Hariri’s Turkish partner

Hariri’s Turkish partner

There is a face that is not focused on very much, that does not draw much attention of the Turkish construction sector, but which accomplishes many successful projects abroad.

AE Arma-Elekropanç is a 35-year-old company that focuses on the technical contracting services that provide the absolute musts of electricity, ventilation, elevators and wireless infrastructure of buildings.

The Business Development Manager of the company, Burak Kızılhan, is among the second generation owners of the family company. He is only 28-years-old, but he made the “Power 100 in Middle East” list of Construction Week, a prestigious publication in the Middle East and the Gulf.

According to Kızılhan, in the coming years the share of “technical contracting” will increase. This is for a very simple reason: Our buildings are getting smarter and need more technical equipment.

AE Arma-Elekropanç was established two years ago in partnership with the Lebanese Hariri family known for its investments in Turkey. The company has 29 continuing projects in nine different countries worth $500 million.

“We were planning to develop businesses in countries such as Lebanon, Dubai, Syria, Jordan and Egypt with the Hariri partnership, but the Arab Spring has turned the projects upside down,” Kızılhan said.

I asked him which was the most important project. He said this was the Zabeel Palace and Rixos The Palm in Dubai, as well as the tallest building in Europe in Moscow.

AE Arma-Elektropanç has undertaken projects in eight different cities in Russia. “Russia has never upset us. We are the first Turkish technical contracting firm to enter that country,” Kızýılhan said.

With a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the U.K., Kızılhan worked for two years at Schneider Electric, one of the global giants in energy management, before he joined the family company. Thus, he was well-equipped upon entering the family company.

Kızılhan also started a bold initiative. Last March he has “married” AE Arma-Elektropanç with the Dutch Imtech, one of the leading names in the global technical contracting sector.

Imtech, which has a turnover of 5 billion euros and recruits 30,000 employees, has bought a majority share - 80 percent - in the Turkish firm.

According to Kızılhan, who plans not to sell the remaining 20 percent of the shares for another three years, the marriage with the Dutch firm will open doors for even more major projects.

“For example, the $700 million project proposal in Kazakhstan would have been beyond us if it were before the marriage. Now, there is no market that we cannot enter together with Imtech,” Kızılhan said.

While on the one hand there is a partnership with Hariri, on the other there is the marriage with Imtech - we can expect that our Turkish firms may soon undertake even more significant projects in world markets.