Auteur: Erik van den Hurk
The other day I spoke to an entrepreneur who was planning to build a production hall in Africa. “It’s ‘only’ 3,000 m², so much too small for your construction company,” he said. I immediately cleared up that misunderstanding. After all, we are not just building mega-halls of tens of thousands of square metres. It’s also interesting for average projects to work with a Dutch construction company.
It doesn’t really matter to us whether you have building plans for three or twenty thousand square metres. The advantages of building with a Dutch party are always valid. These are the most important ones:
Transport costs are obviously higher if you ship a complete steel construction from Europe to, for example, Nigeria or Cambodia than if you produce in the country of destination. But if this avoids delays in delivery and you can get your production line up and running sooner, the higher transport costs will certainly outweigh that.
European quality vs. local
European steel is known worldwide for its high quality. But also good quality coatings ensure a longer life span. Certainly when it comes to steel construction, it makes a difference whether the coating has already been applied in the factory or is being applied on site. A good quality coating is also important for roof and wall cladding. Depending on the location and application, suppliers of these panels often provide a longer guarantee. Certainly in countries where the climate is more extreme than in the Netherlands, these are things that can make a difference in the long run.
Scarcity in country of destination
You have to be very well prepared for international projects. Even better than in the Netherlands. Building materials and tools are in principle also available in the country of destination, but much harder to find and generally of inferior quality. That’s why our supervisors never throw anything away. Every bolt or nut can come in handy later. And when it comes to tools, we certainly don’t take any risks. With every project, a container with our own tools is transported and it is returned afterwards.
Safety on the construction site
For the assembly we work with local workers who are supervised by our supervisor from the Netherlands. Many of the countries we visit have hardly any social services and a lack of employment. It is therefore not difficult to find people. If we work at the same location more often, we try to put together the same shifts as much as possible. In the meantime, these men have become experienced and have adapted to each other. During the projects we give a lot of instructions about safety on the construction site, so local people are also trained immediately.
Want to know more about building abroad? Feel free to contact me or take a look at our latest project, a malthouse in Ethiopia. With a total surface area of approximately 3,800 m², this is a good example.