Real Estate & Construction

Build It Up

Steel and Cement Construction

Baku's rapidly growing construction market has led to an increase in construction materials. Within that, the market is seeing healthy competition between both steel and cement construction.

The construction industry of Azerbaijan is one of the most lucrative as projects continue to be built. Considering the projects that have been carried out for the first European Games, Azerbaijan has demonstrated that it has the capacity to build quickly, efficiently, and with a high quality. Branching out, Baku has also implemented a number of construction projects focusing on a variety of sectors. With this success, the demand for steel has increased significantly along with cement. Both steel and cement construction projects have had to fight hard to increase their quality, efficiency, and keep their prices low, allowing for a swift development of the market.

Steel production now forms an important part of Azerbaijan’s industrial sector with Azerbaijan Steel Production Complex (ASPC) being refashioned in 2013 due to the demands of a booming construction market. It was far more efficient to manufacture rather than import, considering that Azerbaijan’s yearly demand, according to Samir Jafarov, Chairman of ASPC, had reached 1 million tons per year. Imports had increased to this level due to a demand from the construction market. Also demonstrating this is Baku Steel. Founded in 2001, it is one of Azerbaijan’s oldest steel production companies; however, the needs of the market led to the creation of a subsidiary company in 2013, Baku Steel Construction, which was established to provide steel products for oil machinery. Steel structures have been in high demand in a number of sectors, and so the opportunities for steel construction have continued to rise.

The benefits of steel construction are significant. Talking of this, Kamaleddin Mensimov, Executive Director of Nabucco A&C said, “Lightweight construction materials that we use allow us to reduce foundation loads and make the foundations cheaper.” The simplification of management and cheaper costs have also encouraged others in the market. MAKS Company Global Services, initially established as a service company, moved into the fabrication of light steel framed houses. The Managing Director, Kamran Mamedov, spoke of the success in creating a wide range of products through this: “We can build shelters, bunkers, private houses, and labor camps.” There is also potential for construction firms to use this area of expertise as part of their CSR campaigns as Mamedov hinted at plans to use their fabrication expertise in the building of playgrounds for children.

Steel production is notably more environmentally friendly. There is often concern over cement dust, which can be a genuine concern in cities that are experiencing a fast moving construction market. Steel construction projects are also a great deal faster to create, which is especially useful when it comes to short-term projects. In addition to this, dismantling is also much faster, which is especially helpful when it comes to short projects.

Demand for cement is also high. The opening of the Norm Sement Factory in July 2014 was a monumental moment for Azerbaijan as it reduced reliance on the import of cement down to 40%. This figure is still undoubtedly higher than it should be, but the fact that Azerbaijan is now producing considerably more of its own cement is a positive step for the construction sector, which will be able to use high quality cement at a cheaper price. Holcim have also introduced a variety of new products such as the Garadag Solid Plus, which carries the highest class of strength as a sulfate resistant cement. The demand for new products is indicative of a market that is developing at a rapid pace.

Steel and cement construction is by no means mutually exclusive and the demand for new projects is allowing for both types of construction to engage in healthy competition. A variety of projects have developed across Baku and the increasing domestic production of both cement and steel is allowing for construction projects to thrive.

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