Muscat: Buildings in Oman could be constructed faster and at a low cost as construction trash in India turned into wall boards may enter the Omani market soon, officials of an Omani and Indian enterprise said.
In this regard, Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said, director general of Investment Promotion at Ithraa, who is also the chairman of small and medium enterprise (SME), Gulfland International, inked a deal on Sunday with an Indian firm that will see Gulfland distributing the Indian product in Oman and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.
“What came across a couple of weeks ago is an opportunity that we saw might be interesting for the construction sector in Oman,” said Turki Al Said.
“The concern is whether we can actually construct buildings faster and at a cheaper rate yet, managing to fulfil the technical requirements and safety? This is what interested me...We hope we will be adding value to Oman and are hopeful to even extend it to the neighbouring countries of [the] GCC,” he stated.
The glass fibre-reinforced gypsum panels are manufactured by FACT-RCF Building Products, a government of India enterprise that seeks to gain a strong foothold in the Oman and other GCC markets.
The distribution, however, needs the nod of several agencies, including civic bodies, the ministries of housing and environment. Construction companies too, are being wooed to adopt the innovation.
“We will follow up with the companies and make sure they are interested,” added Al Said.
For the Indian officials, if all goes well, the industrial trash forged into gypsum wall panels is all set to become a game-changer in the construction industry of the Sultanate, particularly in the housing sector.
“It is going to become a household name in India and abroad because of its characteristics required for such type of climate. It reduces the cost, a tremendous amount of time, is user friendly, light weight, green and is also good for such warm climate where insulation is required,” Jaiveer Srivastava, chairman of the Indian enterprise said.
“If this is successful, we could think about manufacturing it here,” Al Said suggested.
The panels will replace brick walls in building construction,which reduce considerable usage of cement, sand, steel and water. Indian officials said the labour component can be reduced by about 65 per cent and construction time by about 75 per cent.
“The overall construction cost can be reduced by a fourth by using this new technology,” Srivastava added.
The technology for this project comes from Rapid Building Systems Pty Ltd. (RBS) Australia.
Srivastava added that 30 projects using this innovation have already been accomplished and countries, such as Nepal and Sri Lanka have started using the technology.
“Kuwait is also interested. It just opened an LLC and they want to take this material,” he said, adding, “It’s a ready-made solution where not much engineering is required. Regarding quality accreditation in India, the material is being finalised by the Bureau of Indian Standards. It has accreditation from many agencies.”
He further said construction companies will require some training and “we are offering on-the-job three days-training to the companies for using this material.”
Al Said hoped the technology can be used in Oman’s remote areas, where low-cost buildings for education or housing purposes are coming up.
Meanwhile, a statement quoting Indra Mani Pandey, ambassador of India addressing the Oman business community, said that he is proud to promote the Indian product in Oman for the benefit of the Sultanate.
“Oman and India have always been supportive and partners of each other in various areas of mutual understanding,” he noted.