Alubond invests $50 million facility to produce A2 fire-resistant panels in the UAE

Fraser Brown

Sharjah-based facility will be the world's largest single location for A2 stone core panels manufacturing

Alubond USA will set up world's largest A2 stone core panels facility in the UAE to increase its production capacity up to six million square metres annually by first quarter of 2017.

Alubond USA, which is the sole brand property of Sharjah-based multi-conglomerate enterprise Mulk Holdings, recently signed a deal to set up three production plants having a capacity of two million square metres each. The Sharjah-based facility, which costs $50 million, will be the world's largest single location for A2 stone core panels manufacturing.

Alubond has another similar facility in Turkey with a capacity of two million square metres per annum and now can produce up to eight million square metres fire-resistant panels annually strengthening its position as the largest producer of A2 fire-resistant panels in the Middle East.

"We have already initiated work on the project and first plant is under installation and commercial production will start on September 10. The second plant will start production in December and third plant is expected to come online in first quarter of 2017," Shaji Ul Mulk, founder and chairman of Mulk Holdings, told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

He said additional 6,000 square metres space is being added to the existing 10,000 square metres factory spreading over a plot of 500,000 square feet land.

Mulk Holding is a multi-conglomerate enterprise with a global footprint in manufacturing and operations spread in key markets including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Europe, the United States, India, Sri Lanka and China.

Alubond U.S.A the only A2 brand in UAE and Middle East which has obtained the UAE Civil defense certification. It has emerged as the world's largest metal composite brand with additional production bases in Europe, Middle East, and India. The new production bases planned in Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia increased the installed capacity of metal composite panels to over 25,000,000 square metres and coil coating capacity to over 20,000 tonnes per annum.

To a question, he said the A2-grade stone core panel facility is in full compliance to the UAE Fire Code and Dubai Municipality regulations.

"We are encouraged by the new regulations of UAE fire code mandating use of non-combustible A2 core panels for buildings in the UAE. The demand is already on the rise and Alubond has booked major projects for the next two years. Our team led by Mr Rao and Ismail has worked very hard to realise this remarkable achievement," he said.

"In addition to A2 production lines, the facility will also have machining centre to produce sub structure system in line with NFPA 285. We will be the only company who will be able to supply as one stop solution the entire system," he added.

Alubond USA has always been a thought leader in the cladding industry of UAE, by taking proactive measures in product testing and certification. In the wake of the recent fire incidents, it was the first company to come forward and announce zero tolerance for production of non-fire resistant panels.

"Alubond USA stands for quality fire resistant aluminium composite cladding products. We would like to set an example for other products in the cladding industry and build a new era of fire resistant and accident free cladding products. We hope the industry players will follow the trend, taking a cue from this," Shaji Ul Mulk said.

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