Ceremoniously inaugurated in March 2019 in Astrakhan, Russia, the new Azerbaijan Business Center will help expand trade and economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation between the Southern Russian region and Azerbaijan. PENETRON ADMIX was used to ensure a durable and waterproof below-grade structure for the new facility.
The Azerbaijan economy has been centered mainly on the country’s rich oil and gas resources. However, the agricultural, construction, education, communications and tourism sectors are rapidly gaining importance; these will form a focus for the activities of the new Azerbaijan Business Center in Astrakhan. Russia continues to be a key trade partner for Azerbaijan, and the trade volume between the countries has increased by 20-22% over recent years. Indeed, Russia is the leading importer of non-oil products from Azerbaijan.
“We’re neighbors, so it’s no surprise that Azerbaijan and Russia have a robust – and growing – trade partnership. The volume of trade between the two countries has grown steadily and is currently over US$2.5 billion annually,” says Denis Suslikov, Director of Astrakhan Center of Modern Construction Materials, the local Penetron representative in Astrakhan.
A Forum for Cooperation
The Azerbaijan Business Center is more than just a platform to promote the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand. It will address issues of expanding business cooperation, creating joint ventures in various markets, increasing wine exports from Azerbaijan, and strengthening transport/logistics coordination, such as the development of the “North-South” transport corridor between the two countries.
Historically, Astrakhan has been the economic and cultural center of the Lower Volga region, and it is a logical location for the first of many Azerbaijan Business Centers planned for Russia, Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine. This Southern Russian city has approximately 520,000 inhabitants and lies on the banks of the Volga River, close to the Caspian Sea (elevation = 28 m / 92 feet below sea level).
Water-Logged Construction Site
The five-story Azerbaijan Business Center complex has an area of 5,000 m2 (55,000 square feet) and features an exhibition center (1st floor), offices (2nd floor), conference rooms (3rd floor), and a 150-room hotel (4th & 5th floors). At the beginning of the project, the construction site posed challenges for HAF, the project contractors. Confronted with a water-logged site, the contractor called the local Penetron team to provide a waterproofing solution for the below-grade concrete structures.
“The water table at the site is very high,” adds Denis Suslikov. “We had done a number of similar projects and immediately recommended PENETRON ADMIX for the concrete mix. The project owners were pleased with the results – it worked perfectly.”
Provides Low Permeability and Self-healing Capabilities
Easily mixed in during batching and unaffected by climatic conditions, PENETRON ADMIX becomes an integral part of the concrete matrix and performs consistently during the life of the concrete. It is designed to protect concrete in the most critical environments, even under high hydrostatic pressure. The admixture also provides self-healing capabilities for hairline cracks and enhances the compressive strength of concrete.
“Penetron crystalline technology provides concrete with self-healing, low permeability, and low shrinkage,” says Denis Suslikov. “This ensures protection against water penetration and any chemical attack, which will make the concrete at the Business Center very durable.”