THE COMPETITIVE EDGE

Saudi Arabia 2016 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Jamal Fawzi Matalka, CEO of Saudi Specialty Chemical Ind. Co. Ltd. (SSCI), on the company's milestones, the business breakdown, and staying ahead of competitors with the latest technology.

Jamal Fawzi Matalka
BIOGRAPHY
Jamal Fawzi Matalka has a degree in chemical engineering from Jordan University of Science & Technology and was a sales engineer from 1989 to 1990 at Fliz Chemical Co. in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was then a sales and service engineer Afrom 1990 to 1995 at Metito Chemical Industries and sales manager from 1995 to 1998 at Metito Chemical Industries. He is the Founder and CEO of SSCI and also the Founder and CEO of GATCO and Founder and CEO of Noor Chemicals.

What have been the milestones for SSCI to date?

Since day one, SSCI's objective has been to locally manufacture the desalination chemicals required in Saudi Arabia and the GCC using locally procured raw materials and in-house R&D. Saudi Arabia and all GGC countries rely on desalination for their potable, irrigation, and industrial waters. Desalination requires mechanical equipment and chemicals. These chemicals are essential in the operation of desalination plants to prevent scaling and corrosion. Without them, a plant would be ruined within hours, which is why our objective has always been to provide a local supply of chemicals to support the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and other water producers in Saudi Arabia and GCC countries. We have an excellent relationship with SWCC in the form of a partnership to localize, end to end, the desalination industry. This is extremely important for the safe operation of the plants and as a water security issue for the Kingdom and the GCC. SWCC took the initiative to conduct an annual forum on the localization of this industry because of the importance of water security to the region, and SSCI was honored to sponsor the 2015 forum. SSCI now contributes to Kingdom and GCC water security through the production of three out of the four items necessary to run desalination plants. The fourth product's final approval stage will start soon at SWCC—Shoaibah plant in Saudi Arabia, Sohar plant in Oman, and Hidd plant in Bahrain. Having said that, 85% of the world's desalination plants are in the Gulf region and SSCI has the advantage in capturing a major part of this business because of our geographical proximity and low raw material and manufacturing costs.

What share of your overall business comes from mining products?

Our mining products business is only three years old, which is why we are focusing on it and marketing ourselves by attending as many regional and international exhibitions and events as we can. Currently, we have a 100% market share for these additives in Jordan, 40% share in Indonesia, and we just started with OCP in Morocco; however, that does not contribute much to the company's revenues. If we include Maaden Phosphate Company (MPC), Maaden Aluminium Company (MAC), Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), Indo Jordan Company (IJC), Jordan India Fertilizer Co, (Jifco), Petro Jordan Abadi, and Petrokimia of Indonesia, our fertilizers and mining products make up around 10% of SSCI revenues at the moment. There is huge added potential that will be created by Maaden and OCP expansions. As a result, SSCI's growth strategy will mainly depend on mining and fertilizers additives. Similar to desalination chemicals, the major advantage SSCI has over its competitors lies in the availability of raw materials in local market from Aramco and Sabic. This enable us to sell them at the cheapest price in Saudi Arabia and also provide us with a competitive edge in export to countries that buy mineral oil from Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. After over three years in the mining sector, SSCI is now expanding quickly. We have a complete team here with a fully equipped, state-of-the-art laboratory and we can develop any product within a few months. By 2020, we anticipate that approximately 60% of SSCI's overall revenues will be from the mining sector. The potential for the company to grow in that particular category of products is greater than in any other sector. Therefore, we will end up with two product categories, rather than the eight we currently have. These are water treatment products on a global scale and mining products. SSCI's business will become 60% mining products, 30% water treatment products, and 10% other products. For now our main source of revenue is water treatment products and concrete additives.