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Two New Factories Opening in Bahrain Investment Park

Bahrain : 02 February 2011

Two manufacturing plants recently opened at the BIIP (Bahrain International Investment Park), with an overall cost of over $9 million.

Bahrain Industrial Filters opened in Hidd at the Salman Industrial City, along with Gulf Temperature Sensors. The facilities cover more than 1,600 square meters of area each and Dr Hassan Fahkro, minister of Industry and Commerce, opened both.

Chairman of Al Fanar Investment Holding, Abdulnabi Al Sho’ala, conducted a tour of each location along with an opening ceremony.

Fakhro noted that Bahrain Industrial Filters includes $5 million in investments and has opened up 40 new jobs in Bahrain.

The firm manufactures fabric filters out of various fabrics, including non-woven and woven, as well as fiberglass, cotton, polymeric media (micro-porous coated) and Teflon.

The manufactured products are then used within the cement, petrochemicals, aluminium, plastics and food processing industries, as well as in refineries, with both a region-wide and domestic market.

Fakhro then noted that a $4 million investment has been made in Gulf Temperature Sensors, creating 32 new positions in the facility.

This firm is involved in manufacturing sensors for thermocouple temperature and resistance detectors. They also manufacture plug socket connectors, cables for extensions, instruments for measuring temperatures and the outer protective sheaths for sensors made from ceramic, metals and other refractory materials. These products are used in the steel, aerospace, aluminium, glass, plastics, medical, desalination and food industries, as well as in petrochemicals and within power plants.

Fakhro noted that Gulf Temperature Sensors is the sole manufacturer temperature sensors and thermocouples within the GCC region and one of only a handful of firms in this business around the Middle East.

Even though these two facilities target similar markets and industries, the facilities are manufacturing distinct products.

He added that it is fitting for the owners to choose the BIIP for the plant locations, as the area is providing the logistics and infrastructure that is required for operation and is also considered a top-of-the-line facility on its own.

Fakhro noted that Bahrain is welcoming all legitimate firms looking to establish an operation within the kingdom aimed at the regional markets.

He also stated that as well as infrastructure developments like the BIIP, his ministry is continuing to work towards enhancements in the administrative and legal infrastructures to push Bahrain to the top of the markets within the Middle East as a business and investor-friendly location.

The minister added that Bahrain has already come a long way in attaining this position.

Due to the constant evolution of businesses, the legal infrastructure needs to have the characteristics of a chameleon, able to change and adapt quickly as the demands of the market do ensuring regulations and laws that will support companies and provide an environment that enables and protects the stakeholders, according to Fakhro.

In the mean time, Fakhro added that the ministry is currently processing a feasibility study looking at the construction of an industrial center that would be able to meet the changing face and requirements of Bahrain over the next three decades.

The plans are for a grand and expansive industrial city that was initiated by His Majesty King Hamad and caters to the industrial and economic requirements of the kingdom for years, according to Fakrho.

As stated by Redha Najjar, managing director at ITSS, the Gulf Temperature Sensors Company began back in 2001 from Riffa. ITSS owns the firm, along with CCPI out of the US, Europe and the UK.

Exports from the firm head to the US, Holland and the UK, as well as to the Gulf region.

Planning is under way for the third phase within the next two or three years and should amount to around $239,295 (GBP 150,000) in investments to become a provider of collaboration services.

Najjar noted that ITSS owns Bahrain Industrial Filters, which also began in Riffa back in 2000.

Production reaches 150,000 filters on an annual basis and that supplies the light and heavy industries such as cement, petrochemicals and aluminium, according to Najjar.

About sixty percent of production becomes exports to the GCC with hopes of a global expansion. Najjar noted that phase two is being considered for the close of 2011, including filtration systems used with aluminium. Demand is rising and there is a need to reach 300,000 in filter production by the end of 2011.

Aluminium Dubai, Sohar Aluminium and Alba are the firm’s largest customers within the GCC region.

The current Alba contract is for five years with another five year contract being firmed up, according to Najjar.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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