Acrow Formwork Technology discusses its Middle East expansion strategy
Construction activity is on a high around the Middle East, pointing to positive future prospects for regional formwork companies, according to Mohamed Farag, the chief executive officer of Acrow Formwork Technology
The Middle East’s construction sector is set to grow over the next five years. In the Gulf markets alone, more than 800 construction projects – with a combined estimated value of $32bn – were found to be in tendering stage this August.
BNC Network stated that by the end of 2017, the combined total value of urban construction contracts in the Gulf is estimated to reach $51bn. The company’s forecasting model suggested that there would be an increase of 29% in the total value of contract awards in the Gulf next year, amounting to $65.6bn.
It is these positive market conditions that Acrow Formwork Technology will look to capitalise on next year and beyond. Mohamed Farag, the company’s chief executive officer, tells Construction Week that the regional construction sector “will continue to offer many opportunities” for formwork companies, adding that government spending on infrastructure contracts will significantly contribute to overall growth.
He adds: “We believe that the formwork and scaffolding sector is witnessing decent growth in the region. The GCC market is a big challenge for all formwork companies, and many such firms are trying to establish a strong presence in region. At the same time, existing companies are trying to strengthen their position so as to be ready to undertake more infrastructure and building projects.”
Acrow boasts a comprehensive project portfolio in the Middle East, comprising some of the region’s most notable developments. In the UAE, the company has worked on the upgrade of junctions on Dubai Airport Road; the access to Dubai Parks and Resorts from Sheikh Zayed Road; elevating Sheikh Zayed Road for the Dubai Water Canal infrastructure; the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road (E311); the road network and interchange for Abu Dhabi Airport; the improvement of the Mafraq to Al Ghwaifat Border Post Highway; and the directional ramp from Al Khail highway.
Meanwhile, Acrow’s portfolio of Saudi Arabian projects includes the Riyadh Metro, on which it worked with the BACS consortium; the Crowne Plaza Hotel building in Riyadh; the Jeddah Islamic Seaport Car Parking project; the Faisaliah Water Tank in Jeddah; and the Saudi Aramco Sewage Treatment Plant in Dhahran, as part of which Acrow supplied formwork for the slabs, walls, and columns of the project’s tanks.
Last year, Acrow provided the galvanized ring lock system for Kuwait University, working alongside main contractor, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (Middle East).
In Oman, Acrow has worked on the construction of the Mahdah Al-Rawdah Road, the new Muscat International Airport, and the Palm Mall projects, in addition to the upgrade project carried out at Al-Murtafaa Street.
Additionally, Acrow’s Tech Form system has also been deployed on the Complexe Siderurgique de Bellara a El Milia (Jijel) project in Algeria.
Meanwhile, services offered by Acrow relate to logistics, such as cleaning; engineering design, including 3D planning, design engineering, and formwork assembly; product erection and supervision; and repairs, including maintenance and rental.
However, while some leaders may be content with such high-profile developments in their kitty, Acrow’s chief is keen to further expand the company’s growth prospects.
“Acrow has an ambitious plan to expand in the GCC market, in addition to furthering the ongoing expansion strategy for the African and the East European markets,” Farag tells Construction Week.
He continues: “Acrow’s growth strategy led to a significant hike in the company’s annual turnover.
“This was achieved by serving many sectors in GCC’s construction market, which includes – but is not limited to – infrastructure, commercial, residential, and utility projects.
“Consequently, Acrow is one of the leaders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s formwork sector, with a wide range of expertise and a loaded list of mega-projects and iconic projects in the Gulf, as well.”
Acrow’s suite of products, coupled with its innovation programmes, will ensure that the company is capable of providing holistic formwork services to its regional clients, the CEO explains.
He adds: “Acrow provides a full range of products to cover all kinds of projects, including special and architectural ones that might need the best treatment and a special solution, which is mainly the biggest challenge for formwork companies.
“With its strong presence in the formwork market, Acrow has introduced the Acrow Truss system, which is ideal for traffic gantries and other applications. We are able to achieve savings of cost and time on our projects with this system.
“Meanwhile, the new Acrow Heavy Duty Truss System (HD) is mainly used as a gantry for bridges and crossing obstacles such as traffic lanes, watercourses, other bridges, and so on. The system can work for huge spans – up to 40m – and at depths based on project requirements – from 90cm to 4m.”
Farag adds that the Acrow Heavy Duty Truss System can be used for permanent or temporary bridges or other heavy structures, “and as a strong back behind vertical concrete elements, such as one-sided wall formwork”.
He continues: “Acrow has also introduced a newly developed automatic climbing system for high-rise buildings and pylons, in addition to our new, heavy-duty shoring system, which has been developed from our standard products.”
BNC’s Intelligence Report, released this August, showed that 292 contracts with a combined estimated value of $9.5bn were awarded in the second quarter of 2017 around the GCC. Regional construction activity is expected to increase in 2018, and clearly, Acrow appears ready to participate in these fruitful project schemes.