Francesco Bax, General Manager, Marcegaglia Gulf LLC
Founded 2007 in Doha, Marcegaglia Gulf is involved in the distribution of steel systems for construction sites, manufactured by the building division of Marcegaglia Group in Qatar and the Gulf region. The company combines technologically advanced solutions in terms of material and equipment with highly qualified engineering and applications. It is a reliable partner to its clients and has actively participated in some of the prominent projects in Qatar such as The Pearl Qatar and Platinum Tower projects; its latest being the Doha World Trade Centre project. Francesco Bax, General Manager, elaborates on the company's operations, its projects and future plans.
Tell us something about your contribution to the Doha World Trade Centre Project?
Marcegaglia's scope of works in Doha World Trade Centre project included design, engineering, supply, erection, completion, testing, certification and dismantling of the special scaffolding system for the structural and external fatade works of the Cigar Bar. We were also involved in the design, engineering, supply and execution of the shoring and formwork systems for the concrete works on the 46th floor.
Tell us something about the type of scaffolding used in the project?
We used the SM8 multi-level scaffolding system based on an eight-connection node. The main advantages of this extremely versatile solution, used for the erection of temporary structures, include great flexibility during erection; short erection and dismantling time; simplicity and modularity; excellent surface protection with hot dip galvanised treatment; full compliance with international legislation, regulations, safety and construction standards and Eurocodes.
Its applications include construction and maintenance scaffoldings, shoring structures and casting supports, staircases and yard ladders, service and promotional structures, grandstands and stages.
Our preform framed formwork system comprises highly resistant hot dip galvanised steel frames, dimensioned to resist to a concrete pressure of 70 kN per square metre. This system offers complete modularity, which enables erection of complex casing units; low number of bindings per square metre of casing; a full range of accessories, all interchangeable and connectable at any level of the formwork module; rapid erecting, dismantling and casing shifts, due to the connections with quick and compact wedge vices.
The modularity of these formwork panels enables them to be erected vertically and horizontally, overlaid or staggered. The conic holes for bindings allow a rapid utilisation and the construction of walls with non-regular profiles.
The high re-use possibilities maintaining a casting finishing of a high quality standard is guaranteed thanks to the 18-mm multi-layer birch panel with 250 g/sq m phenol coating and to the great attention in the components production.
What were the major challenges faced?
The cantilever scaffolding installed in the project was 16 m long while the hanging scaffolding structures had to be installed at a height of 200 m. These were designed in-house through 3D modelling and fully rendered pre-installation visuals, supported by full set of structural calculations. The design risk assessment process also reduced risks and hazards, enabling an immediate response to variations in client specifications.
Please elaborate on various products offered by the company in the Qatar market?
We offer oil and gas industrial scaffolding services, civil construction and infrastructures scaffolding and formwork services, as well as events and entertainment temporary structures services. For construction of oil, gas and other industrial plants, our systems are used for erection and dismantling of scaffolding systems, This is executed by highly-qualified and experienced personnel by using state-of-the-art scaffolding technologies and engineering solutions.
Similarly, for civil construction and infrastructure projects our services and solutions include engineering and supply of formwork, shoring and scaffolding systems as well as a range of other systems such as sandwich panels, corrugated steel sheets, storage systems, guardrails and photovoltaic systems. We also design, supply and erect grandstands, stages and other types of temporary or permanent steel structures.
Majority of our business is generated through construction but the events, sport and entertainment businesses also contribute to our annual turnover.
The company ventured in the Qatar market in 2007. What was the major vision be¡hind this? How has the experience being?
The construction industry in Qatar is currently attracting a lot of foreign entrants due to its adoption of the steep development route. This enables us to consolidate our regional presence and gradually increase our foothold.
Please elaborate on the major features of your products? What value addition do you offer over your competitors?
Marcegaglia Gulf derives strength mainly from its steel processing capacity. Giving shape to steel involves developing a series of strictly controlled manufacturing processes, permanent research activities and consistent investments aiming at higher technological and environmental standards for finished products. This requires control of the company's internal and external transactions through Quality Control Management System implemented at all levels.
Taking the perspective of enviornment into consideration, factors such as cost-efficiency, durability, flexibility and recyclability make steel a sustainable choice for modern architecture at all levels. What are the current projects in Qatar? Please give details.
Throughout these years Marcegaglia Gulf has been specialising in service and supply of special scaffoldings to key contractors for projects in the oil and gas sectors. These include the Shell Pearl GTL project, the Dolphin project and more recently the QAFCO 4, 5 and 6 fertiliser plants, the shutdown operations for RasGas and works for the Doha North Sewage Treatment plant and in the wider industrial sector as well, including the Nakilat ship repair yard at Ras Laffan and Qatalum project.
Some of the major civil works executed by us include the World Trade Centre Tower, the Al Sultan Tower, the central unit plants for the New Doha International Airport, Dohaland and the Al Udeid military base, while past projects are the Al Bidda Tower, The Gate Mall & Towers and the integrated district cooling plant at The Pearl.
In the sports and entertainment sec-tor, one of our major achievement includes construction of the Qatar's largest temporary grandstand.
What are your upcoming developments?
Presently, we are extending our industrial services by incorporating insulating, blasting, painting and refractory services for industrial construction and maintenance projects. We also undertake petrochemical and oil and gas projects.
Besides, we plan to expand our activities to the other GCC countries and the MENA region and extend our presence in steel products and related services.
Comment on the current industry scenario in the Middle East? What are the upcoming innovations in the sector?
The demand for building materials and equipment and steel demand is set to grow in the Middle East and Qatar tremendously in the coming years. The upcoming enormous projects will support the country's construction and steel industry and take it forward.
Where do you see the industry headed in future?
The construction sector certainly looks promising and we aim for a double-digit growth in building segments in the wake of FIFA World Cup 2022.
What are your plans to leverage the industry growth?
The high-quality engineering and execution services offered by us help to build an overwhelming competitive edge by merging the major features of our technological systems with the know-how and expertise of our field personnel.