The world's largest GFRP rebar project was completed in 2022. Corrosion-resistant Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Rebar was specified as the only rebar to be used in the 23km-long Jizan Flood Mitigation Channel in Saudi Arabia.
Why did the Jizan Project use GFRP Reinforcing Bars
The new Jizan Economic City was a bustling industrial and commercial center located on the Red Sea, boasting a busy port. It is also home to Saudi Aramco's Jizan oil refinery which processes 400,000 barrels of crude per day. However, the region faced a significant risk of flooding due to inadequate drainage systems and heavy seasonal rainfall.
To address this issue, Saudi Aramco spearheaded a critical project: the construction of a 23km-long Flood Mitigation Channel. This channel plays a pivotal role in safeguarding both the city's infrastructure and its residents. Mateenbar' was selected by Saudi Aramco as the majority supplier of GFRP rebar to reinforce the concrete channel.
Corrosion-resistant GFRP Reinforcing Bars: the Sustainable Infrastructure Solution
Saudi Aramco, one of the largest companies in the world commenced its non-metallic initiative with a goal of reducing the annual cost of corrosion by 10%. Mandating the use of GFRP rebar is part of their non-metallic initiative, a positive step towards fighting corrosion and moving towards a more sustainable approach to infrastructure builds.
The channel marks a significant turning point in the infrastructure sector. It is one of many large-scale projects where engineers are specifying GFRP reinforcing bars to ensure long-term durability.
The Jizan Flood Mitigation Channel is to date, the largest project worldwide to be using GFRP rebar as its concrete reinforcement throughout.
Al Yamama won the contract to build the channel. In construction, they poured over 1,500m3 of concrete per day in one of the fastest channel construction projects ever undertaken. Over 4,800,000 linear meters of Mateenbar™ were delivered – almost a quarter of which were as Mateenbar™ bends in various shapes.
Mateenbar™ GFRP Reinforcing Bar Exceeded Construction Schedules
With any project of this size comes inevitable changes. Last-minute design changes and quantity revisions led to the need to scale up production levels to meet delivery dates. To meet this new demand, we had extra automated grinder units and a new bends machine installed. Rapid production of this equipment was achieved with the expertise and support of our engineering and research partner, Pultron Composites. The increase in production was easily achieved so we could comfortably meet construction scheduling deadlines.
Another source of attention was the shape of the flood channel. The design called for an expansion joint in each slab and as a result, we needed to supply a shape of bend that bends back onto itself. Typically, this is not possible but after some testing by our pultrusion experts, this complex bend was achieved. The bars were preformed and supplied in time to the project.
GFRP Reinforcing Bar Delivers a Sustainable Structure
Corrosion-resistant and with high chemical resistance – a design life cycle of 100 years for the channel is assured with little maintenance requirements due to the durability of using high-performance Mateenbar™ GFRP Reinforcing Bar. The JEC Channel will safeguard people and the city from damage caused by flooding.