A RECENT restructuring has seen Qatar National Aluminium Panel Company (Q-Nap) emerge stronger than ever, with the Doha-based manufacturer of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) continuing to take its “Made in Qatar” product further into the GCC and into Africa.
Headed by prominent Qatari business leader Sheikh Naif bin Ali Al Thani, Q-Nap is now poised to emerge as a leading manufacturer of ACP panels in the Middle East in the years to come.
The company is keenly eyeing plans to start production in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the first quarter of next year, which will enhance its capabilities to better serve the kingdom as well as the growing market in North Africa.
“Plans to launch production in Jeddah are in the initial stages,” says Hariprakash M J, operations manager of Q-Nap, who indicates that the Red Sea port will give it a logistical advantage in serving its export market in Africa.
“Besides, we currently supply about 20 to 30 per cent of our output to Saudi Arabia. Once we establish our Jeddah facility, we are targeting a 15 to 20 per cent share of the total Saudi ACP market in the first quarter of next year,” he adds.
The company, which was launched some five years ago as the only facility of its kind in Qatar to produce ACPs, currently has a production capacity of two million sq m. While Qatar is its main market, Saudi Arabia accounts for a sizeable share of its exports, where it has supplied to several commercial buildings in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
“We are looking to push our products throughout the region and aim to set up offices in Dubai (UAE) and Oman,” Hariprakash indicates.
Its products are manufactured using fully automatic, state-of-the-art machinery to meet high quality standards. A-grade raw materials are sourced from the GCC, says Hariprakash, with the Bahrain-based Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (Garmco) providing the aluminium coils in mill finish. Q-Nap has in-house design capabilities and its own coil coating facility to provide panels in a wide range of colours and finishes to meet client requirements. In addition to solid enamel colours, special finishes of stone, timber and metal have been developed as an alternative for natural granites, timbers and metals.
“Q-Nap is an ISO9001-certified industry leader with world-class facilities and has been a member of the US Green Building Council from 2000 and Qatar Civil Defence department,” he says. “It has also gained the ISO 14001 environmental and Ohsas 18001 health and safety certificate, and conforms to the QSAS (Qatar Sustainability Assessment System).”
The company’s range of panels, which are primarily used to clad facades, include Alucomb corrugated core aluminium panels and FR Core, which are fire-rated ACPs. Q-Nap also offers LDPE Core (non-fire-rated panels which have a low-density polyethylene core) as well as PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride)-coated aluminium coils.
“The fire-rated panels can withstand fire for 1.5 to two hours and these ratings are regularly reviewed by the Qatar Civil Defence,” says Hariprakash.
“Our Alucomb panels can also be recycled, hence help projects achieve Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points,” he adds.
Q-Nap is an approved vendor for the Qatar government and has supplied its ACPs to some of the large projects in its local market including public sector projects as well as buildings for Barwa Real Estate and Qatar Petroleum (QP). It is currently supplying 13,000 sq m of ACPs for the 32-storey Sailiya Tower in Qatar, having recently been involved in the Barwa Commercial Avenue, where it supplied 200,000 sq m of fire-rated ACPs.
In Bahrain, it has supplied to a recently completed office building for Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).
Apart from its production facility in Qatar, Q-Nap has offices as well as warehouses – with a capacity to stock between 6,000 and 10,000 sq m of ACPs – in Bahrain, Kuwait and Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The company is part of the National Group, a well-diversified group of companies active in the manufacturing and construction business.