Eurobras Construções Metálicas, based in the city of Santo André, in the Greater São Paulo (southeast Brazil), which makes residential modules for use at construction sites, is interested in the logistics of ongoing developments in the Gulf region. The area has been building at a feverish pace.
Eurobras will participate, in November, in a trade mission to Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex).
"It will be an opportunity to get to know the market and try to take our products to the region", said the marketing and exports manager at the company, Thelma Moraes. "Our objective is to increase our exports by means of a plan for opening up new markets, and we regard the Arab world as a positive option," she claimed.
Eurobras' modules can be used as changing rooms, dormitories, dining halls, and offices. They are roughly the size of a cargo container and, according to Thelma, are fully flat-packed, and can be transported from one construction site to another. The exact dimensions are 6 meters of length, 2.30 meters of width, and 2.20 meters of height. The company has the equipment available both for sale and rental.
The structures, according to the manager, are already exported to the other Mercosur countries, as well as Panama, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Angola, and now the company is ready to establish a commercial arm in Mexico. The Arab market has not been explored yet. "With the opportunity created by the mission, the market survey work will be carried out in loco," she said.
Should the market prospecting turn out positive, Thelma said that the company might be interested in using the Apex Distribution Center in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to store products for prompt delivery. She said that, once disassembled, up to nine modules can be fitted into a container for transport.
The company's only direct contact with the Arab market so far happened in the first half of this year, when the organization attended business roundtables with a delegation of Saudi businessmen, organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber in São Paulo. "We presented our product and it enjoyed broad acceptance," she claimed.
According to Thelma, foreign sales currently answer to between 4% and 5% of the company's revenues. She said, however, that the domestic market has grown a lot lately, due to the heating of the Brazilian civil construction sector, which boosted Eurobras revenues from 15 million Brazilian reais (US$ 8.5 million) in 2005 to 28 million reais (US$ 15.9 million) in 2006.
The galvanized steel modules are manufactured and equipped by the company itself and, according to Thelma, are designed so as not to leave any residue at the construction sites, and to be easily connected to the water and electricity supply systems. Eurobras, according to her, supplies developments all over Brazil, as well as companies such as the state-owned oil company Petrobras, which uses the equipment in oil and gas sector works.
In the last F1 Brazilian Grand Prix, held on October 21st, the company supplied 360 modules that were used by the teams and TV channels as offices and restaurants. Each unit costs from US$ 4,000 to US$ 7,000, depending on configuration.
Eurobras is a 27-year-old family-owned business. The company plant is located in an area of 28,000 square meters and they employ 220 people. The technology used, according to Thelma, is 100% national.
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