Mongolia – a country on the verge of change

In October 2012, around 8,000 km from my workplace in Zurich, a new Sika company was founded in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Sika Mongolia LLC is one of the youngest Sika companies. Mongolia is one of the 20 largest countries in the world and, with just 2.8 million people, very sparsely populated. Ulaanbaatar is home to approximately 50% of Mongolia’s population, while the other 48% are still nomadic and live in yurts.

A long trip to go…
How do you get there from Europe? It is a 20-hour trip if you choose the fastest way via Istanbul and Bishkek. However, you soon forget how exhausting the trip has been during the descent into the Mongolian airport of Ulan Bator, which offers an awesome view of this country’s beautiful scenery.

Can you stand extreme weather conditions?
For those who are not used to extreme climates, Mongolia offers the whole range. Visiting Mongolia in January or February will change your personal definition of cold: with temperatures dropping as low as -50°C, you will be glad to receive Sika Mongolia’s warm thermal clothes. Those temperatures make a skiing experience in the only Mongolian ski resort, near Ulaanbaatar, a real challenge, even with those thermal Sika clothes. Summertime is the complete opposite, with temperatures soaring to +40°C. A harsh land. Mongolia is a country where you can experience all four seasons in a single day. Ulaanbaatar is officially the coldest capital city in the world with an average temperature of approximately 0°C.

Sika Mongolia goes on its way
In a very short time, Sika Mongolia grew to 24 employees with a modern office and a well-equipped concrete laboratory and admixtures production facility. The Corporate Concrete & Waterproofing departments helped in establishing the processes in the newly opened concrete laboratory with various training sessions concerning concrete technology. Then the most extensive PCE (polycarboxylate-ether) testing program ever seen in Asia was undertaken, testing PCE supplied from within the region and from the production facilities in Europe.

Full range supply for mining industry
One of the biggest and most important projects for Sika Mongolia is the supply to the mine project, with many products being involved in both underground and surface applications: everything from Sikafloor® to Sika® Sigunit®. Furthermore, Sika Mongolia gained a large market share in a very short time due to its exceptional technical support and technical services not previously available in Mongolia for civil projects or mining projects.

Technical support with specialized team
“Sika Mongolia is already the clear market leader in the retail and distribution markets as the company provides a wide range of retail products not seen in the Mongolian market before Sika Mongolia opened its doors,” states Paul Howarth, General Manager. Sika Mongolia has also secured the supply to major projects thanks to its extensive product range and technical support approach, and has a full specialist team in place with direct supply via a range of distribution channels for both retail and pro-dealer products.

The text about his recent travel to Mongolia is written by Oliver Schwoon, Corporate Product Engineer Ready Mix Concrete, Sika Services AG.