Koos Fourie, CEO, Rabban Readymix WLL
Operational since 1977, Rabban Readymix is one of the oldest and largest ready mix concrete manufacturers in Qatar. It is the first company to introduce fully computerised automated batching plants and delivers a complete range of products through its fleet of mixer trucks and concrete pumps. Koos Fourie, CEO, elaborates on the company’s operations, its products and future plans.
Please shed some light on your operations in Qatar? What is the annual business generated by the company?
We supply around 500,000 cubic metre of ready mix concrete per annum. This is expected to further rise as Qatar undertakes major infrastructure works in the coming months for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
What are the major products? Who are your major clients?
We supply a wide range of ready-mix concrete ranging from standard designed to highly impermeable mixes for durability. The strengths of our concrete range from 15MPa to over 100MPa, making us one of the few consistent suppliers of these products. Our clients range from prestigious local construction companies to highly respected international contractors who provide us an in-depth experience in dealing across the spectrum.
Name some of the major projects where your products have been used?
Our products have been used in many projects ranging from high rise buildings to technically demanding petrochemical plants in Qatar. These include the Al Jassimya Tower, The Doha Expressway, Lusail development, and the Pearl GTL Project which was executed in a JV with a renowned local construction company.
We also supplied concrete for one of the projects of the ruling family. The futuristic design of this necessitated a special mix that allows the contractor to build the project without incurring huge repair costs.
Name some of your ongoing projects?
We are presently engaged in supplying of RMC to the Salwa Road section of the Doha Expressway and the twin tower project in West Bay.
Please elaborate on the quality and safety standards followed by the company?
We are ISO 9001 certified and have now upgraded our processes by including H&S and Environmental controls – now known as Integrated Management System or IMS – into our system. This involves the inclusion of ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 certifications into our ISO 9001 registration, which are subject to the same rigours of auditing and improvement.
How has ready-mix concrete evolved over the years.
The basic ingredients used in the manufacturing of ready-mix concrete have not changed. However, over time, data has been built up for the performance of the material, especially its ability to resist chemical attack and long term durability issues. There have also been advancements in the use of additional materials into the mix in order to enhance its performance. These include cement replacements which improve the impermeability of the concrete, thus preventing the penetration of harmful chemicals, and in most cases reacting with those harmful chemicals to produce harmless bye-products. There have also been huge advances in admixture development that lend extra abilities to the concrete such as high strength, low water cement ratios, water and crack-resistance. Alongwith this there have been developments in mixing technology, placing systems, and – especially in the Middle East – temperature control. We often evaluate and assess these developments to help us give our clients a full spectrum of support.
Comment on the current industry scenario for Ready-mix concrete in Qatar? What are the upcoming innovations in the sector?
Present innovations in the sector are more with regard to environmental issues. New low energy methods of cooling concrete are being developed alongwith new systems for recycling water that don’t require large areas of land. Ready mixed concrete uses large amounts of water both in the concrete, and as a part of the overall process, washing out and cleaning. At times when Qatar is trying to reduce its water usage, it is ethically important to consider such systems that are also economically viable.
Where do you see the industry headed in future?
Even before the contract for hosting FIFA World Cup was awarded to Qatar, the government had already drawn ambitious plans for upgrading and improving the country’s infrastructure. The award just put a definite time limit on completing this planned work, besides adding a few extra projects into the plan. We therefore envision a very bright future for everyone involved in the construction industry. The last few years have been hard, but there are signs of huge infrastructure projects in the pipeline. A major cause for concern is raw materials, as much of these have to be imported, but the Government has recognised this and has already taken positive steps to reduce the risk of this being repeated again.
What are your plans to leverage the industry growth?
We are currently expanding our fleet size, besides introducing the GPS tracking system. We have installed a management system that not only increases our ability to respond to customer’s requests; but also updates the management of the company’s performance. This in turn will improve planning, making our production and delivery more efficient. In this way we can produce and deliver more concrete with less plant and equipment, making a real impact on the environment.