Five minutes with: Stefano Iannacone, Mapei
Stefano Iannacone, managing director of Mapei Construction Chemicals, explains why the Middle East’s legacy projects will always be in need of high-quality concrete admixtures
How did Mapei perform in the Middle East in 2016, in terms of its construction-related products?
Mapei Construction Chemicals saw demand for concrete-related admixtures increase in the Middle East in 2016. Obviously, concrete admixtures are vital in this region because of its unforgiving climate and natural environment. The importance of these products becomes even more pronounced when it comes to high-profile, landmark projects.
Are you optimistic that this high level of demand will continue during 2017?
Yes, I would say we are confident because of growing investment in infrastructure. Markets like Dubai, for instance, are pushing ahead with some major projects. There is the expansion of Dubai Metro, and there are numerous contracts connected to the ongoing development of Al Maktoum International Airport. These types of infrastructure project always entail high levels of demand for concrete. As such, I believe that during the next couple of years, we will continue to witness growth in admixtures market. At least, that’s our expectation, and that’s how we’ve budgeted for 2017 and 2018.
Could you provide details of some of the major projects that Mapei has supported during the past 12 months?
Last year, our team has supplied concrete admixtures to a selection of major projects in the Middle East. In the UAE, these include, but are not limited to, Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirah, and Bluewaters Island. We have also been active in Qatar, supplying admixtures for use on Doha Metro.
Next year, Mapei will provide concrete admixtures for the elevated precast portions of the Dubai Metro extension. We will also pursue contracts connected to the line’s underground section. Those responsible for delivering high-profile projects like this [can’t afford to take chances when it comes to quality], so premium concrete admixtures tend to be in high demand.
What are Mapei’s major concrete-related priorities for 2017?
Our intention is to continue to improve our foothold in the Middle East’s concrete admixtures market, and to further strengthen the strategic relationships that we enjoy with the region’s readymix suppliers.
We want to grow in parallel with our partners by helping them to deliver their large-scale, high-profile developments. Mapei’s aim is to differentiate itself from the competition, cementing its reputation not only as a chemicals supplier, but also a provider of technical service and support within the field of readymix design.
We put a lot of effort into R&D, and we have built up a great deal of technological knowhow as a result. Mapei is not a ‘me-too’ supplier, so it’s vital we continue to work with readymix companies that are delivering high-quality products to the market.