Concrete strategy: Transgulf Readymix Concrete Company
Transgulf Readymix Concrete Company has become a preferred ready-mix concrete supplier to mega projects in the region with its R&D, manufacturing and logistics expertise combined with quality control and selection of concrete pumps to deliver long-term durability and service life of concrete.
In more than two decades of operation, Transgulf Readymix Concrete Company has gained diverse experience in infrastructure, commercial and residential projects, namely in the construction of oil & gas plants, power and desalination plants, roads, tunnels, bridges, and buildings.
Founded in 1997 in Abu Dhabi with a batching facility located in Mussafah, Transgulf Readymix established itself as one of the top ready-mix suppliers in Abu Dhabi before starting operations in Dubai in 2005 with a batching facility in Jebel Ali Industrial Zone. In 2013, the company expanded to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with three batching facilities.
Transgulf Readymix’s centralized batching facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh operate with theoretical capacities of 360 m3 per hour, 240 m3 per hour, and 720 m3 per hour, respectively. The company also provides professional engineering solutions to suit various site conditions, such as installation of on-site batching facilities at customer job sites and supply and installation of placing booms and delivery pipelines for high rise building projects.
Transgulf Readymix’s centralized batching facility in Jebel Ali Industrial Zone (above) and on-site batching facility in Jebel Ali Techno Park
Prominent locations where the company has installed on-site batching plants include Taweelah, Mina Zayed Port, Ruwais and Shuweihat in Abu Dhabi as well as International City and Tijara Town in Dubai. The most recent installation of an on-site batching plant facility is in Jebel Ali Techno Park for the Route 2020 Metro project.
Assad Atout, general manager, Transgulf Readymix Concrete Company, explains the company’s approach to installing and operating on-site batching plants.
“We are among the leading companies that offer a combination of on-site and off-site batching solutions. Installing and operating on-site batching plants is aligned with changing customer requirements. Permanent batching facilities are often not sufficient to cater to high-volume and convenience requirements of customers. Therefore, we supply ready-mix both from our centralized batching facilities as well as on-site batching plants to its dedicated project. The decision to install an on-site batching plant depends entirely on the project size, location, ready-mix volume, delivery schedules and convenience. Batching plants closer to projects are also economical and cost-effective for customers.”
Assad Atout, general manager, Transgulf Readymix Concrete Company.
Transgulf Readymix maintains an adequate fleet of mixer trucks and truck-mounted concrete pumps in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
In the UAE, 50% of its mixer trucks are newly acquired Mercedes-Benz models and the majority of its truck mounted concrete pumps are the latest models from Putzmeister with vertical reach ranging from 42m to 56m, and procured from Putzmeister’s UAE dealer German-Gulf Enterprises.
The company's most recent investment has been the acquisition of two Putzmeister BSF 56-5.16 H LS truck mounted concrete pumps in 2019.
Paul Bruns, regional director, Putzmeister Middle East, adds: “Transgulf Readymix has been a regular Putzmeister customer since 2003 due to the superior performance of Putzmeister pumps, operator training, and after-sales support from German-Gulf Enterprises. The Putzmeister Dubai office has considered the opinion of Transgulf Readymix in the continuous product development of our machines for the GCC markets. We're proud that our relationship has extended to Transgulf's business in Saudi Arabia."
“Excellent service combined with an ‘on-time every time’ delivery approach are crucial to retaining customers and growing our business. We strive to help our customers improve their business and operations by ensuring that we provide an uninterrupted supply of high-quality concrete and premium customer support,” says Atout.
Route 2020, Dubai
A mega construction project in Dubai that required the combination of both on-site and off-site batching is Route 2020, a 15-km extension of the Dubai Metro Line from the Nakheel Harbour and Tower station to the Expo 2020 site, carried out by the Expolink construction consortium involving Rizzani, Acciona and Gulemark.
The 15-km extension, which comprises 11.8 km of elevated guideways and 3.2 km of tunnel, has five elevated stations and two underground stations including the Nakheel Harbour interchange and the flagship metro station at the Expo 2020 site.
Transgulf Readymix was selected as the exclusive supplier of ready-mix concrete to the Route 2020 Metro project, which required cast-in-place as well as precast concrete work.
For the cast-in-place concrete work, the viaduct substructure comprises reinforced concrete piers and wider pier caps founder on large diameter bored pile foundations in some cases and on monopole foundations in others to support the deck and reinforced concrete abutments. Over 200 pile caps and pier structures were cast using ready-mix concrete along the 15-km line.
The construction of the elevated and underground stations and cut-and-cover tunnel sections comprises raft slab, concourse slab and roof slab cast in stages with connectivity to the diaphragm walls. The raft foundation of each underground station was divided into 24 segments with average thickness of 3.5m and approximate volume of 36,500 m3. The excavation of the cut-and-cover tunnels was supported with sprayed concrete or shotcrete.
Transgulf Readymix supplied the concrete for a period of 18 months, starting from July 2017. The bulk of the delivery was made between October 2017 and June 2018 when the average volume delivered per month was approximately 40,000 m3.
The ready-mix concrete was supplied from Transgulf’s centralized facility in Jebel Ali Industrial Zone as well as the dedicated batching facility in Jebel Ali Techno Park, where two additional batching plants were set up to produce ready-mix concrete.
Transgulf Readymix deployed 35 mixer trucks with capacities of 12 m3 and 12 Putzmeister truck mounted concrete pumps with vertical reach of 56m and 42m. The concrete pumps included three z-fold boom models which enabled Transgulf Readymix operate the pumps in congested areas inside the tunnels.
