2016 Construction Week Power 100: Top five Kuwaiti
We take a look at the top five Kuwait-based construction outfits on CW's Power 100 list
The seventh edition of Construction Week's Power 100 provided our annual ranking of the most influential individuals currently working within the Middle East's construction sector.
Despite a challenging year, the industry's most influential players - who populate this list - have optimised their regional operations and pushed ahead with some of the most ambitious projects on the planet.
Here, we take a look at the list's top five Kuwait-based construction outfits...
4. Ghassan Merehbi, Chairman and founder, Arabian Construction Company
Almost half a century has passed since Ghassan Merehbi founded Arabian Construction Company (ACC). During this period, the chairman has watched his company grow from strength to strength, with operations across the length and breadth of the GCC and wider Levant.
In 2015, ACC achieved revenues of approximately $1.27bn. This year, Merehbi expects this figure to hit $1.4bn. The value of the contractor’s total awarded contracts stands at around $6bn. It also boasts a backlog in the region of $3.1bn.
Over the past 12 months, ACC has completed a variety of major projects as main contractor, primarily in the UAE. This year alone, Merehbi’s team will hand over The Address Residence Sky View, The Address Residence Fountain View, and Volante Tower in Dubai, and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Masjid in Al Ain.
Outside the Emirates, the firm expects to complete a workers’ hospital project in Qatar; Waterfront City in Beirut, Lebanon; and Jeddah Gate E8, E9, and E10 in Saudi Arabia, all before the end of 2016.
Back in the UAE, ACC will continue its work on Barakah Nuclear Power Plant’s Physical Protection System, and Boulevard Point in Downtown Dubai – projects due to complete in April 2017 and April 2018, respectively. The firm is also performing the role of sub-contractor for Phase 3 of surface facilities at Abu Dhabi’s Al Dabbiya oil and gas development, which is due to complete in August of next year.
Over the longer term, Merehbi’s team will perform the role of main contractor for roads and infrastructure works at the Wahat Al Zaweya development in Al Faqa, Al Ain. Construction activities at the project are due to complete in 2022.
During the next 12 months, Merehbi told Construction Week, ACC will pursue geographical and sectoral expansion. “Our biggest opportunity will be to enter new geographical areas and industries,” he noted. “Our biggest challenges will be the oil price, and the number of new projects that are being launched.”
39. Abdulrahman Al-Marouf , Chairman, Combined Group Contracting Company
In 2015, Abdulrahman Al-Marouf’s Combined Group Contracting Company achieved revenues of $833.2m (KWD250.2m). The firm expects this figure to grow during 2016, projecting earnings of around $850m (KWD256). So far this year, it has booked $550m (KWD166m), leaving $300m (KWD90.5m) to be signed off if it is to meet its target.
Kuwait-headquartered Combined Group employs more than 7,000 construction professionals, 250 of whom are qualified engineers.
In January 2016, the company completed its activities as main contractor for Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) bulk handling facilities in the southeast of the country. The project’s value was $55m (KWD16.6m).
During the coming 12 months, Al-Marouf’s team will perform the role of main contractor for a $381m (KWD115m) gas-line replacement project and an $81m (KWD24.5m) crude oil flow lines project, both on behalf of KOC. It will also support the construction of roads an intersections as part of a $166m (KWD50.1m) deal with Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW). All three projects are due to complete before the end of 2018.
56. Antoine Najjar, Managing Director, Ahmadiah
As managing director of Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading Company, Antoine Najjar is responsible for one of Kuwait’s oldest construction companies.
Established in 1954, the contractor has played a significant role in the development of the country, with experience on projects ranging from military facilities to utilities infrastructure.
Ahmadiah boasts a 5,600-strong workforce and a raft of subsidiaries, including real estate arm Al Raed International Trading Company; geotechnical contractor Edrasis Middle East; roads and bridges specialist Barco; and facilities management outfit ECovert FM.
Ahmadiah’s historic projects include the $40m (KWD12.1m) Bayan Palace, constructed between 1984 and 1985; the $102m (KWD30.8m) Amiri Diwan, built between 1993 and 1996; and Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, completed in 2003. Najjar and his colleagues also worked on Al Hamra Firdous Tower, Kuwait’s tallest man-made structure.
The closed shareholding company has $40m (KWD12m) of paid-up capital, Ahmadiah officials told Construction Week.
60. Bob Hope, CEO, SSH
As chief executive officer of SSH, Bob Hope is responsible for a regional workforce in excess of 1,000 people.
Between June 2015 and May 2016, the Kuwait-headquartered firm completed contracts at a number of large-scale GCC projects, including Kuwait’s Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, OmanTEL’s HQ in the sultanate, and a specialist cultural centre in Qatar.
During the coming year, Hope and his colleagues will continue to support construction activities at numerous regional developments, including Kuwait’s Al Salam Palace, Qatar’s South Mall, Bahrain’s Ras Al Barr Resort, and Oman’s Al Mouj Muscat.
64. Chris Preece, CEO, Mushrif Trading & Contracting
Mushrif Trading & Contracting achieved revenues of $165.5m (KWD50m) in 2015, 2.1% of which was profit. Encouragingly, chief executive officer Chris Preece expects to almost double this figure to $324.5m (KWD98m) this year.
The Kuwait-based contractor has also enjoyed impressive growth from a staffing perspective. Since 2013, the size of Preece’s team has increased by almost 40%. Today, Mushrif employs 2,286 people, 161 of whom are qualified engineers. Moreover, during the coming year, the firm expects to grow these figures to 3,500 and 200, respectively.
Over the past 12 months, the contractor has completed two major projects in its domestic market: flowline replacement and general operational support for Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and Saudi Arabia Texaco’s joint operations; and construction and maintenance of a water network and tanks for C1 treated water on behalf of Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW).
In June 2016, Mushrif is due to fulfil its contract for the desgin, construction, completion, and maintenance of temporary elevated U-turns at Nuwaiseeb Highway, also on behalf of MPW.
Commenting on his team’s current bidding strategy, Preece told Construction Week: “Mushrif is actively pursuing sub-contract opportunities with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors in the oil and gas sector – in particular the Al Zour New Refinery Project (NRP) and the Clean Fuel Projects (CFP).”