Conmix History – Saga Of Success
Confidence was the key word, the motivation factor that provided foundation for the birth of CONMIX in Sharjah.
CONMIX was established in 1975,only four years earlier, the British-protected Trucial States became the seven-member, independent United Arab Emirates. There were only a few roads, the ever-encroaching desert had not been tamed and most of the modern aids to comfortable living were years away. Sharjah and its six brother emirates had a long way to go in order to emerge from the meager desert past into the prosperous and sophisticated present that the UAE has established on its treasure-chest of oil and gas and the foresighted enterprise of its planners.
Independence of a decisive era of construction activity started in every emirate, particularly, in the northern region where Sharjah was geographically prominent.
It was at that time of widespread development that a partnership founded on confidence in the future of Sharjah saw high-technology from West Germany, exemplified by Karl Epple Company of Stuttgart, allied with the far-sighted acumen of a UAE citizen, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Bukhatir, who today has reached the pinnacle of success not only in business but also in his selfless promotion of sports and leisure activities that have earned international fame.
So CONMIX was born. The partners were Bukhatir Investments Limited, German Gulf Enterprises (Pvt) Limited and Karl Epple of Stuttgart. It was in April 1975, that Karl Epple, long known internationally for concrete technology, was asked to make a feasibility study of the possibility of establishing a plant in Sharjah. Kurt Koerle arrived from Stuttgart to survey the scene – the heat, humidity, the endless panoramas of sand and the seemingly insatiable appetite for concrete, machines, any form of constructional equipment to offset the laborious building methods of the past.
Also involved was Rudi Eller, Managing Director, German Gulf Enterprises, whose ten years of experience in the country was an invaluable asset. In November 1975, the decision was made. It was favourable. An Amiri Decree was issued and CONMIX was legally instituted and authorized to erect a ready mix concrete manufacturing plant.
A board of directors was named. Chairman was Abdul Rahman Mohammed Bukhatir with co-members Wilhelm Epple from Karl Epple of Stuggart - Managing Director, Kurt Koerle - Joint Managing Director, Rudolf Eller - Director and Qasim Noorani of Bukhatir Investments Limited - Director.
CONMIX set up the first ready mix plant in the region. With far-sighted wisdom, a pre mix plaster facility was included in the plant. Construction, under the direction of CONMIX General Manager, Mechanical Engineer and Concrete Technologist - Eugen Zgubinski, decision, design, equipment ordering, shipping, erection and first operation, were achieved in record time despite atrocious climatic conditions.
His Excellency Shaikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi inaugurated the plant. Production of Ready Mix Concrete commenced on 10th May 1976 with 6 transit mixers and a concrete pump. Early confidence was justified. The work force reached 20.
Fleet increased by addition of new vehicles, making a total of 11 transit mixers and 2 concrete pumps. A record production of 96000 m3 of ready mix concrete was produced as demand quickly rose. Work force increased to 45. Pre mix plaster was added into the portfolio and production commenced in late autumn. The plant was expanded and plaster production was on full stream. CONMIX established a brand new concept of plastering. The first exports to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were recorded.
Recession hit locally and worldwide. CONMIX, however, saw its plaster sales increasing. Exports grew and an agent was appointed in Saudi Arabia. Warehouse facilities were enlarged.
INNOVATIONS – a new concept of cleaning and shaded storage facilities for aggregates. CONMIX produced 250,000 sq. m. of gypsum plaster for the Ruwais housing Project, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Now, plaster was being distributed throughout the Gulf region. A 50 ton 6 wheel cement carrier joined CONMIX fleet. An ultra modern truck loading conveyor system was installed. Plaster production reached 36,000 tons despite hurricane and floods. Cooled concrete processed with crushed ice was offered to the market. A canteen was built and a new roller crusher installed to produce special graded sands. Plaster contracts were won for three major hospitals. Work force totaled 80. Construction started on a new laboratory and office complex. Market demand soared and another truck mounted concrete pump joined the fleet. The first deliveries of dry, pre mixed concrete for pilgrims in the desert were made.
PLANT EXTENSIONS – antipollution, de-dusting plant, fire protection and safety installations, a doctor was appointed to control a new medical section to meet government regulations. The new laboratory equipped with the most modern testing equipment started functioning. Plaster exports to Oman increased.
New offices as well as social and leisure facilities for employees and company guests were completed. Demand for quality concrete and plaster continued and two 10 cubic metres transit mixers were purchased.
CONMIX focused on geographical diversification in order to reach newer markets. CONMIX products started to reach many African and Asian countries apart from the Middle East. Up to 30 countries were included in the export regions.
"DIVERSIFICATION and EXPANSION" is the weapon against the crisis of economical recession. CONMIX adds new divisions – Construction Chemicals, Piling Services and Water Treatment & Oilfield Additives. CONMIX is also aiding sustainability concept by setting up manufacturing facilities which are in proximity to the potential markets.