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Regional Thermal Industry Powers On Rising Demand Confirms Uptrend In Key Segments

Surging requirements from the trillion-dollar infrastructure projects in the region brought the thermal industry into limelight during the just-concluded Thermal Industry Middle East (TIME) at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The biennial show was held from October 17 to 19, 2011, alongside the Green Middle East – Environment exhibition. A total of 2,285 trade visitors attended the events for the three days. A further 200 dignitaries, VIPs and accompanying guests also attended the opening ceremonies.

The key segments of the show, which included Steel-Tech, Cement-Tech, Alu-Tech, Glass & Ceramic Tech, were all buzzing with activity as owners, suppliers, and other industry representatives of regional plants and mills turned out in good numbers to explore the latest equipment, machineries, spares, components and consumables in their respective fields.

“The UAE and GCC are shifting towards a non-oil economy. This focus on manufacturing is a great catalyst for heavy industry to flourish in the region. With availability of comparatively cheaper energy and labour, investment in heavy industry will continue to grow in the region,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.

TIME 2011 featured the requirements of the heavy industries including turnkey steel plants, furnaces, rolling mills, adhesives & sealents, blowers & compressors, bulk material handling, dust collectors, speciality electrodes, hardfacing electrodes, engineering & machinery, filter bags, filter cloth, furnaces, gaskets, gear motors, industrial fans, industrial furnaces, lubricants, measurement devices, hardness testers, refractories, rolling mills, shaftless spiral conveyors, steel coil slitting machines, testing instruments and wear plates.

“The prospects for the show are very good,” said Mr. Midfa. There are more than 70 cement factories in the GCC region and around 10 major cement manufactures in the UAE itself, while Saudi cement industry will remain strong for the remainder of 2011 with good demand growth. Saudi Arabia being the largest cement manufacturer in the region is going in for major expansions. Neighbouring Iran currently produces some 65 million tonnes of cement per year. Eight cement projects are to come on stream to boost Iran’s cement production capacity to 76 million tonnes.

“The steel-making industry also shows robust growth in the region. The UAE itself has grown to have more than 15 steel plants in the region with more than 42 in the GCC region,” said Mr. Midfa. “Add to that Iran, Egypt, Jordan and Syria and the prospects for the Steel-Tech segment of the exhibition look very good,” he said.

Among the big ticket investments in the steel sector include a heavy steel complex in King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi unit of ArcelorMittal, and Qatar Steel’s new plant.

Aluminium smelters are also on the increase taking benefit of the availability of cheaper power. DUBAL and ALBA, the existing smelters, are now joined by EMAL in Abu Dhabi, Sohar plant and planned plants in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The GCC countries, which control nearly 45 per cent of the world’s oil and 25 per cent of the global gas wealth, has invested nearly US$30 billion in aluminium smelters, almost a sixth of their total non-oil industrial investments of about US$180 billion.

Pinar Dokum, an exhibitor from Turkey, said they were pleased to see the quality of attendees and was surprised to see several inquiries from the region, which shows there is still something in the market despite the slowdown in the industry. He also confirmed their interest in the next edition of the show.

Another exhibitor, Rataj from Czech Republic, which was present in the previous edition too, was also pleased to see there is still a lot of potential in this region despite the so-called instability in the region.

The rising demand for raw materials, plant & equipment, equipment & supplies, accessories & supplies, and services was fully reflected in the number of business enquiries and orders placed at TIME exhibition.

Overall, nearly 75 exhibitors and brands showcased exhibits related to steel making & cement manufacturing technology from the world over.

A few of the leading suppliers who have exhibited are A. R. Rolling Mills - Gear Motors, Andrew Webron - Filters, Atad - Dillinger Wear Plates, Aumund, Capital Refractories, Chongqing Gearbox, Copam – SEW Drive, Cumi Refractory, Duraweld - Wearplates, Thermotec, Elgi Compressors, HimEnviro-Industrial Fans, Inductotherm, Inmarco-Thermal Insulations, Kay International - Blowers & Compressors, Larosa - Slitting Machines, LPT - lenze Gear Motors, Metallogen-Jawwad & Waqqas, Microtherm, MIT- Furnaces, Pinar Dokum - Wear Plates, Rataj - Conveyors, Sanco -Testing Equipments, Simond fibertech - Thermal Insulations, SSAB -Hardox, Vautid -Wear Plates, Weicon, Wesman - Induction Furnaces, Wieland - Industrial Vaccum Machines, and Ying Kou -Filters.

Thermal Industry Middle East was organised by Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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