Project Manager:Tom Arnold
Muna Noor has built its market-leading pipe manufacturing reputation upon a bedrock of excellence and the determination to be the best in everything it does; an ethos which acknowledges the challenges of the industry yet continues to find the optimum solution.
Now employing more than 450 people, across four factories in Oman, the pioneer and leader in the Middle Eastern pipe manufacturing domain can boast a key role in numerous innovative projects across multiple industries over the years; a testament to the brand’s progressive character, unrivalled capacities, and ever-expanding product range.
“To date, Muna Noor’s divisions deliver large-scale and bespoke HDPE, uPVC, DWC and multi-layer HDPE pipes, fittings, plastic fabrication, lining for steel pipes, traditional and electro fusion welding solutions, complete irrigation systems, SCADA control systems and a multiplicity of valves and controls for water,” affirms the Company’s General Manager, Grant Phipps. “The Company continues to develop products and state-of-the-art solutions with the aim to exceed client expectations and collaborate on new and exciting projects.
“Muna Noor can offer unique pipe solutions for modern, unconventional and economic pipe laying applications in dredging, desalination, water and sewage, irrigation, oil & gas, telecoms, industrial, mining, construction and infrastructure sectors.”
Muna Noor’s superior offering is compounded by recognition and certification to this end - ISO 9001:2008 certification to be precise - and this primary commitment to deliver quality products and services to its loyal customer base has most recently been epitomised by a new venture in opening trade outlets across Oman and the Emirates to increase the distribution footprint of its aforementioned portfolio.
All told, this footprint comprises Muscat, Salalah, Barka and Sohar in Oman; Duqm and Dubai in the UAE; and further sales points across the GCC, Iran, Africa, and neighbouring Asian nations.
“Our latest large order came from Mozambique for large diameter PE pipes where 55 container loads were despatched in late November, 2016,” Phipps includes as an example of this excellence on an ever-expanding scale. “We drive being the best there is in everything we do. Of course this is a never-ending and very difficult task, but we only believe in being the best there is in our class.”
Set up 42 years ago, initially as a plastic pipe manufacturer and as one of the first companies in Oman, Muna Noor’s evolution over the years to its current status under the stewardship of Boubyan Petrochemicals is indicative of the progressive philosophy it tries to adhere to; continuously looking at new and innovative ways to market.
“Two good examples of this are the recently installed double-wall corrugated polypropylene pipe production line installed in our Sohar factory, the only one of its type in the GCC,” Phipps enthuses. “This line produces an extremely strong polypropylene pipe for drainage and sewerage. The pipe has a socket jointing system that allows for the pipes to be installed very quickly.
“The second example is installed in the same factory and is the only 1,200 millimetre multi-layer polyethylene pipe facility in the GCC.
“This new generation of multi-layer HDPE pipe is ideal for the poor and stony soils of the Oman and other GCC & MENA countries which can produce high stresses in the pipe wall when sharp objects press on the buried pipe.”
Overcoming regional and industrial challenges to reach the desired solution is a trait synonymous with Muna Noor and this reputation spreads further into its trading divisions; incepting innovative new designs for customers across its trading outlets.
Phipps continues: “The new design features a number of firsts for Muna Noor and Oman. Reducing the length of the trade counter removes physical barriers between customers and employees, to create a bright and open environment. The office areas have now been integrated into the branch itself, making it far easier for branch staff to greet and service customers. Merchandising has also been introduced, with a range of fast-moving stock, trade essentials and seasonal items on immediate hand for self-selection.
“While customers are selecting products they need, they can take advantage of coffee, water and comfortable seating provided to enhance their experience.”
At the time of the Salalah facility’s launch, Phipps described the unveiling as a “massive landmark” while also emphasising the need to use it as a launch pad for new locations to be opened in 2017.
“We need to ensure we maintain our momentum for growth and reach our target of becoming the ‘go-to Company’ for PVC, polyethylene and double-wall corrugated pipes.
“In addition, a larger range of valves, irrigation equipment, solvent cements and pipe fittings will be stocked in each branch. Throughout the next year the stock range will grow into new areas to fully service our customers’ needs.”
Growing the Omani economy
Constantly upgrading its plant and facilities to stay at the leading edge of technology and process developments, Muna Noor has gone as far as to work with a German university in order to implement the very best in global production operations.
And to complement this adherence to mechanical and operational excellence, the business’s employment and personnel strategy is every bit as refined.
“Recent management changes have brought about a new extremely progressive culture, simply based upon getting it right every time,” Phipps says. “We are now a customer-facing Company that is evolving very quickly to provide our customers with a total solution.
“We have a policy of obtaining the very best personnel we can in order to keep the Company ahead in this skills race, and this means that we scour the world for the best-in-class. We have Omani, Indian, English, Polish, Egyptian, Jordanian, American and Lebanese staff, while remaining very committed to the Omanisation process and placing a big emphasis on employing local Omanis wherever possible.
“Oman supports us and we support Oman.”
Simultaneously, Muna Noor is also working hard to embrace the most modern and advanced technologies on an internal level to improve efficiencies - a focus that has embraced enhanced automation, a new website, and a comprehensive ERP system - while also bridging the gap between the industrial world and the surrounding Omani communities via a vastly growing corporate social responsibility arm.
As a master agent in the GCC trading world, and a long-time leader in the manufacturing domain, the responsibility placed at Muna Noor’s doorstep to drive Omani growth is one that is not only accepted, but embraced as it looks towards the next stage of its impressive development.
“My desire is for Muna Noor to grow to sufficient size and profitability, to float Muna Noor on the Omani stock exchange, and to ensure that we have the most content and safe workforce within Oman.
“Ultimately, we want to make sure that we will have ‘done our bit’ for Oman with regard to growing exports and the Omani economy.”