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2,000 New Jobs Will be Created in the Gulf as Mulk Commits to Dh450 Million in Expansion Plans

UAE : 07 September 2010

Deals with Emal indicate Dh200 million for Taweelah plant part of the UAE firm’s plans

The UAE’s Mulk Holdings and Enpar Groups, out of India, jointly committed to a venture over the weekend to carry through with the development of six manufacturing facilities.  Officials of Mulk, a diversified UAE conglomerate, expect the joint project to attract Dh300 million in investments and open up over 2,000 new jobs over 36 months.  Mulk has assets totaling Dh1.83 billion.

The projects are moving along nicely and are close to implementation.  They consist of Mulk-Enpar affiliation in renewable energy with a focus on solar power and heat processing treatments in both the UAE and India; Alubond USA, a manufacturing facility in India run by Alubond-Dacs India; an Alubond plant centering around aluminium coil coating for Australasia Sri Lanka; Alubond Europe in Belgrade making aluminium composite panels; a Jebel Ali supplier for interior fit-outs called Stradt Interiors; and a manufacturing facility handling 100,000 tonnes of aluminium coil based either in Sohar, Oman or Abu Dhabi.

This latest news plays a role in Mulk’s expansion plans that involve Dh450 million in spending and should result in a Dh1 1/2 billion boost in sales each year from 2012.

This holdings firm will have over twenty new subsidiaries under wing after this newest expansion takes place, in industries such as health care, real estate, interior and furniture manufacturers, solar and renewable energies and aluminium panel manufacturing.  Mulk’s plans for growth contrast sharply to the balance of businesses in the Gulf region that are cutting back their operations in response to economic challenges.

Mulk Holdings chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk explained that the rising demand for the company’s offerings is behind the expansion.  He feels that the green and solar energy industry is “recession-proof.”

The chairman also explained that his firm’s widespread services reach 80 nations and the conditions of the markets there will differ from those in the Gulf region.

Mulk currently has over Dh1.8 billion in orders lined up, such as a major Indian solar energy project.  Negotiations are also under way between Mulk and Masdar for another project.

Mulk is negotiating closely with Emal involving a facility worth Dh 200 million located in Taweelah at Khalifa Port/Industrial Park for the manufacture of aluminium coil.  Also two locations producing green energy goods in Iran and Saudi Arabia are set for construction.

Financing for these industrial locations will work on a debt to equity ratio of 70:30.

The chairman notes that after the detailed plans are in the final stages, Mulk will approach a group of seven banking institutions to discuss financing, which he feels will be given based on the company’s successful history.

Mulk Holdings is owned by Chairman Ul Mulk, an Indian entrepreneur (non-resident) out of Hyderabad, and has an 85 percent share in Alubond.  That manufacturing firm out of the US makes aluminium panels that Mulk Holdings then markets in Europe, India and the Mideast.

Mulk is in the process of tests for a pilot development at the UAE facility manufacturing aluminium panels made for generating power through sunlight and to replace photovoltaic panels.

These aluminium panels create a higher amount of energy than the traditional photovoltaic panels.  Naresh L. Ansrani of Enpar explains that this market possibility is the reason his firm has ventured together with Mulk to fulfill expansion plans and reach new and larger markets.

Solar energy investments may generate $90 billion annually in the Mena region (Middle Eastern and North African) as projected by AT Kearney, a worldwide management consultant company.

This region could become a center for substantial boom in solar energy over the next decade, with the possibility of 100,000 additional positions being created, according to AT Kearney.

Analysts note that the renewable energy and solar power markets are experiencing expansion in the region of Mena.  Because the region is so well suited for generating solar power, Christian von Tschirschky of AT Kearney Middle East notes that the potential amount of generation in this emerging technology has not been realized.  Mena represents only six percent of the planned solar power capacity worldwide.

Other announcements for Mulk Holdings include a large expansion in their health care businesses of more than Dh150 million and the establishment of further production at the Alubond facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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