Saudi Arabia

Concrete lead

May 2016

Saudi Building Materials Company (SBMC), a pioneer in concrete production and building materials in Saudi Arabia, says it is expanding and adding new technology and products to its portfolio.

The company specialises in all types of concretes and has nine concrete factories in the kingdom.

“We were one of the first to obtain ISO certification for our product quality and production process in the mid-90s - the first in the kingdom and the third in the GCC,” says Ahmed Kawther, the company’s chief executive and managing director.

Having started out with a single factory in Jeddah, the company soon set up its second unit in the Saudi Red Sea port city before moving to Yanbu and then to Riyadh.

“Today we have nine factories in three cities in Saudi Arabia and are continuing to expand,” he says.

These include a precast concrete factory located between Jeddah and Makkah, which was constructed around five years ago.

The company has provided large-span precast concrete products for projects such as bridges and tunnels and these precast concrete components have also proved useful when work was to be carried out on a fast-track basis such as the installation of a border fence between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Kawther adds.

Over the years, the company has developed high-tech products for crushers and has added the latest concrete products. It currently has a number of new developments in the study phase.

Kawther is looking to increase awareness about concrete in the kingdom. “Concrete is the most important part in the building as it represents the strength and durability of the facility and is a building’s backbone.”

Hence, SBMC has been conducting awareness campaigns about concrete in Jeddah and has embarked on an integrated plan including a programme with the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

“We have started to bring in specialists in concrete and are holding training courses and workshops to educate clients, contractors, engineers and developers,” he adds.

Founded by Saudi investors in joint venture with a Finnish partner in 1978, SBMC has played a key role in enhancing know-how in the concrete industry and has contributed to raising the bar in the kingdom’s concrete industry.

“We’ve contributed to the founding of the National Committee of Readymix Concrete under the umbrella of the Chambers of Commerce in Riyadh and I chair the committee of precast concrete in Jeddah Chamber,” says Kawther.

Furthermore, the company has a state-of-the-art laboratory that was one of the first in the kingdom. The facility is capable of high-accuracy screening of sand, concrete, water, cement and chemical additives. It also ensures accuracy of sizes, quantities and qualities under the supervision of highly experienced staff, he points out.

Outlining its future plans, he says SBMC intends to transform into a stock company and will offer shares on the market in the next two years.

More Stories