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Aramco inaugurates the first facility in Saudi Arabia for the production of fiberglass reinforcement

Saudi Arabia announced the inauguration of the first facility in the Kingdom to produce metal-free glass fiber reinforced polymer to provide a more sustainable, corrosion-free infrastructure and enhance the achievement of Saudi Arabia’s carbon neutrality goals.
The Senior Vice President of Technical Services at Saudi Aramco, Ahmed Al-Saadi, recently inaugurated the fiberglass reinforcement facility (IKK Mateenbar) in the Kingdom, which was established under a memorandum of understanding signed by New Zealand’s Poltron Composite Company and its partner Issam Khairy Qabbani Group in 2019 with Saudi Aramco. In the presence of the Chargé d’Affairs of the New Zealand Embassy, ​​Louise Searle, and the Chairman of the National Industrial Committee of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al Al-Sheikh.
The opening of the new facility comes within the framework of efforts to attract and localize the rebar industry in the Kingdom through the factory affiliated to the Issam Qabbani Group, as part of the efforts to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in terms of diversifying the national economy, promoting innovation in the Kingdom, and strengthening inter-relations with New Zealand.
Al-Saadi explained that “Saudi Aramco has been developing and deploying metal-free solutions within its own operations for more than 20 years, which saves the cost of building maintenance, increases its lifespan, increases its efficiency, as well as environmental benefits, compared to metal alternatives. However, the potential for use of advanced metal-free polymers goes beyond the crude oil and gas sector to the construction industries, where eliminating corrosion risks greatly improves infrastructure outcomes.”
IKK Mateenbar will manufacture and supply non-corrosive fiberglass reinforcement for infrastructure projects in the Kingdom, as well as the MENA region.
“We are introducing a revolutionary new technology that will replace the building materials that have been used in construction for more than a century,” said Hassan Qabbani, Chairman of the Issam Khairy Qabbani Group.
Saudi Aramco has worked during the last period to include the new GFRP fiberglass reinforcement codes in its engineering standards for concrete structures in areas subject to corrosion to enable designers to replace reinforcing steel in the most vulnerable places, where extreme temperatures and high salinity make the Kingdom one of the most Environments are difficult to bear with steel rebar, causing it to corrode and cause early structural damage, which makes the economy expensive due to the need to replace and maintain unstable concrete infrastructure due to corrosion.
Glass fiber reinforcement is the latest pioneering technology for manufacturing fiberglass reinforcing steel in both New Zealand and the United States of America, and it is now manufactured locally in the Kingdom to contribute to the formation of better solid infrastructure that supports the Saudi economy, and enriches the environment and society alike.
The CEO of Matenbar, Nick Crofts, expressed his happiness at the entry of this product to the Saudi market, noting that “the presence in the Kingdom is a very important aspect that confirms our credibility and success in this field, especially as it is witnessing rapid and remarkable progress in the adoption of new technology, and we are honored to be Part of its growth and success.
For his part, General Manager of IKK Mateenbar, Hamed Badr, said, “Our country is witnessing a continuous prosperity based on the value of innovation in the first place. Today, metal-free rebar represents a new path for the Kingdom towards a promising and sustainable future in the long term.”
It is noteworthy that Saudi Aramco was a pioneer in spreading the use of the innovative technology of the product (IKK Mateenbar) in the Jazan Flood Canal Project, which is the largest project in the world for reinforcing fiberglass, and consists of a 23 km long channel and 80 meters wide. Shortly after this achievement, Saudi Aramco recorded its leadership in another new achievement, by introducing fiberglass reinforcement in the construction of the King Salman Energy Complex (SPARK) bridge, which was the first construction based on GFRP fiberglass reinforcement in the country, and the only one of the Its kind in the Middle East and North Africa.