16 Jan 2019

A joint venture (JV) between Australian company Bisalloy Streels and Sweden’s Swebor Stål Svenska AB, Swebis Middle East FZE distributes high performance, armour steel products to the Middle Eastern civilian and defence armour markets.

Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the JV is successfully taking advantage of the very high concentration of armoured vehicle manufacturers in that nation. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly geography. The nation’s location in the Middle East means it is perfectly positioned to supply its neighbours, as well as European and North African customers.

And secondly, the UAE faces no real barriers to exporting to any of the above-mentioned regions. Its businesses can work with neighbours, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Oman, just as easily as they can do business with the UK, Germany, Morocco or Egypt.

Business, therefore, is currently good for UAE-based armoured vehicle manufacturers. They are making a lot of vehicles – not only for military use, but also for peace keeping, VIP protection, and cash-in-transit applications. In other words, Swebis Middle East FZE’s steel plates are just as likely to be found in vehicles used by UN forces, banks or politicians as they are by the military.

Established in 2017, the JV not only made it possible for both companies to expand into this important market, but also meant they could combine their resources and expertise. As a result, SweBis Middle East FZE is able to offer customers the whole package – not just steel plate, but also solutions in areas like blast and ballistic protection, material selection, and workshop recommendation (welding, bending, etc.).

In addition, the advent of SweBis Middle East FZE has allowed both companies to expand their product offerings.

Bisalloy originally developed its BISALLOY® Armour steel grades in the 1980s for use in the hulls of the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarines. Since then these products, which vary in hardness from 300 HBW to 600HBW, have found use in defence projects around the world.

Most recently, the company has been working with a range of global defence prime contractors, including Rheinmetall (Germany), Naval Group (France), BAE Systems (Australia and UK), as well as several second and third tier defence contractors.

Swebor’s history is similarly impressive. Established not long after Bisalloy in 1982, the Swedish company is a pioneer in in abrasion resistant steel products. It now produces 20,000 tonnes of steel a year, including armour grade products for defence and civilian applications.

Despite their similarities, there is an important difference between the two companies and their offerings. While Swebor specialises in thinner steel products (2mm – 16mm), Bisalloy makes thicker and wider products (with thicknesses ranging from 5mm – 50mm).

From this perspective, the collaboration is very much a perfect marriage. Their two product ranges are a natural fit. They complement each other perfectly.

Thus, SweBis Middle East FZE is able to offer armour grade steel plate ranging in thickness from 2.0 mm to 100.0 mm and in widths up to 3100 mm. All bendable and weldable, the plates range in hardness from 400HB to 600HB.

Because the range is comprehensive, manufacturers and designers can source all the armour grade plate they need, in varying thicknesses, from the one supplier. They don’t need to look any further afield than SweBis Middle East FZE .

The joint venture company has now been on the ground in Ras Al Khaimah for over two years. Product quality, along with the combined brand reputation of Bisalloy and Swebor, mean that it is now right at home in this strategically important location.

It makes perfect sense, therefore, that SweBis Middle East FZE will exhibit its products at the upcoming International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2019). Billed as the most strategically important tri-service defence exhibition in the world, the five-day event takes place from 17th February to 21st February 2019 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“Expansion into new geographies and market segments is a key part of Bisalloy’s long-term business strategy. We are pleased to note that at this point in time, two years into the joint venture, SweBis Middle East FZE is clearly achieving this goal in the Middle East,” said Justin Suwart, Business Manager, Armour – Bisalloy Steels. Hans Bergman, Owner and CEO of Swebor Stål Svenska AB, echoed these thoughts.

“SweBis Middle East FZE has strengthened Swebor and allowed us to successfully introduce our products to the Middle East. We look forward to IDEX 2019 as an excellent opportunity to establish new business relationships and further consolidate the standing of the joint venture in this important market,” he said.

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