One of the leading international manufacturers of pumps, valves and related systems, German based KSB on Monday officially opened a state-of-the-art facility at Jebel Ali Freezone to cater for the entire Middle East and Africa (Mena) region.
The new facility designed and constructed considering the green building concept and energy-efficient design specifications has an investment of 2 million euros (Dhs10 million) all-inclusive.
It also has ample of room for future expansion and will soon be equipped with machinery to assemble pump sets and valve-actuator assemblies, said Tonjes Cerovsky, KSB Vice President Middle East and Africa.
He said that KSB Middle-East has been in the UAE since 2004, and is a 100 per cent KSB Group-company, that is responsible for customer support in the UAE and other countries in the Middle East (Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Yemen).
Since its inception, the company has witnessed substantial growth, especially in areas of water extraction, transport and treatment, along with building services and industry. The economic upturn following the easing of the financial and economic crisis continued in the first quarter of 2011.
An important driving force behind this was economic development in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America, from which the German export sector also profited.
Ibrahim Mohammed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza, Klaus Ranner, Consul General of Germany in Dubai and other officials were present for the function. Tonjes maintained that the financial position of the Group is excellent and remains mostly unchanged compared with the same quarter in 2010, although it registered a figure similar to 2008. In total, business came down 10 to 12 per cent in 2009.
Tonjes mentioned that though the Middle East remains a vibrant market for the company, it does not intend to have a manufacturing plant in the region, as the local end-users prefer the German made products.
Asked by the media, why KSB choose to invest in Dubai and not Abu Dhabi, Tonjes said that Dubai offers investors 100 per cent ownership besides its proximity to many other continents.
The company aims to grow bigger in size in the next 3 to 5 years since Middle East is a potential market with a lot of investments in the region, said Erwin Maier, Managing Director of KSB Middle East.
The group with its presence in almost all continents generates annual consolidated sales revenue of almost two billion euros.
Maier revealed that the recent unrest in some parts of the Arab region including Iran, Egypt, Yemen and Libya had greatly affected the company’s regional performance.
The political situation in Libya has brought business to a total halt to KSB ME, which was doing a brisk business with an annual turnover of 10 to 15 million euros, mainly for water distribution and power plant in Libya, said Maier.
He admitted that business in the affected areas had been low, adding that the GCC however was growing between 5 to 7 per cent.
Tonjes also disclosed that the company has a strong presence in Asia-Pacific, China and India. In India, alone the company has three factories mainly catering to the domestic market, with another large factory in Brazil as well.
He said the company believes in international development with service activities being a strong base for KSB, having been in the market for several decades now.
KSB keeps in close contact with the end-users to maintain continuity and this in turn guarantees new business for us, said Jan Stoop, member of KSB AG Board of Management.
The company has a strong presence in Africa in terms of its pumps product offerings and is currently working on strengthening the market for its valve products, explained Maier. It aims to expand its network throughout the African continent from the sub-sahara region.
Plans are also in the pipeline for the company to establish a fully-fledged valve service centre in South Africa. The centre, Maier said will offer a comprehensive valve reconditioning facility, capable of refurbishing both KSB’s and other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, including pressure testing and valve certification
Asked about competition in the market, Maier admitted that its tough, as every competitor today is trying his best to reduce prices in order to secure more contracts.
From / Gulf Today