A FOCUS on innovation and anticipating market demands is driving Sigma Paints’ growth in the region as the Dammam-based paint major gears up to launch a number of new products that expand its offering of environment-friendly and decorative coatings.
Following the launch of its Ultra-Cool coating last year, Sigma is now working on enhancing its existing products to minimise their environmental impact.
“We are always in the process of making our products more environment-friendly,” says Antoine Lejuez, marketing manager of Sigma Paints. “We already have our flagship zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) Sigmacryl Ecoplus range and we are currently focusing on this for all projects that require the highest level of environment-friendly technology.”
Sigma describes the market response to its Ultra-Cool product with UZC tinting technology as “tremendous”.
“The launch of the product has come at an opportune time when Saudi Arabia is in midst of an awareness campaign to promote energy conservation and this product is exactly what buildings need in order to be energy efficient,” says Lejuez.
“The government’s focus on decreasing energy consumption will be reflected on the country’s budget, and will have positive effects on the environment,” he says, adding this and other technologies that promote sustainable construction are the need of the hour.
Ultra-Cool with UZC tinting technology was developed in line with the paint major’s core values of innovation, dedication and offering durable protection. This latest technological development has already been applied to various projects across Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
Elaborating on the need for such coatings, Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, product brand manager of Sigma Paints, says: “In the harsh hot and dry climate of the Middle East, external coatings are exposed to extremes of temperature and solar heat gain. Solar energy and heat are transferred through the coatings and the building structure into the interiors, resulting in increased energy requirements to cool these living spaces.”
Sigma’s new technology provides a solution to the increasing demand placed on air-conditioning systems and the need to meet regulations on energy-efficient housing, while offering the benefits of a virtually unlimited colour choice, he says.
The impact of Ultra-Cool paint technology and the energy savings it offers was measured by comparing the surface temperatures of two samples painted in the same colour – one tinted with Ultra-Cool paint technology and the other with standard tinting – when exposed to direct sunlight.
“After one hour of exposure to artificial sunlight, a temperature difference of 20 deg C was found between the two samples. With such a drop in surface temperature, the conduction process is reduced.
This leads to a lower air temperature inside the building, reducing the need for air-conditioning and therefore the energy consumption and the impact on the environment,” Ibrahim explains.
In addition, a lowered paint film temperature also reduces the thermal shock on the coating, making it more durable and increasing the intervals between necessary maintenance.
Ultra-Cool technology is available for a wide range of Sigma’s exterior products. These include the Sigmacryl range, comprising Sigmacryl Flat, a high-quality flat decorative and protective emulsion type paint, conforming to Saso (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation) standards; Sigmacryl Semi Gloss and Semi Gloss Extra, which are decorative and protective emulsion paints providing a genuine semi-gloss finish; and Sigmacryl High Gloss, a decorative and protective emulsion paint providing a high gloss finish.
Sigma Paints has also boosted its offering in the decorative paints sector. Following the launch of the high-end finishes Sigmulto Nujoum and Sigmulto Effino, the company has recently launched Sigmulto Safari and the Sigmulto Fonoun Malaki.
The Sigmulto Safari is inspired by the African jungle and includes eight designs (zebra, tiger, python, leopard, giraffe, crocodile, elephant and python).
Sigmulto Fonoun Malaki draws inspiration from Italian and Arabian cultures and environments. The new decorative finish is a water-based pearlescent interior finish consisting of colour particles and is designed to create a glamorous effect.
The new line boasts a host of exclusive thematic colours — including Dazzling Mystery, Pure Emeralds, Ocean Tranquility, Sunshine Brightness and Mystical Nights — which boost the choice of colours in the entire Fonoun range to 54. They can be used with three existing Fonoun base colours, are washable, easy to apply, non-toxic, low odour and conform to environmental specifications.
According to Lejuez, Sigmulto Fonoun Malaki combines through its striking shades the best of Arabian heritage with Italian artistry, satisfying the Saudi customer’s aspirations for stylish concepts inspired from local heritage and traditions.
Another new product is Amouage Tijan Royal and the paint specialist already has plans in place to introduce two or three other new high-end finishes over the course of this year.
Sigma Paints is also looking to capitalise on another key growth market in the kingdom, namely railway construction.
“Sigma plans to provide a range of products to meet the specifications of railway projects, particularly in terms of intumescent paints, to tap into this market,” says Lejuez.
Sigma says it also enjoys a good market share in the social housing segment.
Commenting on the company’s priorities, Lejuez says: “Our focus continues to be on providing the highest levels of service, continuous expansion across the kingdom and in the Middle East and the launch of products to meet our customers’ needs.”