Madar Holding, a subsidiary of Alfozan Group, has partnered with the United States-based MMFX Technologies Corporation to introduce steel designed to meet the UAE’s market requirements.
Popularly called “super steel”, the product is five times more resistant to corrosion and is twice as strong as the standard steel.
Salem Faza, President of MMFX’s Middle East Operations, said: “The strength of the steel is that it enables designers and contractors to use up to 40 per cent less steel in any building. This eventually leads to less use of energy in steel manufacturing and helps meet the UAE’s goal to build greener and environmentally sustainable structures. The steel is best suited for most of the high-rise construction. In several projects in the US, it has reduced the use of cement.”
The new steel will first be made available in the UAE and will then be introduced throughout the Middle East.
MMFX Technologies has already invested $60 million (Dh220m) in developing the steel. Initially, the company will ship the finished product from the US. However, there are plans to set up a factory in Canada with an initial production capacity of 400,000 tonnes of super steel. The steel will then be shipped to Bahrain and distributed throughout the region.
“Eventually, we plan to set up the production unit in the UAE. It all depends on the demand,” said Faza.
The annual demand for steel in the Emirates alone is estimated to exceed 4.5 million tonnes and MMFX hopes almost 20 per cent of the demand can be met by super steel.
Sameh Hassan, CEO of Madar, said: “In the US more than 20 governmental authorities have approved the use of MMFX steel in their building codes and major projects. In addition to the remarkable ease of the rebar congestion issue, especially in the foundation phase of any structure, MMFX steel offers significantly higher levels of corrosion resistance and strength versus conventional reinforced steel.”
Hassan said the steel will boost the safety and strength of properties such as waterfront residences and marine resorts. High-rise buildings would also benefit from it as these buildings require significant foundation protection, especially from the UAE’s highly corrosive soil.
“We believe this product will set new construction standards in the region. Here in the GCC, especially in the UAE, such factors are of paramount importance to deliver buildings that cope better with the environment,” said Hassan, adding that better constructability and low maintenance will also make the new steel technology cost-effective.
MMFX Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Irvine, California, is a materials science company and is focused on uncoated steel.
STEEL PRODUCTION SET TO RISE
World steel production is projected to increase 5.7 per cent in 2008 to 1.42 billion metric tonnes from 1.344 billion metric tonnes in 2007, according to steel consultancy MEPS.
The increase will be driven mainly by an expected increase in China’s output to 533 million metric tonnes from 489 million metric tonnes in 2007, a rise of nine per cent.
Russia and Eastern Europe are also expected to show growth in production.
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