A local recycling industry authority will allow for mining products imported from other countries to be reused.


An evolving power sector

June 1, 2023

Mubarak Mohammad Sabah Al Sabah, general manager of ASLAA General Trading & Contracting (ASLAA), talks to The Energy Year about Kuwait’s Vision 2035 strategic plan and the company’s involvement in the country’s evolving power sector. ASLAA is a contracting and trading company in Kuwait.

What are ASLAA’s key competitive advantages in the Kuwaiti market?
With 15 years of expertise in general contracting in the Kuwaiti market, ASLAA was established with a vision to differentiate itself by serving its clients with a comprehensive portfolio to complete projects on time and with a high level of quality.
The ASLAA leadership model was developed to cater to clients. Our thorough understanding of the local market drives impact and delivers meaningful milestones, and group thinking fosters a collaborative environment that leads to developing internal capabilities and talents to sustain our innovative vision.
Kuwait’s needs are different from other Gulf countries, and the government’s approach to transforming Kuwait is based on Vision 2035, which aims to transition the country into a hub of finance and trade both regionally and internationally to become more attractive to investors. In accordance with that, we set strategic plans to create opportunities to provide our services and products to others.
ASLAA is divided into two divisions with their own subunits. These are the associated service division and the product division. In the service wing of our operation, we have the following units: general contracting, high-voltage contracting, logistics, demolition and scrap. The product division has the engineering product sales unit and the corporate sponsoring unit.
The selection of these units is specifically set for the added value we can provide parallel to the demand and development of the state of Kuwait to support the government with its plans and develop its buildings, structures and infrastructure to meet the goals of Vision 2035.
The power requirements and the infrastructure related to the State’s vision are in high demand, and, accordingly, we plan to provide our services to add value with the help of our international partners.
Lastly, thanks to our understanding of the 2035 vision, we can determine the right strategies and deliver successful projects.

Which pillars of Vision 2035 are ASLAA focusing on?
ASLAA’s is focusing on redeveloping the existing infrastructure and investing in infrastructure projects focused on the power sector, which create access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
Currently, the focus is on developing the country physically. With master-planning efforts continuing, the next phases will be determined by the government in terms of privatisation according to laws which will hopefully be passed soon. These will allow us to continue to improve our expertise and build on our experience, which includes building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable local industrialisation and continuing to innovate as a company.


Which major projects is the company actively engaged in, and how do you continue to be successful in your niche?
ASLAA’s High Voltage Contracting Unit is actively involved in the supply and installation of cables up to 400 kV. This unit is approved by Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water & Renewable Energy (MEW) to carry out civil works related to the laying of underground cables up to 400 kV along with other high-voltage works pertaining to the construction and commissioning of substations and overhead transmission lines, ranging from engineering to execution to testing and commissioning.
This dedicated unit also offers turnkey solutions for the engineering and construction of high-voltage substations and overhead transmission lines from concept to completion through its associated EPC companies, which are approved by the MEW. The unit positions itself uniquely in this field by utilising its in-house experience and expertise in recycling, demolition and providing equipment such as transformers, cables and switchgears from its principal, MEW-approved manufacturers.
One of the biggest projects that ASLAA’s Contracting Unit accomplished successfully was the Al Sawaber complex downtown. It consists of 33 buildings that were demolished so the government could redevelop the area. It took us approximately nine months to hand over the 33 eight-floor buildings as one of the biggest projects in Kuwait. Everything was successfully handed over ahead of schedule, on budget and with a zero-accident safety record, exceeding our delivery goal while focusing on safety as a paramount requirement.
We continue our success by being the lowest unique bidder, and so we have been winning continuous tenders, extending our duration from two years to nearly 10 years with ongoing contracts.

How is ASLAA supporting Kuwait in its strategic sustainability goals?
We scope out our demolition projects to recycle all scrap materials intrinsic to the project. Then, we sell them to the environmentally friendly recycling shredders and bailers in Kuwait, which are recognized by the International Scrap Recycling Institution’s (ISRI) regulations. This reduces the overall cost to the client and promotes our commitment to renewing, recycling and repurposing resources.
Most of the scrap is often exported, sold, traded or smelted in Kuwait to be reused for infrastructure projects.
There are only two steel mills available, but there are no copper or aluminium smelters in Kuwait, so everything to do with copper, aluminium or nonferrous materials is exported. We are encouraging the government to develop a local recycling industry authority. This will help us to contribute more effectively in this industry and reuse many of mining products that are imported from other countries.
Also, a proposed enhancement for the Kuwaiti recycling activity is the need for its own port on the seacoast, to be accessible and economically more viable to the recycling endeavour. We need such a hub in Kuwait to either export or import recycled goods.
We are continuously in discussions with KEPA on how we need to educate the community to recycle and reduce waste. We are always ready to contribute to an executable plan for this industry to facilitate recycling for the improvement of Kuwait’s green environment as we move towards the UN Sustainable goals of a position within the top 35% of countries by 2035.

What are ASLAA’s key objectives for 2023?
Our work will likely be related to the development of infrastructure and electrical substations with a focus on utilities. We are experts in this field, and considering our low fees and highest quality of service, we are likely to be chosen for the new governmental projects to come in the upcoming budget.
The renewable energy market is also a fascinating area for ASLAA. We will be involved with the US Army as they move forward with a large renewable solar project consisting of PV, an energy storage system, a national grid, local generator power plant interfaces and state of the art controls to reduce CO2 emissions and their carbon footprint.
ASLAA has a dedicated Corporate Sponsorship Unit which is in alignment to ever-growing demands and the nature of opportunities available in Kuwait. It focuses on the overall development of the company’s business by exploring new opportunities and relationships with local clients, end users and international companies. We offer sponsorships to international corporate companies wishing to do business in Kuwait. The business arrangement is either by entering into an agency agreement or in other forms, such as by establishing a new company or a joint venture.

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