By Yekaterina Dranitsyna
Local company EnergoProekt has opened a plant for the production of metal frames used in construction. As well as using the frames in its own projects, the company wants to meet growing demand from retail and logistics companies and power enterprises.
EnergoProekt specializes in power networks. The company was founded in 2004 bringing together former employees of local projection institutes Leningrad Bureau of Complex Projection, Sevzapenergosetproekt and Zapadselenergoproekt.
“We have been planning to create a subsidiary, that will supply metal frames, projection and assemblage works in the Northwest region, for a long time,” Vladimit Bulavchik, general director of EnergoProekt, said at a press conference Tuesday.
Managers investigated the production and construction techniques used in Western Europe and the United States.
The project took about a year and a half and over three billion euros ($4.05 billion) in investment. The new plant, which was built in Pushkin, Leningrad Oblast, will be managed by a separate company — EnergoProekt Stalkonsruktsia.
The company expects turnover to reach one billion rubles ($38.5 million) by the end of 2007. By the end of the year production would also increase from the current level of 500,000 tons a month to 800,000 tons.
“We know our competitors, their volumes of production and future plans. Considering the pace of market growth over the last two to three years we think we could easily produce 500,000 tons a month and even more,” Bulavchik said.
A number of St. Petersburg companies make metal frames. Major producers include Pulkovo industrial and construction company, Rybatskoye and UIMP-Engineering.
Igor Vasilenko, general director of EnergoProekt Stalkonsruktsia, estimated the market to grow 70 percent a year.
“The companies currently operating in this market are not satisfying the demand for metal frames,” Bulavchik said. Among the advantages of the metal frame, Bulavchik listed its reliability, convenience and the short time needed for its assembly, as well as its cheapness relative to brick. He claimed that all work — from projection to assembling the building — takes six months.
“We cannot build in the city center because of the strict building regulations there. In the new districts, however, metal frames are widely used,” Bulavchik said.
The company relies on demand from construction companies, retailers like IKEA and Lenta, logistics companies, industrial and power enterprises, oil and gas companies.
“The power and construction industries are in the middle of an investment boom,” Vasilenko said.
The company already serves Lenenergo and TGK-1. By the end of 2007 the company will have orders for 78 power substations. At the moment managers are negotiating with Nissan and General Motors to supply the metal frames for their new car assembly plants that are to be constructed in St. Petersburg, Vasilenko said.
Bulavchik said that about 25 percent of orders come from power companies and about 75 percent from construction companies and other private enterprises.
A local retail company confirmed that the interest in metal frame technology is very high.
“Maksidom uses metal frames for the construction of its new stores because it speeds up the construction process,” said Sergei Golikov, general director of Maxidom retail chain.
“If all other factors are pretty equal, then the time required for construction becomes a crucial factor when we choose a projection and construction company,” Golikov said.
However the price and quality are also important, he added.
Construction of Maxidom stores usually takes about a year, but the latest store on Vyborgskoye Schosse was built in just over nine months.
News source: times.spb.ru
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