Abahsain Fiberglass' chopped strand mat line.
Abahsain Fiberglass' chopped strand mat line.

The Bahrain factory is the result of joint venture between the S&A Abahsain Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s top 50 companies, and California, USA-based Glass Strand Inc (GSI), a supplier of technology and equipment to the glass industry. Abahsain holds over 90% of the shares in the joint venture.

The US$80 million Bahrain plant is currently equipped with two furnaces and has a capacity of 30 000 tonnes a year. With the second furnace in operation, another 30 000 tonnes will be added. The company plans to produce 60 000 tonnes in the third phase of the project, and another 60 000 tonnes in the fourth. The factory's products include chopped strand mat, assembled roving, single-end roving and fabrics.

Abahsain Fiberglass says that European distributors will take around 40% of the factory’s output. A further 25% will be distributed by the Abahsain group’s chemical division, which supplies the oil, gas, petrochemical, glass and other industries. The remainder of the output will be sold to customers directly.

Some of the production from the Bahrain factory will be used by sister company Omega Poles, which manufactures poles required for electrical and telecommunication installations and is diversifying into composites.

Abahsain has also started up a US$21.3 million polyester resin manufacturing plant which has an annual capacity of 25 000 tonnes. Another line of similar capacity is likely to be added in the next two years. The resin plant will complement Abahsain Fiberglass’ products.

Abahsain Fiberglass plans to open a training centre in Bahrain to educate and familiarise local companies on composites technologies.

Abahsain Fiberglass currently employs over 200 employees.