ALUMINIUM Products Company (Alupco), a leading manufacturer of aluminium extrusion products in the Middle East, has embarked on ambitious plans to expand its facilities and diversify into the manufacture of aluminium composite panels (ACPs), following its impressive performance in local and international markets. Alupco’s headquarters are located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and the company has a current capacity of over 85,000 tonnes per annum.
Currently, the Dammam plant produces around 40,000 tonnes and comprises four extrusion presses, two aluminium cast furnaces, one anodising line, two vertical powder coating lines, two wood finish paint lines, one thermal-break crimpling line, two polishing machines, two protective tape machines and three automatic packing lines.
In addition to the Dammam plant, Alupco has a manufacturing facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a capacity of around 45,000 tonnes. This plant has five extrusion presses, one aluminium cast furnace, one anodising line, one horizontal powder coating, two vertical powder coating lines, two polishing machines and three automatic packing lines.
The company is in the process of installing a new anodising line, casting house and a press of 12,000 tonnes per year as well as two thermal-break production lines at its Dammam plant.
“The expansion will be completed by the middle of 2015,” says Mohammed Al Enezi, executive sales manager of Alupco, who estimates that 30 to 40 per cent of the new output will feed export demand.
In addition, Alupco has signed an agreement with Eurocon Metal Industries to build a plant to produce ACPs in Dammam. Eurocon Metal Industries, a subsidiary of the UAE-based Eurocon Building Industries, is an authorised Alubond USA total solutions provider. Alubond USA is considered to be the largest ACP producer in the world with a production capacity of more than 12 million sq m per year.
Alubond metal composite panels consist of two layers of metallic skin made of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium that compress together to form a fire-rated core in a continuous co-extrusion process.
“High and growing demand and government plans to use ACPs in some of their projects have prompted Alupco to select ACPs for diversification,” says Al Enezi. He says the plant will be oriented for Saudi consumption.
Alubond ACPs have many applications in building facades, ceilings, interiors, solar mirrors, acoustic machine covers, bathrooms, yacht interiors, fire-rated doors, transport and car-park grills.
“The ACPs are offered in a wide array of colours and finishes, combined with their inherent capability of forming different shapes and contours, their durability and weather resistance make them an architect’s dream,” Al Enezi adds.
Alubond ACPs have been used in several prestigious projects in the Gulf such as the Burj Khalifa and The Address hotel in Dubai, the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (all in the UAE); and the Qipco Towers (Qatar).
Established in 1975, Alupco has been focusing on quality since its inception. In 1995 it became the first aluminium extrusion company in the Middle East to gain the ISO 9001 certification.
The design and quality of its aluminium profiles as well as the surface treatment with various finishes all meet international standard requirements including EN (European), DIN (German), BS (British) and Saso (Saudi Arabia).
“Alupco’s most popular product is the curtain-wall system; which provides structural two and four-sided, conventional and semi-structural solutions. Also renowned are its Saraya sliding system, the 52 system and thermal break systems for hinged doors and windows and the Pivot and Huge Range systems for the commercial and industrial sectors,” says Al Enezi.
“The reason for the popularity of Alupco systems is that they are designed to meet the requirements of the GCC, Middle East and international markets and we offer technical support for customers and projects,” he comments.
Al Enezi also highlights the advantages of Alupco’s special W, D and CW systems for architecture such as the 50SG curtain-wall system and thermal break systems for sliding and hinged solutions.
The company is also the sole producer and seller of the AluK, a high-quality Italian system, in Saudi Arabia in addition to its architectural systems.
Alupco’s exports have been on the rise in recent years, expanding from 20 per cent of total sales in 2009 to 35 per cent last year. Most of Alupco’s exports are absorbed by the GCC and North African markets.
“New markets, new types of products and a good share from landmark projects have contributed to Alupco’s success in export markets,” says Nasser Al Otaibi, Alupco’s export sales manager.
The company is keen to strengthen its footprint beyond Saudi Arabia and has been “improving services, creating new types of products and increasing production capacity,” as part of initiatives to achieve this goal, says Al Otaibi.
Alupco has been involved in a wide range of projects in the region. Prominent Saudi landmarks that boast its reputation include The Kingdom Tower, Al Faisaliah Tower, NCCI headquarters and Aqariyyah Shopping Centre-3, all in Riyadh; and King Fahd International Airport, Dammam.
More recently, Alupco has undertaken Saudi projects such as the Dammam University where its 50SG and Thermal 123SL systems have been used, Princess Nora University (AluK) and Al Mousa Tower (50SG) in Riyadh, King Khaled University (50SG) in Abha, Taiba University (50SG and sliding systems) in Madinah, and Al Arifi Tower (AluK) in Al Khobar. Other recent Saudi projects that have utilised Alupco systems are Najran University, Jizan University, King Faisal University, Al Hassa; Umm Al Qura University, Jeddah; Al Bustan Compound, Riyadh; and Al Mousa Tower and Noura Tower, and Hilton Hotel, all in Al Khobar.
Outside Saudi Arabia, Alupco’s projects include the Telecommunication Tower and Central Bank of Kuwait (both in Kuwait); Burj Al Arab hotel and Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai, Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi (all in the UAE); the Khalifa International Stadium and Al Areen Tower in Doha (both in Qatar); and the Beirut Marina Tower and Verdun VII in Beirut (both in Lebanon).