Overall, the company supplies products to PU processors in more than 23 countries. Baalbaki has technology centres in three countries with production facilities in Syria, Egypt, and Sharjah, UAE.[image_0] The Baalbaki group continues to operate its plant in Damascus, Syria, as well as operating new systems houses in UAE and Egypt. The systems house in Egypt is mainly focused on supplying adhesives and rigid foams as well as cold cure moulded foam systems and MDI binders for rebounded foam. It is a full systems house and has brand new warehousing facilities from where it can export to the North African markets. The Egyptian system house has a capacity which of 22 kt/y capacity is for rigid foam systems, plus 6 kt/y of adhesives, and will supply customers in Libya, Algeria, where Baalbaki has an office, and Morocco, where it is developing a partnership with a local company. Baalbaki also has an agent in Tunisia which is strong in promoting rigid foam insulation as well as footwear systems into this developing market. At its site in Alqeen, Syria, Baalbaki continues to produce aromatic and aliphatic polyester polyols as well as filled polyether polyols for use in moulded foams and flexible slabstock. The company produces rigid foam systems, moulded pour-in-place systems, and footwear systems as well as release agents, masterbatches, and base varnishes. The company also produces and supplies a range of coating raw materials and a range of unsaturated polyester resins for general purpose applications, pipe and boats. In addition, the systems house supplies flexible packaging adhesives for lamination, binders for rebonded foams, TPU and solvent-based adhesives for the leather and footwear industries. They also produce OCF aerosol foams. Of course the Middle East and North African (MENA) markets are difficult to supply due to the constant security issues and risks. This is one reason why the company has started to focus on the UAE, where Baalbaki claims to have 25 % of the rigid foam market. The Sharjah systems house supplies the GCC countries and Pakistan in drums and IBC containers. When completed, the facility will have a 40 kt/y capacity to produce polyols, polyester resins, and a full range of systems including shoe sole resins. "Once the new Sadara plants are up and running, raw material supplies will be much easier,"admits Ahmad Baalbaki, Head of Business Planning, Baalbaki Group, based in Beirut. "Right now, Baalbaki is buying raw materials from China and Europe. The office in Beirut is from where Baalbaki controls the supply chain to customers. "Supplying product to Syrian customers depends upon where the bombs fall and cut off access. So we have to supply as much product as possible to customers while access routes are open. Access to the port is also important," he explained. "Supplying customers and receiving raw materials remains a challenge. For example, we can't really store large volumes of highly flammable products. But we at Baalbaki are in the business of survival and offer a diverse range of products to many challenging markets in the MENA region. Being a local supplier has advantages because we can be flexible and we understand our customers. With over 20 years of experience in supplying the polyurethane industry, Baalbaki can offer technical knowledge to its customers as PU remains one of the fastest growing products in the Middle East and North African region and requires the high degree of customer collaboration that Baalbaki can offer, inspite of the market conditions!