2016 Nonwovens Sales: $125 million (estimated)
Haitham Alhudhaif, president. Executive Management Team: Nigel Gautry, marketing and sales; Asem Jameel AsSilkhi, chief financial officer; David Ellenz, vice president of operations
Dammam, Rabigh, KSA; Antwerp, Belgium (distribution center)
Spunmelt; SSS, SMMS, SSMMS. Medical treatment line.
Hygiene—baby care, adult incontinence, feminine hygiene; Medical—gowns, scrubs, sterilization wraps; Agriculture—crop covers and mulching fabrics; Industrial—furniture, bedding and filtration
The big news from Saudi German Nonwoven is expansion into the U.S. While full scale nonwovens production is not on the horizon, for now, the company has decided to set up a U.S. distribution center to better serve its customers in the region.
“SGN has been successful in delivering the highest quality nonwovens at the most competitive costs to our European customers via our European Distribution Centre,” says marketing and sales director Nigel Gautry. “We have been assessing opportunities to bring the same high level of quality nonwovens at the most competitive costs to the U.S.”
The center, which will be up and running by the end of 2017, will allow SGN to bring to North American customers the same added value to which our European customers are enjoying.
“The major benefit to the customers will be a secure, flexible and agile supply chain that can deliver on-time delivery performance in the 95th percentile, order to delivery within 24 hours, depending on customer location,” he adds.
SGN’s nonwovens operation includes two plants in Saudi Arabia—one in Damman and the other in Rabigh. The newer of the two sites, Rabigh, was added in 2011 to provide SGN with better access to the Suez Canal and position it among the main trade routes from China to Europe. The investment fueled success in Europe by servicing the EU distribution center in Antwerp, Belgium.
With many of the world’s largest consumer companies among its customers, SGN mainly sells its materials outside of Saudi Arabia and attributes its international success to relationship management.
The new site in Rabigh sits on 70,000 square meters of land which gives it enough space for four or five manufacturing lines. While the company is now solely focused on the spunmelt market, Gautry says that future investments will respond to the market demands for all nonwoven materials.
In terms of technology, recent developments have led to the introduction of UltraSoft and UltraSoft-plus for the hygiene industry, and the company plans to introduce a range of apparel, draping and wrapping solutions for the medical fabrics market before the end of 2017. Developments like this are expected to contribute to rapid growth for SGN in these markets, according to executives.
In other investment news, SGN made a multimillion dollar investment to its oldest production line to make materials suitable for the medical market. SGN will market these materials under the Ultramed brand name, which feature softness, a range of bonding patterns and high barrier protection.
“It was time for us to diversify,” says Gautry. “There is a growing aging population which means more requirements for materials in medical and healthcare.”