America-based X-Calibur Construction Systems Inc has announced plans to set up base in Nairobi from where it will be supplying specialist construction products to other parts of Africa.
The firm, which has been supplying big industrial projects in the country with its products for several years, plans to make Nairobi its African and Middle East headquarters, shifting the honour from the United Arabs Emirates where operations are currently run.
“The quality of people in Kenya is very good and the level of education is among the best in Africa,” X-Calibur Group MD Brian Davis said in an interview on the sidelines of a training workshop at a Nairobi hotel where the firm has been conducting training for civil engineers, architects and building experts as well as university of Nairobi students.
X-Calibur deals primarily in construction chemistry or supply of construction materials.
According to Davies, some of the local projects that have used X-Calibur products include Muthaiga Heights, Bidco, Tuskys in Naivasha, Karen Hub, Tullow Oil, Lab and Allied and Imperial Health Services. The company also supplied aluminum joints for the construction of the new terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Already, the firm has established a flooring distribution facility in Mlolongo. Davis says they manufacture the floors and install them.The company has invested over Sh15.7 million in Kenya.
“We don’t like to do product and sales-based training for our customers so we try to do capacity building in certain areas,” he explained. “One area that is weak in Kenya is concrete technology.”
X-Calibur sponsors a three-day certification course (Introduction to Concrete Technology) being conducted by the University of Johannesburg. Trainees are divided into two groups, with the first comprising about 20 consulting engineers and cement company experts, contractors and architects, and the other 30 being final year students from the University of Nairobi.
The firm specialises in making concrete perform better in two main areas: protection and waterproofing of concrete to prevent deterioration as well as restoration of damaged concrete to restore its performance.
“Our focus in Kenya is to add mixtures to concrete, which improves performance and durability,” said Davis.
With Nairobi as its headquarters, the firm has its eyes firmly fixed on the regional market, including South Sudan, Rwanda and Somalia in addition to strengthening operations in Uganda and Tanzania, where it already has offices.
Nairobi will also be used to manage plants in South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Nigeria where the company already operates. “Our shareholders have a long-term view of Kenya,” he added.