Fastbrick Robotics signs deal with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its Hadrian X robot

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By Filip Karinja - 
Fastbrick Robotics FBR Saudi Arabia

Fastbrick Robotics (ASX: FBR) has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA or Saudi Arabia) for the use of the Hadrian X to construct new homes.

The MOU is the company’s first such agreement with a government and will position Saudi Arabia as a global first adopter of Fastbrick’s robotic bricklaying technology. It is anticipated that this MOU will be superseded by more definitive and binding legal agreements in due course.

Key Highlights:

  • Fastbrick signs MOU in relation to a potential project for Saudi Arabia to utilise Hadrian X construction robots to build a minimum of 50,000 new homes by 2022.
  • The MOU indicates an equivalent requirement for 100 Hadrian X robots to facilitate this project.
  • The 50,000 home target, represents only a portion of a larger 500,000 new home target set by the Saudi Arabia Government to be completed by 2022, with a directive that all of these homes are to be constructed using innovative construction technologies (Innovative Construction Target).
  • Fastbrick’s robotic bricklaying technology is considered an innovative construction technology for the purposes of Saudi Arabia’s Innovative Construction Target.
  • Saudi Arabia has set a total 1.5 million new home target to be completed by 2022 which includes the Innovative Construction Target.
  • Fastbrick’s CEO and COO attended the exclusive MOU signing ceremony in Saudi Arabia.

The MOU contemplates the construction of 50,000 new home units (minimum) using Hadrian X construction robots, which translates into an equivalent machine requirement of 100 Hadrian X construction robots. Saudi Arabia has a new home building target of 1.5 million new homes which are to be completed by 2022, including the Innovative Construction Target.

Fastbrick’s MOU with Saudi Arabia also validates the interest, demand and the global opportunity for the Company’s technology and comes only one month after signing an MOU and placement agreement with Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), which resulted in Caterpillar becoming a shareholder of Fastbrick with an option to increase its shareholding in the coming 12 months.

The combination of the KSA MOU and the Caterpillar MOU highlights how Fastbrick is rapidly moving to demonstrate that it will not only have global scalability for its technology, but that it has already identified significant customer demand for its Hadrian X construction robots.

Orders from early adopters of its technology will assist to underpin the continued development, subsequent manufacture and global distribution of the Hadrian X. Both MOU’s also provide committed support and envisage the development of frameworks that pave the way for the global commercialisation of the Hadrian X.

Fastbrick’s Technology Solution for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s housing shortage is being fueled by a high demand for housing, growing population and increased labour costs. Saudi Arabia has committed to adopting innovative constructive technologies as part of its housing solution, which has led to this opportunity for Fastbrick’s technology.

Fastbrick’s robotic bricklaying technology provides a unique solution to assist the KSA in meeting its demand for new housing, while increasing housing quality, lowering construction costs, creating local jobs, providing skilled employment opportunities, increasing productivity in a harsh environment and bringing new construction innovation to the country.

Saudi Arabia is united with Fastbrick’s vision of improving the safety, speed, accuracy, cost and waste management in the global construction industry, through utilising the world’s latest innovations in mobile robotic technology.

Fastbrick’s Technology Opportunity in Saudi Arabia

Final pricing in relation to the Hadrian X robots has not yet been settled however initial pricing discussions indicate a significant potential opportunity for the company. It is anticipated that final pricing will reflect production build costs, the business model adopted in the country and/or region and the revenue generating capacity and savings made possible through utilising Fastbrick’s unique technology.

The KSA MOU also contemplates a potential partnership between public and private sectors in the field of housing and construction and identifying additional opportunities in Saudi Arabia for the broader adoption of Fastbrick’s technology in areas including: manufacturing opportunities; pilot programs; training of professionals to operate Hadrian X constructive robots; and the joint exchange of information in relation to housing development and housing projects.

Saudi Arabia’s government is also well positioned to move quickly with respect to adapting its compliance and regulatory framework to adjust for this new technology.

Fastbrick Robotics in Saudi Arabia for Signing Ceremony

Fastbrick’s CEO Mike Pivac and COO Marcus Gracey attended an exclusive ceremony with His Excellency, The Minister for Housing, in the country’s capital city Riyadh on Tuesday 15 August, 2017 where the memorandum of understanding was officially signed.

Fastbrick Robotics FBR Saudi Arabia deal signing

Bottom left to right: Mike Pivac (Chief Executive Officer, Fastbrick Robotics Limited) and Mr. Mohammed Bin Muammar (Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Housing Company for Housing Services). Top left to right: Marcus Gracey (Chief Operating Officer, Fastbrick Robotics Limited), Mr. Khalid Al Salem (President – National Industrial Clusters Development Program) and Mr. Majed Al Hogail, His Excellency Minister of Housing Saudi Arabia.

Fastbrick Robotics CEO Mike Pivac commented:

“Fastbrick’s MOU with Saudi Arabia is a perfect example of our unique technology presenting a timely solution to Saudi Arabia’s housing supply problem, which is a problem shared by many other countries around the world. We are presently increasing and accelerating our execution capability, scalability and our identification of other customers around the world. The level of demand pull that we are currently experiencing will assist to underpin the development, manufacture and global deployment of our Hadrian X construction robots.

Fastbrick is grateful for the assistance received from the Western Australian Government through the Commissioner of the Western Australian Trade Office – Middle East, and in particular for the on-ground support provided in the Middle east region with the facilitation of this MOU with Saudi Arabia.

The signing of this MOU resulted from our successful initial global customer discovery process and now signals the commencement of a more detailed demand side customer and market analysis wherein Fastbrick we will be seeking out other countries, organisations and parties around the world who are interested in being early adopters of Fastbrick’s technology.

Fastbrick is looking forward to working with the KSA to assist with the delivery of Saudi Arabia’s housing units, effectively, safely, efficiently and successfully.”