SGN: Leaders in Nonwovens for the Middle East Hygiene Industry

Published February 7, 2013
Saudi German Company For Nonwoven Products
P.O. Box 3319
Al-Khobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
Fax: 966-3-812-1333

Saudi German Company for Nonwoven Products (SGN) is a joint venture between two Saudi Partners—Al Rajhi House Enterprises and Zamil Group. The company was formed in 1995 as a joint venture involving Corovin Germany, which was later purchased by Fiberweb. The two Saudi partners later jointly purchased the non-Saudi shares in 2008.

SGN was the first spunbond nonwovens producer in Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States region. Initially it operated one site in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia containing one Reicofil line, with a capacity of 6,000 tons per year. A second Reicofil line was added in 2002, and a third line, also Reicofil, was added in 2006, bringing the total capacity to 33,000 tons, which are currently fully utilized. A second site, on the West Coast of Saudi Arabia was acquired in 2010, and a fourth Reicofil line is now being installed and is set to begin production in the near future.

Line number four will not only add 20,000 tons to SGN’s total capacity, but it will also help meet demand from major hygiene manufacturers, particularly in the Middle East and Africa but also in Asia and Europe. In fact, SGN already has agreements for long-term commitments from high volume customers, according to business development manager Richard Gillings.

“SGN’s business is based predominately on supplying the hygiene industry, and specification for all lines has been based on hygiene production,” he says. “We also have capability for agriculture nonwovens, as a secondary business area, which includes a dedicated conversion and packaging line.”

SGN’s Saudi location gives it several advantages. These include access to low cost, locally available polymers, lower manufacturing and energy costs, government support for new businesses and a growing local market for hygiene markets. Additionally, SGN is well placed for exporting to other developing markets, mainly Africa with Egypt being a major export location, and Asia.

“The Middle Eastern nonwovens industry is essentially a young industry but it is fast developing, and of course highly competitive within itself,” Gillings explains. “SGN was the first spunbond manufacturer in Saudi Arabia, with one line in 1996, and there are now six spunbond/SMS lines operating in Saudi Arabia and another close to start up. Spunbond /SMS represents the most significant nonwovens sector in Saudi Arabia and all of the Middle East.”

In spite of this competition SGN has maintained its leadership position by concentrating on the hygiene industry while also maintaining the flexibility to produce materials for other applications, mainly agricultural but also industrial and medical applications as well. In addition, SGN has proven to have a strong commitment to quality, working closely with customers and has maintained strategic partnerships with major international hygiene manufactures, involving long-term supply agreements.

SGN’s future plans are to concentrate on the hygiene industry and maintain its position as a leading international supplier of hygiene material. Agriculture is considered a good secondary business area, and will continue to be a relatively minor part of SGN’s future business plans.
“SGN’s short-term growth strategy is to grow with the hygiene industry, which itself is growing consistently in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and to secure long-term strategic partnerships, involving supply agreements, with major international manufacturers,” says Gillings. “For the longer term, other market areas may be considered, depending on the actual growth of hygiene market.”

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