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Hisham Aljundi
The opening of the new ELAN Signage factory in the heart of Industrial Area on Monday has added a new milestone to Qatar's vision of achieving self-sufficiency.
The factory, spread over an area of 12,000 square metres, specialises in the production of high-quality traffic and road signs, designed and manufactured in accordance with the highest international standards, and can produce 200,000 road signs annually.
The opening ceremony was attended by Dr Saad al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Abdulaziz al Khalifa, ELAN Group Chairman and CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and Jaber al Ansari, ELAN Group CEO.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, the QDB CEO said the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar by the Saudi-led bloc, accelerated the opening of the factory. Initially, the factory would aim to fulfill the local market's needs, and may export later on, he added.
"This factory is using the latest technology of its kind in the region, using robotics, and we can now meet our own needs for road signs, which are a must for the development of Qatar,"Khalifa said.
General Manager of ELAN, Hong Lee, took the officials on an inspection tour of the factory to check the machinery and production line.
The factory is equipped with a highly advanced automated production line, using the latest technologies to produce signs with very durable aluminium and steel, and high-quality silk screen and digital printing to deliver highly reflective signs.
Muhannadi said they were satisfied with the quality of the products produced at the factory, and have accredited all road signs required for Ashgal's ongoing projects to ELAN.
"The factory marks a great leap in the self-sufficiency target we aim to meet, as we at Ashghal used to import all road signs from abroad, and we still have so many projects to achieve and will need thousands of them", Muhannadi said.
The factory is operated by leading Italian company VIS Mobility, which has an experience of more than 50 years in designing and manufacturing of road signs around the world.
The ELAN Group CEO said,"Aluminum is imported from China, and we have already started production with contracts signed with several local companies in the field of infrastructure."
Ansari added that most of the raw materials are brought in from various locations along with local materials as well, and the production would not only cover the gap left by the unjust blockade, but would also be sufficient to cover the country's needs for signage.
Established in 2004, The Elan Signage is a subsidiary of Elan Group which is owned by the QDB.
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