outfits to maintain continuity of supply.
Fares Saghbini (above) says that locally-produced building materials enable construction outfits to maintain continuity of supply.

Earlier this year, USG Zawawi Drywall SFZ became the first GCC production facility authorised to produce USG Sheetrock products.

The inauguration of the $37m (OMR14.25m) gypsum plant, which is located in Oman’s Salalah Free Zone (SFZ), took place in May, and marked the start of commercial production of a range of Sheetrock-branded wallboard products earmarked for export across the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent.

The facility, which boasts an annual wallboard production capacity of eight-million sqm, is now being used to make 334 UL-certified wall systems, identical to those manufactured by USG in territories such as North America. For more than 100 years, manufacturers have had their products evaluated and tested for safety risks by UL. USG’s Sheetrock production line in Oman has been fully certified to produce fire-rated products by the independent organisation. Moreover, the plant will continue to undergo quarterly inspections to ensure rigorous testing for quality, uniformity, and safety.

Securing this level of certification is no mean feat. So why has USG Boral opted to establish manufacturing facilities in the Middle East?

The company points out that in addition to the many environmental and logistical advantages of its GCC manufacturing plant, locally-sourced building materials offer a range of project delivery-related benefits. Local production, it points out, ensures that architects, developers, and contractors can access a premium products for projects with greater speed and efficiency.

And this is no exaggeration. Since the inauguration of the plant, GCC lead times for USG Sheetrock products have been slashed from two-and-a-half months to less than a week.

Commenting on the advantages of local production, Fares Saghbini, managing director of USG Boral Middle East, says: “Here in the Gulf region, and around the world, our focus as a company is on delivering innovation that helps our customers work smarter, do more, and build better projects. That is exactly what the launch of our locally-produced Sheetrock brand plasterboard products in the GCC enables us to do.”

Time to market, continues Saghbini, is critical to helping construction outfits secure continuity of supply, and – ultimately – the timely and cost-effective completion of their developments.

“We are delighted to bring our manufacturing facility and premium products closer to our customers without asking them to sacrifice on quality, dependability, and – most importantly – the safety standards upon which Sheetrock’s reputation has been built. We are bringing a product line with a track record of over 90 years to the Gulf region, and are proud to be supporting our customers in the delivery of the iconic and ground-breaking buildings and projects that the GCC has become known for,” concludes Saghbini.

USG Zawawi Drywall SFZ is a 50:50 partnership between USG Corporation, Boral, and Zawawi Minerals. To learn more about the products, services, and capabilities of USG Boral Middle East, click here.

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