THE WORLD IS YOURS

Ras Al Khaimah 2017 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Naser Bustami, General Manager of Stevin Rock and RAK Rock, on supplying for the World Cup, implementing the world's most advanced environmental standards, and expanding across the globe.

Naser Bustami
BIOGRAPHY
Naser Bustami is Board Member and General Manager of four government-owned companies in Ras Al Khaimah: Stevin Rock, RAK Rock, RAK Ports, and RAKNor, which together have a turnover of USD400 million and a workforce of more than 3,000. Bustami has a 26-year service record providing technical and commercial management services to projects totaling more than USD1 billion in the UAE and Middle East. In 2007 he led the takeover of RAK Rock by Stevin Rock. Bustami holds a BSc in civil engineering from Bradley University (US), an MBA from Leicester University (UK), and is completing his doctor of business administration at Sydney Business School (Australia).

What is the link between Stevin Rock and RAK Rock?

Stevin Rock was founded in 1975 as a 100%-owned subsidiary of Dutch company Volker Stevin until it was acquired by our new parent company, Dragomar, S.P.A., in 1990. That year we formed a joint venture to support the building of the Ras Laffan Port in Qatar, for which we supplied 5 million tons of material. In May 1996, the government of RAK purchased Stevin. Until then, RAK Rock and Stevin Rock were two separate companies that competed for projects. RAK Rock remained loyal to its code, which was to supply raw material feed to the cement plants, even though both Stevin Rock and RAK Rock are owned by the government. In October 2007 we discussed the unification of the management of our companies, although the companies remained technically distinct for various strategic reasons.

What are Stevin Rock's landmark projects?

We were involved in all the megaprojects in Dubai, such as Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, the World Islands, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Dubai Mall, Dubai International Airport expansion, JBR projects, Dubai Festival City, and Jebel Ali Container Terminal, amongst others. At the moment we are involved in projects such as the Upper Zakkum project, SARB, Das Island by ADNOC, Small Boat Harbour, and the new LNG terminal project in Bahrain.

What are the main export markets?

Around 25% of our production went to markets outside the UAE. In 2015, we were invited by the Qatari government to discuss supplying the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We signed a QAR1 billion contract, which would make us the largest raw material supplier to Qatar over the next five years, and we would supply around 40 million tons over five years. Along with that, we expanded our capacity, building a new crushing plant for AED150 million and expanded our harbor for AED30 million. We are now ready to commission our new plant to supply and support the Qatari market first and foremost. After India and Africa, we decided to expand into Europe. We are also the lead supplier to Bahrain and Kuwait. We supply the cement for a GCC-funded, USD5 billion housing project, and in Kuwait we supply limestone to a cement factory there. Our new target is London, and we are building a new deepwater berth for the purpose, which will help us halve sea transportation costs to London.

How much importance do you attach to environmental standards and eco-friendliness?

In our industry we have to practice the latest and best standards and look for the latest technologies all the time. Therefore, environmental control measures have accounted for around 10% of our capital expenditure over the last five years, during which time we have implemented and maintained an environmental management system that meets all of the requirements of ISO 14001:2004. We work in close cooperation with Ras Al Khaimah Environment Protection and Industrial Development Authority, including introducing across all our sites advanced dust extraction systems that prevent environmental pollution. We have also totally enclosed all primary, secondary, and tertiary crushers, as well as screens, conveyors, and product bins. As well as further improvements in encapsulation, 2016 will see the development of the fogging cannon spray system principle and the trial and subsequent use of wetting, foaming, and crustacean additives in dust suppression water.

What are your prospects for the year ahead?

We started our new expansion plans forecasting the demand of aggregates in the GCC and other Asian region. We expect to add a new production line, called crusher 22, producing 12 million tons per annum at the Khor Khuwair quarry. We are also expanding crusher 11, producing an additional 1.5 million tons per annum at Al Ghail quarry. There will also be crusher improvements and expansions targeting the production of an additional 1 million tons per annum at Kadra quarry.