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Nigeria 2020 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Sana Group uses in-country resources to develop its R&D capabilities and maintain its leading position in Nigeria's construction sector.

Alaa Alghadban
BIOGRAPHY

Alaa Alghadban is the Managing Director of Sana Group. He is recognized as an industry leader for his focus on product quality, demanding site execution standards, and innovative and practical solutions for the construction industry. He is active in all segments of the construction industry in Nigeria and elsewhere in the West Africa region. He established Sana Construction in 2007 to serve the growing demands of the local construction market. Sana Group is the successor to that company.

What are your core activities in Nigeria?
Sana Group is special because it continuously raises the standard in all the construction sectors it serves. We are active in four distinct sectors. The main business focus is in the construction of factories, ranging from light industries and warehouses to heavy industrial plants. Our turnkey activities include design and execution for the food industry, leading to Sana Global Construction's recognition as the leader in this particularly specialized and demanding sector. Sana Global Construction recently completed an expansion of the Kellogg factory in Lagos, which was also built by Sana Global. Both projects are good examples of our exceptional capability and performance. Through our work, we raised hygiene and operational standards. We are proud to have improved the standard of construction in the food sector. Sana Group's health and safety standards and its reputation for excellence in project execution is world class. We strive to ensure that every project we execute is better than the previous one. Our second business focus is the manufacturing and trading of construction chemicals and the third is the manufacturing of high-quality cement blocks. The fourth sector Sana Group participates in is structural steel fabrication. Recognizing an unmet demand for high-quality steel fabrication, we established Sana Building System (SBS), arguably the most important part of our business. SBS is a state-of-the-art pre-engineered building (PEB) and hot rolled steel structures (HRSS) design and fabrication company. It is currently the only operation of its type in Nigeria.

Can you tell us more about the PEB design?
There are two basic types of steel structures. One is called hot rolled or HRSS, which involves buying mill-produced beams and cutting, drilling, and welding them. The other type is PEB. Our PEB engineering programs analyze each component in a structure to identify levels of high stress and then produce custom designs to optimize steel content to absorb pressure. PEB design ensures efficient inter-dependency between a building's steel frames, steel secondary components, and cladding. This results in an extremely competitive building solution compared to other construction options. Until the establishment of SBS, such structures were imported, mainly from the UAE. We import high-grade plates, sheets, and coils and fabricate them into engineered beams in our factory in Nigeria. The entire engineering and design process are done in-house by our professional engineers. PEB is an engineered product, which means we employ the latest engineering software capable of designing buildings to the most demanding international standards. Engineers input the proposed building's dimensions, select the applicable building code, and a fully code-compliant design is generated. Skilled structural draftsmen produce detailed shop fabrication drawings, which SBS' experienced fabrication shop workforce follow to precisely cut plates and assemble the welded beams. This process is very efficient. It invariably results in a savings of at least 20-30%. This cost savings in fit-for-purpose PEB fabricated steel is a huge advantage. When compared to concrete construction, the PEB cost advantage is even greater. We are the first company to provide this turnkey solution in Nigeria. This innovative product will be available once SBS' factory is commissioned in May 2020. SBS will virtually eliminate the need for expensive imported steel structures, conserving Nigeria's hard currency. It is a high-tech product that also adds value to the general community. SBS invests in the latest technology and conducts continuous training to provide its well-educated technical staff with the right skills to perform their demanding tasks.

What are Sana Group's key priorities for 2020?
First, we want both SBS and Sana Blocks to be considered the preferred choices within their target markets. Another priority is to expand our market share in the road-works construction sector. Following the launch of SBS, we intend to enter the low-cost, affordable housing market.