Five minutes with: Robert Holtkamp, NAPCO

Robert Holtkamp, chief executive officer of National Aluminium Products Company (NAPCO), talks about the 2016 targets and expansion plans

INTERVIEWS, Projects, NAPCO

How was the year 2014 for NAPCO?

The company fared quite well in 2014. We registered a 4% increase in 2014 revenues to $50.4m (OMR19.4m) over the previous year. We also increased our exports; not only in the GCC market, but also in South East Asia, particularly India and Europe.

What are the targets you wish for NAPCO to achieve in 2015?

We are aiming to have four extrusion presses by the end of 2015. The Oman market is relatively small, but is booming.

By the end of 2016, we expect to rank as one of the top five extruders in the GCC, on the basis of volumes.

How do you compete with your peers in challenging market conditions?

It’s very difficult to answer this question because we are all generally cooking with the same gas. At NAPCO, we try to innovate our products and to bring different options to the market. Of course, one of our main objectives will always be to maintain our quality and service.

What are the major challenges that NAPCO faces in Oman?

The major challenge that we face is the lack of skilled labour. Omanisation stipulates that 35% of our workforce comprises local employees.

However, being the only company of its kind in Oman, it’s very difficult to find skilled staff. We are in the middle of organising training programmes with the Ministry of Manpower. We currently we have around 290 employees in our company, and aim to have 400 employees by the end of 2015. Having said that, we cannot do our jobs without the expert inputs from the expatriate labours.

What are your expansion plans for the future?

We are looking at the African market, we are also trying to extend our exports to Europe. But for now, we are busy with the Indian market.

In line with our expansion strategies announced in July 2015, we are also spearheading the introduction of new products and services, with an aim to broaden our reach across both regional and international markets. We already received 100 commercial containers for the commissioned machinery components in October 2015. NAPCO has also ordered two extrusion presses from Spain’s Tecalex, and a vertical powder coating line from Trasmetal in Italy.
The company’s current capacity is about 18,000 metric tonnes (MT), with two existing extrusion presses.

Two additional fully automated extrusion presses will double the company’s production capacity, enabling production of different profiles to better serve new markets.

Furthermore, the new vertical powder coating line will extend NAPCO’s capacity from 7,000 to 27,000 MT.

What are the projects you are looking to work on in the future?

So far, we have worked on a number of high rise towers in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In terms of the future, we are looking to work on a big villa project in Oman.

We are also eyeing the Mall of Oman in the Sultanate. Furthermore, we are also involved with the airport expansion project in Muscat.

NAPCO also holds an exclusive contract with Royal Oman Police, as well as reputed hospitals in Oman.

We are also working on the new headquarters of the National Bank of Oman, close to Al Ghubrah in Muscat.

Where do you see NAPCO in the next five years?

We are excited that volumes for the company have increased by around 45% so far in 2015 as compared to 2014.

I am anxiously waiting for our capacity-expansion activities to materialise and deliver the anticipated results and performance.

I hope for NAPCO to become one of the region’s major aluminium extruders within the next five years.

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