Niles, Illinois -- MFRI Inc. said 17 May that it is to set up a plant to make insulated pipes, in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, with the aim of offering a better service to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and nearby.
The plant will be established and operated by Perma-Pipe's subsidiary, Perma-Pipe Middle East (PPME), in tandem with its existing plant in the United Arab Emirates.
"We eagerly anticipate this major strategic initiative, which will address the largest market in the GCC countries," said Fati Elgendy, president of Perma-Pipe, in the company statement.
Elgendy added that the new facility will "serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, (KSA) district heating and cooling and oil and gas markets in this important and rapidly growing economy," noting that, together with PPME's UAE facility, the business "will be well-positioned to serve customers throughout the region."
MRFI said that a "strategically located" site has been leased in Dammam Industrial Area: detailed plant engineering and design is currently in progress. The company said the modern facility will serve the special requirements of the oil and gas industry as well as the rapidly growing market for district-cooling networks in Saudi Arabia.
Perma-Pipe Saudi Arabia, (PPSA), will use Perma-Pipe's Xtru-Therm automated spray polyurethane insulation and several jacketing systems including polyethylene, metal and FRP (fibre-reinforced plastics). The company said PPSA will also be able to custom-manufacture pipe spools and a complete range of pre-insulated fittings.
PPSA has been given an industrial license and commercial registration and expects the plant to be fully operational in 2011.
"The facility is within 20 miles of ARAMCO and very close to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain," pointed out Avin Gidwani, president of Perma-Pipe Middle East, in the 17 May announcement. "PPSA fills in our Middle East expansion strategy. Perma-Pipe has successfully served Saudi Arabia since the 1970's and is currently supplying several major projects in the country from our UAE facility," the Perma Pipe executive added.
One prominent project currently being supplied in Saudi Arabia is the Princess Noura University, an new university exclusively for women, Gidwani noted.
"Through PPSA we look forward to expanding our share of this very large market as well as adjacent areas in the GCC," he commented.
David Unger, chairman and ceo of MFRI, was quoted in the statement as saying that the group continues to reach new markets through top-class customer service and what he claims are "best in class products at competitive prices."
This latest investment supports MFRI's plan for "continued growth in rapidly emerging markets," Unger added.
MFRI makes pre-insulated piping systems for oil and gas gathering, district heating and cooling and other specialty applications, as well as a range of industrial filtration products and thermal transfer equipment.