Business booming for “instant” road builders Global Road Technology

For local Gold Coast infrastructure firm Global Road Technology (GRT) 2014 has been an unmitigated success with more than half-a-billion dollars of projects announced and more in the pipeline.

As well as moving into its new Yatala headquarters, it’s implemented huge contracts from Brazil to Melbourne and reaped great benefits from its unswerving focus on being a good corporate citizen.

The year started with GRT supplying its specially designed products to the Indonesian military to create roads across Indonesia. It won the contract to assist in the development of 1500 kilometres of road infrastructure across some of Indonesia’s most remote areas and difficult terrain, ahead of five other multi-national firms, including a Chinese consortium.

This announcement was followed by its multi-million agreement to develop several hundred kilometres of road infrastructure in India.

Closer to home GRT opened a new services facility on the Warrego Highway, in addition to opening its new 16,000sqm head office at Yatala, south of Brisbane that includes factory and office space, in addition to providing a hub for its research and development activities.

Domestically, GRT Chief Financial Officer Herman Allison said the company was working on the Liquefied Natural Gas firms and would look expand to north Queensland to accommodate the demand from mining and infrastructure projects in the region.

In South America, the company also used its range of soil-stabilisation and dust-control products to develop road networks across the continent’s biggest country and largest economy, Brazil, on projects estimated worth around the $US220 million mark.

GRT’s engineers and scientists will be working to assist as the country seeks to address its infrastructure shortfalls leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

According to Mr Allison, the business is perfectly positioned to meet the infrastructure needs of a developing nation like Brazil. GRT plans to further expand in Latin America following the success of its Brazilian venture.

Other highlights of 2014 included GRT directors speaking at the Road Safety Showcase (Week) in Chennai, presented by Austrade. They spoke about how Australian companies such as GRT could save lives in developing nations by applying Australian safety standards and expertise when creating new roads in these countries.

In another involvement in local communities in which it operates, GRT signed on as a partner of the St George Queensland Reds for its Road Safety Initiative as it seeks to address the road toll in remote and indigenous communities in the state.

The Road Safety Initiative has three key aims for those in rural and remote communities – survive the walk, survive the ride and survive the drive – and provides material and educational support to achieve these goals.

These initiatives form the key corporate social responsibility platform for GRT.

And not content with resting on its laurels, GRT’s head of research and development visited the United States as part of the firm’s aims to be recognised as an industry technology leader in soil-stabilisation and dust-suppression.

Dr Babak (Mojtaba) Abtahi headed to two of the world’s leading universities, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as part of a research trip where he worked on further developing the soil-stabilisation and dust-suppression product range used by the company to create “instant roads”.

And in its focus on innovation, GRT and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have just announced a new collaborative research initiative.

This agreement will see GRT sponsor a research fellow to work full-time on GRT-focused research projects for an initial period of 10 months, which if successful will lead to future research funding.

“This collaboration will see both parties provide equipment and expertise for cross-disciplinary research and experimentation in the fields of polymer and materials science,” Dr Abtahi said.

“Global Road Technology is successful both locally and abroad because we continuously invest in research and development, ensuring that our technology constantly exceeds customer expectations and enabling us to develop new product offerings capable of treating sub-standard soil types.”

Critically, as part of its worldwide expansion, the firm is investing significantly in innovation as it seeks to further cement its place as a leader in its field.

With its focus on the development, manufacturing and application of its innovative range of specialised road-building products GRT has garnered a global reputation for providing infrastructure solutions across a variety of industries, environments and conditions.

Chief Financial Officer Herman Allison said that the business takes its inspiration from the German “Mittelstand”, the group of medium-sized enterprises that drive Germany’s economy with their approach to sustainable growth through ongoing business investment.

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