One of the major challenges faced by Transgulf Readymix was pumping concrete to lengths ranging from 100m to 120m at depths of over 100m. To extend the reach of the concrete pumps, Transgulf attached a 50-m pipeline to the 56-m pump to place the concrete.
“We opted for Putzmeister concrete pumps because they are user friendly; in particular, we found the 56m and z-fold models very useful for this project. We minimize equipment downtime on sites with our in-house preventive maintenance program. Additionally, German-Gulf Enterprises provided the technical support and additional pumps during peak times to ensure the high performance and stability of the pumps for any project,” says Atout.
So far, Transgulf Readymix has supplied 600,000 m3 of ready-mix concrete for the Route 2020 project – 500,000 m3 for cast-in-place concrete work and 100,000 m3 for precast concrete work required for casting of over 3,100 segments. As the project nears completion, the ready-mix concrete volume requirements have reduced to 2,000–3,000 m3 per month.
Transgulf Readymix is also involved in the construction of six bridges connecting to the Expo 2020 site. The company has supplied over 350,000 m3 of ready-mix concrete for six projects and deployed 23 Putzmeister concrete pumps, particularly the 56m models on both sides of the bridges for casting the deck slabs. Construction of two bridges have been completed and four are nearing completion.
Al Salam Street upgrade, Abu Dhabi
The two-year road development project, from 2008 to 2010, by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi involved the construction of a 2.2-km cut-and-cover tunnel and a 1.2-km road leading through the tunnel, aimed at increasing the capacity of Al Salam Street by 100%, from 3,000 cars per hour to 6,000 cars per hour, enabling a continuous flow of traffic without traffic signals.
Transgulf Readymix supplied over 1 million m3 of ready-mix concrete during the 24 months from four on-site batching plants in Port Zayed. The multi-stage concrete pumping operation involved 15 truck-mounted concrete pumps, the majority of which were 42-m Putzmeister models.
The largest and continuous concrete output over a prolonged period was achieved during construction of 1.5–2.5m thick base slabs and other structural elements for tunnel sections. Around 4,000 units of precast pre-stressed I-beam concrete girders specified with 16-hour detention strength of 44 MPa were cast under steam curing conditions.
The biggest challenges faced by Transgulf Readymix at the site were urban congestion and extreme heat. The temperature of concrete was required to be maintained at 25°C during the summer when the ambient temperature was above 40°C. Transgulf Readymix set a record in May 2010 by delivering 72,000 m3 in one month under extreme heat.
“The congestion at the site required us to do multi-stage concrete pumping. To extend the reach of our 42-m concrete pumps in certain areas, we connected two 42-m pumps to achieve a total reach of 84m. The fast-track project required us to work 24/7 throughout the duration of the project, including during the difficult summer months. As the construction site was within the city, we could not interrupt traffic or block any access point to position the concrete pumps. The complexity of the job site made it very challenging for us to manage operations and safety of equipment and workers; nevertheless, we managed to complete the concrete pouring successfully,” says Atout.
The contractor Samsung-Saif Bin Darwish awarded Transgulf Readymix Concrete Co. a certificate of recognition for achieving more than 757,777 safe man-hours from January 2009–December 2010 without lost time injury.
R&D and quality management
Research and development (R&D) is at the core of Transgulf Readymix’s operations, taking into account the challenges of operating amidst the unique geographical and climatic conditions in the region in addition to the changing market conditions, environment protection and sustainability initiatives.
The R&D team of Transgulf Readymix investigates the durability of different mix designs for the Middle East environment through a combination of lab testing, field monitoring and service-life modelling. This extends to joint research projects with leading universities, research institutes, consultants, contractors and specialized raw materials suppliers, all of which are in the essence of the providing cost economical, sustainable and premium quality of ready-mix concrete.
“Having an advanced R&D programme enables us to drive research on concrete to achieve the environmental challenges of high temperature and humidity in this region. It also enables us to customize ready mix designs that can be cost-effective for the customer without compromising quality. We employ different nationalities with various specialties and diverse technical expertise who are able to take initiative and transform our company products and processes into high added value solutions,” says Atout.
The Route 2020 project specifications demanded a minimum service life and durability of 120 years for the concrete. Considering the risk of exposure of the foundations or buried structures to high water content which could cause chemical damage with the formation of chlorides and sulfates and the possibility of carbonisation of concrete, Transgulf Readymix achieved the required durability by selecting the best available raw materials and extensive laboratory testing for the mix design and by using high-quality corrosion inhibitors and waterproofing systems.
The stringent quality control and safety processes followed by Transgulf Readymix was recognized by the RTA which awarded the subcontractor of the month accolade to the company in August 2018 for maintaining health, safety and environment standards on the Route 2020 project. A year earlier, Transgulf Readymix won the Gold award from the Dubai Municipality and was named the best performing ready-mix concrete supplier in Dubai.
“The Gold award from the Dubai Municipality in 2017 was a big leap for us after winning the Bronze award in 2016. Our reputation in serving our valued customers with high-quality concrete, premium customer service and providing them with innovative engineering solutions gives us the confidence to maintain our position as their preferred ready-mix concrete supplier in UAE,” says Atout.
Atout points out that the company’s current market position and increasing demand for ready-mix concrete is driving its expansion plans.
“Our vision to be the preferred supplier, customer and employer will continue with strategic growth and expansion. Transgulf Readymix has always followed the path of continuous improvement and growth with a well-structured management system that adopts the most advanced technologies and best practices in the market. We have plans of strategically expanding our locations across UAE and KSA offering the premium engineering solutions to our valued customers,” says Atout.