JRD International commissions Dh300m manufacturing plant

JRD International, a Dubai-based conglomerate, has invested Dh300 million ($80 million) in RMD Board — a composite polypropylene board manufacturing plant that will change, among other things, construction systems and the way people dress-up interiors — both office and residences.

The RMD Board manufacturing plant — a division of JRD International — has already started production. The plant, built on a 40,000 square metres plot of land within the Jebel Ali Free Zone, has created 700 job opportunities and is going to support thousands of indirect employment through the strengthening of its supply chain. This plant will service the GCC region as well as Africa and CIS.

“By next year, this plant will reach 110,000 metric tonnes per annum processing capacity of polypropylene. That will make it the largest single-site manufacturing plant of rigid extrusion of polypropylene in the world and reflects our belief and commitment to the UAE and the GCC economies,” Anupam Lunavat, managing director of JRD International, said. “The company plans to reach global production of half a million metric tonnes per annum by 2016.” The plant is part of the company’s vision to create unique products and services for the customers.

“When in full production, RMD Board will not only help UAE reduce its dependence on imported plywood, particle board, MDFs, etc and help the country in attaining self reliance in these areas, but also raise exports of indigenous manufactured products,” Lunawat says.

So far JRD International, a debt-free company with solid financials, has invested Dh300 million from its own resources.

RMD Board’s wall panels and false ceilings — which currently come in 300 different designs and textures — will soon be available in over a thousand designs. RMD Boards will eliminate a lot of complicated decorative boards and conventional materials that are being used presently. Easy to use, residents could install these wall panels in their homes and offices with adhesives and in a very short possible time.

RMD wall panels could also replace the imported wall panels available in the market. According to the GRMC Advisory Services, the GCC wall-paneling market is poised to decline from $6.64 billion in 2011 to $5.28 billion in 2015, due to a slowdown in construction activities in parts of the region. RMD wall panels could eliminate the entire range of foreign imported goods in the next few years, if local interiors fit-out companies utilize the locally manufactured RMD wall panels and false ceilings.

Lunavat said his company is also planning to invest up to Dh1.5 billion ($400 million) in international expansion which will see the company build 80 lines in seven countries within the next four years.

“RMD Board is the realisation of our dream for the future and we want to transform it into a global company. Within the next four years, we will set up similar plants in emerging economies such as the BRIC nations and Turkey and North America,” he said.

The many offerings by RMD Board are all water proof, termite resistant, fire retardant, highly durable, light-weight and 100 per cent recyclable. The use of polypropylene in these engineered products replaces the use of wood thus reducing carbon foot print.

These properties make them suitable for both interior and exterior applications such as construction site-fencing, flooring, wall paneling, shuttering, outdoor advertising, billboards, etc.

The plant uses energy efficient patented technology that creates honeycomb-like structures that gives these fire-rated boards excellent strength to weight ratio.

The strength of these boards is so great, that they could be used in civil engineering and construction industry especially new-age RMD Shuttering Panels which offer value-for-money as they are lightweight, reusable with an almost-zero attrition rate. Their ease of installation and removal is un-rivalled vis-à-vis traditional materials. The shuttering services market in the GCC was estimated at $8.68 billion in 2010, which is expected to reach $9.32 billion in 2015, according to GRMC Advisory Services, a global research organisation.

“We are very upbeat about RMD Board’s prospects in the market as it is a ‘Made in UAE’ product,” Lunavat said.


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