QATAR - Economy
Chairman, Suhail Industrial Holding Group
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mubarak Al Thani has always focused on the pursuit of Qatar’s sustainable growth in the industrial sector. While the primary focus for Sheikh Khalid has been ensuring that the nation’s industrial sector is entirely self-sustaining, he has also pursued the goal of Qatar being a front runner in the region’s pursuit of industrial evolution and technology, ingenuity and overarching sustainability.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad bin Mubarak Al Thani: Suhail holding group started in 2012 with the first factory for battery recycling. The start was easy, but we faced many challenges in establishing ourselves in the industrial arena. The company opted for rapid growth with the construction of new factories. Today, we aim to make Qatar sustainable by producing, where possible, formerly imported materials and products. We settled on entering industries that at the time had no developed competition. Essentially, we are innovators, and there is no scope for copying the output of other firms. We now produce numerous in-house products, including 1 million batteries per year. There are approximately 700,000 cars in Qatar, whereby we cover the local market and export, with all-original equipment manufacturing spare parts. We aim to become an OEM supplier. As an OEM supplier, our product will be produced in Qatar, boxed, and labeled as Toyota, Nissan, Ford, GMC, or Lexus. We then sell those products as original spare parts. We need to sign deals with global manufacturers to achieve that goal. Furthermore, the Public Works Authority, Ashghal Qatar, has great demand for geotextile foil, a non-moving foil used for excavations and road infrastructure, of up to 10,000 tons a year. We built a factory dedicated to geotextile foils with an annual capacity of 8,000-10,000 tons, which meets 100% of Ashghal’s requirements. Additionally, we produce utility hole covers and drainage tops. Meanwhile, we also built the largest foundry in the Middle East with a 40,000-ton annual capacity. This foundry will produce utility hole covers, gully tops, mechanical spare parts, and spare parts for agricultural equipment. Around 40% of this foundry’s capacity, including numerous mechanical spare parts, will cover Qatar’s needs, with 60% exported to the US. Innovation underpins our entire strategy. The second approach developed within our strategy is the pursuit of sustainability in Qatar. And third and most challenging is environmental protection. We do this by recycling all waste. We started with lead-acid batteries. When we recycle batteries, two things result: one is lead, and the other is plastic. And today, we operate the whole cycle from battery recycling to production and sales. This process is kind to the environment while adding value to our products.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad bin Mubarak Al Thani: Besides our 15 factories, there is a new facility under construction in Ethiopia, and recently we acquired two factories in the US to enter that market more directly. We work on a five-year plan and are set to introduce three to five new factories annually, mainly in Qatar. And we consider becoming Qatar’s industrial leader, which means never resting on our laurels. Among new ventures, we are considering tire recycling. We have engaged in different types of recycling, but so far, not tires. In addition, we will expand our production of automotive spare parts. Also in the pipeline is the construction of a factory producing oil, air, and engine filters to meet the automotive industry’s needs. We are also looking at the recycling of used automotive engine oil. Interestingly, we have also established a mobile car service called WIEELZ. We have deployed 50 cars, 17 vans, and 35 smaller cars in the field at competitive pricing. We use our own brake pads, brake drums, batteries, oil filters, air filters, and oil imported from Turkey. This helps us to build up the logistics of all our products and applications. Lastly, we invest in human resources, having introduced VR training and designed specific courses at the factories covering firefighting, handling chemical or toxic material, first aid, electrical troubleshooting, and repairing mortars.
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