The Business Year

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Hamad AlMutawa

Regional Director - Kuwait, Louis Berger

Haitham M. Al-Refaei

CEO, Insha’a Holding

With the government embarking on a strong infrastructural development agenda, there are many projects in the pipeline up for grabs for constructors.

How is your company positioned within the Kuwaiti construction market?

Hamad AlMutawa Louis Berger is a US-based firm with an international presence in more than 100 countries. In Kuwait, we operate both under our global brand name and via a local company that we have established in a joint venture with the Al Mutawa family. So essentially, we can deliver our projects through our local or international license, giving us the best of both worlds. Our advantage stems from the local know-how that we have developed during the past decade being involved in some of the most prestigious projects nationwide. We aim to diversify our work as well; we have always considered ourselves to be more than an engineering company and we help the developing world with institutional development work. We increasingly seek social and economic development work that will help strengthen our overall mission of being a multidisciplinary company that offers solutions for a better world.

Haitham M. Al-Refaei In the last year, most of our projects have been with the government, including the oil and gas sector. Just recently, we completed the Kuwait Oil Sector Hospital and the head quorate Kuwait Authority for Investment, and ran several projects with the Ministry of Public Works, the General Authority of Housing, the oil sector, and the private sector. Thus far, we have seven subsidiaries in Kuwait and three associated in Oman. In Kuwait we have SandCo Company and Bayan Company, supplying the market with sand and other gatch and agricultural soils. These two companies have about a 50% market share in Kuwait. We also have Boubiyan Ready Mix, a landmark factory producing concrete for most high-tech projects in Kuwait. In addition to that, Tasheed, a general trading and contracting company, owns Kuwait Tower factory, which produces interlock, pavement tiles, concrete tiles, and cement blocks. We produce additives for concrete and all chemicals for construction materials via our company EPO Gulf, and have a good market share there even though the company was only recently established. In 2015, we established Insha’a Ahliyah Real Estate Company, which specializes in investing and managing industrial real estate.

What are some of the large-scale infrastructure projects in Kuwait that you have been involved in?

HA Most of our recent work has been with the Ministry of Public Works, focusing on infrastructure projects. Our core focus is on design, supervision, and project management services. The largest project we are involved in right now is the design and supervision of the Al Jahra and Jamal Abdul Nasser roads, which should be completed by 2019. We have also been involved in Boubyan Island, designing the bridge from the mainland to the island, and a 26km highway leading to Mubarak Al Kabeer Port. Another project that we are very proud to design is the Northern Regional Road, which, when built, will be one of the largest projects in Kuwait’s history. Kuwait Metro is of an interest to us as our experience in metro projects in the region will add significant value in Kuwait

HMAR Our subsidiaries have submitted their bids as a construction materials supplier for large infrastructure projects, similar to most local factories in Kuwait that produce a construction material. Internationally, everyone is talking about these large-scale projects and it is important to encourage it. However, the government has to let local factories participate in this project. As there are not enough rules and regulations in Kuwait that protect national factories and producers, sometimes the main contractor purchases concrete factories to produce concrete for the project, depriving local factories from participating in large-scale and unique projects, such as with Hyundai in the Jaber Al-Ahmead bridge project.

What is your outlook for the year ahead?

HA In Kuwait, there are a number of projects that we look forward to being a part of, such as the Kuwait Metro, the railway, some new cities that will be developed by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, as well as few solar projects through Kuwait Oil Company and the Ministry of Electricity and Water. We have a great deal to offer and seek to be successful in future bids.

HMAR Recently, the government announced a new plan seeking to depend on other sectors rather than only oil and gas. We have seen a great deal of movement recently. Hopefully, this gives an indication that the government is serious about this, and it is not only a matter of propaganda. Recently, the state has applied a reduction of subsidies program from the consumption of water and electricity for most sectors except for industrial sectors. In my opinion, this is a message that the government is still supporting these sectors.



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