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Geotextile Growth in the Middle East and Beyond



Despite being a relative newcomer to the nonwovens industry, Mattex Geosynthetics, a division of the Mattex Group, is committed to becoming a global leader in the geotextiles market.



Published October 4, 2011
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Mattex Geosynthetics
P.O. Box 331
Jubail 31951 Saudi Arabia
www.mattexgeo.com



Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the company features both woven and nonwoven capability, with warehouse and distribution offices in Australia/New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, China, Africa and the US.

The Mattex Group began production of polypropylene slit film woven fabrics in 1996 and jusrt entered the nonwovens market this year with the formation of Mattex Geosynthetics. The group’s two production facilities in Jeddah and Dubai, Saudi Arabia, total 191,000 square meters, and there’s another plant currently under construction in Al Jubai.

According to Phillippe Grimmelprez, business unit director, Mattex Geosynthetics, having direct access to its raw materials – which are manufactured right next to its production sites – factors heavily in its growth, and helps make it the biggest nonwovens geotextiles producer in the Middle East.He says,“With total control over the properties, from the development of the polymers through the fiber extrusion and the manufacturing of the geotextiles on the latest, state-of-the-art equipment, Mattex offers a tremendous advantage to its geotextile customers.”

The company offers a wide range of nonwoven, high-tenacity geotextiles, used in applications such as filtration, separation and shoreline protection. It can manufacture its geotextiles through either needlepunch or thermal bonding processes with 100% polypropylene high tenacity fibers. Tensile strengths range from 5 kN/m - 55 kN/m, with widths up to 600 cm. Markets include road, railroad, roofing, canal, reservoirs, foundation and drainage constructions.

“Road, railway and roofing applications are the most common, and calendered products are often used for technical applications,” Grimmelprez explains. “Our six meter wide geotextiles have a significant advantage, as containers can be loaded completely and significant cost savings on logistics can be achieved. There’s less overlap, and this is another advantage for the customer.”

While the company has experienced growth and success in the wovens market since its inception in 1996, its business plan has been one of expansion – into the nonwovens market, and beyond the Middle East.

“Mattex has an excellent reputation worldwide for its top quality products in carpet backing, grass backing andinits artificial grass business (Greenvision),” Grimmelprez says, adding that the company wanted to accelerate growth and diversify into other end markets and other technologies. “Fiber and nonwoven technology was selected, and our new nonwovens business unit attracts top experts in the field – in extrusion, nonwovens and geotextiles.”

Geographically, the initial business plan’s main focus had been on the Middle Eastern and Indian regions. But with an oversupply of nonwoven geotextiles in the region, Mattex is now targeting the global export markets. “Our wide range of woven and nonwoven geotextiles facilitates the growth potential and major distributors and customers globally have welcomed the entrance of Mattex and Mattex Geosynthetics.”

Mattex Geosynthetics targets the high-end of the market, and seeks global partners globally for its products. With a Western-style management, the company aims to be seen as a Western company for its global partners and wants to be seen as a local partner for the local market. And its production facilities allow for these extra investments and expansion.