Adib Kouteili, director of PEB Steel, states that it is the scale of a company’s operation that will provide lower prices and faster delivery times to customers during a discussion with VIR's Duong Nguyen about the future of his firm in Vietnam’s industrial pre-engineered steel structure industry.
“I deem that the market for pre-engineered buildings in Vietnam is big and therefore there is room for all manufacturers” – Adib Kouteili PEB Steel has just opened a pre-engineered steel structure factory in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau which is described as the largest in Vietnam. Can you provide more details about the project ?
The new factory, built on an area of 43,000 square metres, has been specifically designed by PEB Steel to be super efficient and equipped by the latest machinery so that it can achieve an ultra high capacity. It is uniquely shaped like an ‘I’ beam with eight loading/unloading bays for raw materials/finished goods, and boasts two fully automated production lines and custom-made material handling systems.
PEB Steel’s target is to achieve more than 60,000 metric tonnes (MT) of complete steel buildings per annum. Thanks to the factory’s high production capacity, we are able to achieve ‘economies of large scale’ that translates into better prices for our customers and fast delivery schedule, which is very important in the construction industry.
What is behind PEB Steel’s decision to invest in the project?
Frankly, the decision was quick and easy. In Vietnam, there are very few high capacity manufacturers. Most of the steel building manufacturers are in the 100-150 MT per month range, whereas there are many mega-size projects currently underway in the country. It was apparent to us that the market calls for a high capacity quality producer who will offer these products at reasonable prices. PEB Steel’s new factory is here to fulfill this need in the industry.
The steel buildings market in Vietnam is extremely competitive, however, our ability to manufacture and sell large volumes compensates for that and enable us to achieve a healthy return on our investment.
Some pre-engineered buildings manufacturers are already operating their facilities in Vietnam. How can your company compete with other suppliers?
I deem that the market for pre-engineered buildings in Vietnam is big and therefore there is room for all manufacturers. Each company has its own strong points and PEB Steel also has its advantages.
The first is engineering excellence. We are probably the only company in Vietnam that designs its buildings in compliance with the latest (and most stringent) US and international building codes, which makes our buildings very safe and up-to-date.
The second is the versatile product range and flexibility. PEB Steel can engineer and manufacture not only pre-engineered buildings, but also curved roofs, castellated beams, open-web joists and heavy structures. The third is pioneering products. PEB Steel has recently launched the revolutionary roof system “Lok Seam” which is probably the only roof system in Vietnam that locks and seams at the same time, offering our customers a leak proof building. We also launched the “ Top Seal” roof coating for old existing buildings, and we will launch soon other products
What are the prospects for your projects in particular and the industrial pre-engineered steel production industry in Vietnam as a whole? Given your appreciation of the local market, do you have plans for further investment in Vietnam?
The prospects for our projects are very promising. Since the beginning of this year, we have fabricated more than 70 buildings and our challenge now is to maintain this trust by providing engineering excellence guided by the most stringent and latest US and international building codes.
As a result of Vietnam’s constant improvement in its investment policies, making this country one of the most attractive locations for investment in the region, we definitely have plans to further expand and invest in Vietnam, especially in the north where the market is growing very fast.
Can you review PEB steel’s operations in Vietnam in the past decade?
The European-based PEB group of companies first came to Vietnam in 1994 and was one of the first to bring the pre-engineered building technology to the region. Our 11 years of experience in Vietnam has been challenging and successful as we grew to our current operation of 300 people across the country, with offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong and Danang.