Dow Egypt is considering expanding in Egypt to meet the needs of the local market amid the country’s ongoing support towards national mega projects in both the public and private sectors, the Country General Manager of Dow Egypt, Momen Adel, told Daily News Egypt (DNE).
Egypt is experiencing a resurgence in the infrastructure sector owing to the government’s 2030Vision, Adel added.
DNE interviewed Adel to find out more about the company’s expansion plan’s, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
What is the company’s expansion plan in the Egyptian market?
Driven by the high demand in the Egyptian market, Dow Chemical started to consider expansion plans, and we are currently studying all options. We are comparing between establishing a new plant, and expanding the existing one to meet the local market’s needs. It came amid the country’s ongoing support towards national mega projects in the public and private sectors.
The company started operating in the local market in the late 1990s, and built a factory in the 10th of Ramadan city to produce polyurethane systems and thermal insulation. Establishing another factory is still on the table among other options, but the final decision will be taken in coordination with the parent company.
Polyurethane is heavily used in the Egyptian industrial sector as it is involved in the production of refrigerators, heaters, cars, furniture, footwear, thermal insulation of surfaces, and other products.
Who are the company’s main customers in Egypt?
Dow produces about 50% of Egypt’s polyurethane systems. The company deals with real estate developers in the New Administrative Capital and the North Coast, in addition to the industrial sector.
We also agreed with the ministry of antiquities to apply heat insulation systems in the Grand Egyptian Museum. Dow also participated in the renovation of the parliament building. We aim to expand in new real estate projects implemented outside Cairo, such as the New Administrative Capital, the North Coast, and Ain Sokhna.
What are the major opportunities you spotted in Egypt’s construction sector?
Over the last few years, we have seen substantial development across Egypt through the launch of several key projects by the government in various sectors. Egypt is experiencing a resurgence in the construction and infrastructure sectors owing to the government’s 2030 Vision. Since Dow operates mainly in infrastructure, there is a great opportunity for the company to increase its activities in the immediate future. The heat insulation systems can be used to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings, and ensure protection against fires. Dow’s thermal insulation systems can absorb the changing needs of the construction sector, such as increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, reducing carbon footprints, and meeting stringent fire performance requirements. The demand for heat insulation extends to the infrastructure, industrial and energy sectors, where there is a growing demand for pipeline insulation.
We are seeing a growing interest in our solutions and technologies, and we are committed to partnering with the public and private sectors to fulfil the government’s vision.
In your opinion, what are the major growth drivers in Egypt?
With the Egyptian economy undergoing transformation, there are multiple factors which can contribute to the country’s growth. Expanding in megaprojects is one of these factors, namely the New Administrative Capital, the New Al Alamein city, the renovation of the parliament building, and the Grand Egyptian Museum. We can already see how these projects are boosting the economy, through attracting investment in infrastructure and creating new employment opportunities.
The rise of consumerism is another growth driver in Egypt. This requires the upgrading of the country’s logistics and road networks’ system, to transport goods across the country, and meet consumers’ needs. At Dow, we are witnessing a growing demand for our solutions, and technologies of insulation, as manufacturers and retailers need to improve their refrigerated transport so that perishable goods can be moved safely throughout Egypt. Dow’s polyurethane systems are found in refrigerated trucks, walk-in coolers, and commercial refrigerators, creating lightweight and thermally efficient insulation for cold storage, hence keeping products fresh.
The Egyptian government has recently increased restrictions on imports to stimulate local production. The government’s incentive schemes for local manufacturers, such as providing lands in Upper Egypt, have also contributed to the local economy’s growth. We have seen these policies’ effect on the local home appliances and footwear industries for which Dow provides polyurethanes technologies and solutions.
What makes your products stand out in the Egyptian market?
Dow started operating in Egypt in the late 1990s, through applying the first local polyurethane system at a house in the 10th of Ramadan city. Polyurethane is a key input of several industries, specifically refrigerators, heaters, cars, furniture, footwear, thermally insulated pipes and roofs. Dow solutions for thermal insulation have also been utilised in a number of high-profile projects, such as the Grand Egyptian Museum, and the renovation of the parliament building. Our intimate knowledge of Egypt’s market, spanning over four decades, coupled with our world-class technologies, gives Dow a unique position in Egypt.
Why did you participate in The Big 5 Construct Egypt exhibition?
The Big 5 exhibition presents the best-in-class solutions and technologies for the construction business, and we were excited to take part in it. We believe The Big 5 Construct Egypt is a strong platform to showcase innovations, and share the best construction solutions, allowing companies to learn and collaborate with one another. During the exhibition, we were enthusiastic to demonstrate our expertise, and engage with the industry’s main players to brainstorm on innovative solutions which can solve the sector’s challenges, particularly in insulating real estate projects.
What are the innovative products you presented at the exhibition?
We presented several applications at The Big 5 Construct Egypt. Dow experts showcased the company’s industry leading portfolio of high-performance technologies in insulation, interior and exterior coatings, waterproofing systems, and fire-safety solutions. Our main products include:
Structural Silicone Glazing: Only silicone sealants possess the unique combination of strength, flexibility, and weather resistance required for structural glazing applications. The benefits delivered include ease of use, reliable adhesion to a variety of surfaces, greater UV stability, temperature and weather resistance, and it lasts longer than organic sealants.
Expansion Joint Sealants: Effective for sealing transverse contraction and expansion joints, longitudinal, centre line, and shoulder joints in Portland Cement Concrete (PCC).
Energy Efficient Insulation: Metal panels insulated with Dow VORATHERM polyisocyanurate and VORACOR polyurethane systems for insulated panels and boards bring excellent performance and light weight properties which can meet the most demanding industry requirements, improve longevity, and increase energy efficiency. Dow’s latest innovation in spray foam, VORACOR OZO, delivers exceptional thermal protection with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. VORACOR OZO SPF has zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP).
Insulation enhanced for Fire-protection: Polyisocyanurate (PIR) rigid foam offers the best-in-class insulation performance of polyurethane (PUR), but with greatly enhanced fire performance properties. Dow’s family of PIR products – VORATHERM polyisocyanurate – offers a wide index of fire-performance levels that are further customised to your specifications, allowing you to compete with changing market requirements.
Cool Reflective Roof Coatings: Cool Reflective Roof Coatings (CRRCs) are designed to decrease the amount of heat which can penetrate buildings, reducing ambient air temperatures, and therefore the need for air conditioning – which can in turn reduce the cost of cooling a building by as much as 20%. PRIMAL EC 4642 Acrylic Emulsion Polymer is Dow’s latest binder development, the answer for requirements for cool roofing technology that performs reliably in harsh environments by delivering long-term protection against environmental degradation.
Latex powders for drymix formulations: DOW Latex Powder (DLP) is a free-flowing, redispersible powder, rapidly dispersible in water, VAE or VAE-VeoVa based, offering a range of benefits for dry mix formulations. Redispersible latex powder combines the benefit of liquid latex modifiers with the convenience, reliability, and handling or storing advantage of one component dry mix systems.