At any given time, Saudi Readymix Concrete Co., one of the largest suppliers of ready-mix concrete and related products in Saudi Arabia, has over 1,000 active projects of different sizes across the country. The concrete manufacturer operates 20 commercial and 20 on-site factories in the Kingdom, which are officially approved as suppliers to major governmental and industrial authorities such as Saudi Aramco, SEC, SABIC, Royal Commission, MoDA, Maaden, and MOI.
Mega projects where Saudi Readymix has supplied ready-mix concrete and executed concrete pumping, recently, include the Riyadh Metro, King Abdul Aziz Road in Makkah, Aramco’s Ajyal project in Dammam, King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries & Services in Ras Al Khair, and King Abdullah Port in Rabigh.
Saudi Readymix is one of the main concrete suppliers for Lines 1 & 2 of the Riyadh Metro being constructed by the BACS consortium (Bechtel, Almabani, CCC, and Siemens). So far, the company has delivered approximately 1.3 million m3 of ready-mix concrete for construction of the Metro Lines and has a dedicated on-site concrete factory with three major batch plants near the project site.
The Riyadh Metro project has very strict specifications and requires different types of concrete depending on the type of structure and its application. A large part of the concrete supplied has included a highly durable concrete mix with special additives that was designed to ensure a life span of over 100 years.
Mohammed Abu Zaid, chief operations officer, Saudi Readymix Concrete Co., says: “All these mega projects have been very challenging in different aspects. Perhaps, the project where we faced our biggest pumping challenge was the Riyadh Metro where more than 10 concrete pumps were required at any given time, delivering to more than 20 sites daily, including deep underground stations where concrete pumping operations involved a combination of mobile pumps, pipelines and spider placing booms.”
Ready-mix concrete is delivered to the Riyadh Metro site using 40–60 mixer trucks with capacities of 10–12m3. It is then pumped using Putzmeister truck mounted concrete pumps with average capacities of 50–70m3/h and boom lengths of 42, 49 and 56m.
Saudi Readymix uses Putzmeister stationary and mobile concrete pumps on almost all of its big projects, especially where special concrete pouring and placing techniques are required.
Hani Keshta, production and maintenance director, Saudi Readymix Concrete Co., explains: “We chose Putzmeister equipment for the Riyadh Metro project in order to overcome its specific concrete pumping challenges. Putzmeister concrete pumps are heavy-duty machines with no breakdowns. It is easy to connect the pumps to a pipeline system or spider placing boom, and they have the high flexibility required to pump a blended mix of cementitious materials. They can also work continuously for long hours while building special structure such as one-sided shutter walls.”
Mohammed adds: “As a company that always believes in providing its customers with the best quality and a very reliable service and as a long-time customer of Putzmeister, our history speaks for itself. We have a strong relationship with Putzmeister and its local representative in KSA, Middle East Development Company (MEDCO). The quality and reliability of Putzmeister concrete pumps enables us to better fulfil our promise to our customers.”
Mohammed Abu Zaid, chief operations officer, Saudi Readymix Concrete Co.
Hani Keshta, production and maintenance director, Saudi Readymix Concrete Co.
Saudi Readymix is expanding its R&D activities, manufacturing capabilities and concrete pumping equipment in preparation for the several ‘giga-projects’ announced by the Saudi Arabia government, namely Neom, The Red Sea, Qiddiyah and Al Ula. In the energy sector, the government has announced plans to build 20 nuclear plants in the next two decades, and Saudi Aramco has announced plans to develop their gas and oil fields and build more downstream projects throughout the country. Furthermore, the Kingdom is proceeding aggressively with their housing projects as many of the long-awaited Ministry of Housing developments have finally started.
Mohammed assesses the performance of the construction sector in Saudi Arabia in terms of the current and future demand for concrete.
“Construction activity in the GCC has been slowing down for the past three years. In Saudi Arabia, demand for concrete has reduced at a rate of 10–14% annually since 2015, which has led to an overall 30% decrease in demand,” he says.
“If one reviews the list of projects in Saudi Arabia at various stages from concept to construction, there is a large volume of projects in the pipeline. In fact, the value of these projects have exceeded $1.4 trillion. The main concern is how soon the new projects will be awarded, especially the mega projects. And the main factor that would determine the status of the construction market in the future is not whether there are planned projects in the pipeline but rather the starting time of construction and the speed in awarding contracts for all the phases of the projects,” adds Mohammed.