TO meet the rising demand for green and sustainable products, Universal Paint and Chemical Industries (Chemipaint) intends to boost its investments this year on research and development of eco-friendly products while focusing its attention on its human resources.
“We will be spending more to bring in international expertise and technology to help us develop environment-friendly products,” says Hisham Al Khateeb, general director, Chemipaint.
“It is very important to invest in human resources and technology. We are also looking at hiring experts from Australia and Germany to help us achieve our targets,” he adds.
The company is currently working on developing paint products from 100 per cent natural materials as well as other products for infrastructure applications.
Chemipaint has 30 years of experience in its field, offering a wide range of paints and coatings to landmark projects in the region. The Lebanon-based company established its regional office and factory in Abu Dhabi five years ago and relocated to a bigger facility in Musaffah in 2008.
“We opened an office in the UAE to meet the requirements of the Gulf region, particularly the UAE, which was different from rest of the Middle East. The UAE has higher specifications and needs a wider variety of products. We are now looking at expanding our product range to meet the local demand,” he says.
Among the products developed recently specifically for the region is Chemiroof, a two-component elastomeric water-based waterproofing acrylic membrane system.
“We recently introduced this ‘green’ waterproofing system, which provides high flexibility and excellent durability and weather resistance,” Al Khateeb says.
He continues: “So far, bitumen has been the main product used for waterproofing but it wears off after five to 10 years, posing problems to building owners. Other options are not very competitive because of the higher costs involved. Our system solves the technical issues of bitumen, is cost-competitive and comes with a lifetime warrantee. The system has been used in other parts of the world and has retained its properties even after several years of application.”
Chemiroof is designed for the protection of substrates against ponding water as well as wind-driven rain and is suitable for roofs, wet areas, basements, water tanks and swimming pools. As Chemiroof is water-based and flexible, it can be produced on-site and is a seamless system. The thickness varies depending on the project’s requirement.
“The product is ‘green’ as it does not contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and solvents, is odour-free and it does not emit any toxic gases. It is also non-flammable unlike conventional waterpoofing materials,” he says.
Chemipaint recently organised two technical seminars, one each in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, for engineering consultants. The seminars were attended by 80 consultants and were very interactive, according to Khateeb.
This month, the company is planning to conduct workshops for contractors and consultants and has invited a German waterproofing expert who will demonstrate the procedure to apply Chemiroof as well as highlight the advantages of the product.
Commenting on the company’s business levels in 2009 in the wake of economic downturn, he says: “Last year was better than 2008 with our turnover also being higher.”