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Emirates Steel begins commissioning of Dh802m steelmaking plant

posted on 01/04/2009: 2959 views



Emirates Steel Industries (ESI) announced that it has commenced the commissioning of its new steelmaking plant in Mussafah.

Construction of the country's first integrated steelmaking operation continues to advance with the commissioning of a world-scale plant that will produce steel billets, the raw material for ESI's new state-of-the-art rolling mills.

This latest plant includes an electric arc furnace and a caster to mould the billets from the furnace's molten steel.

H.E. Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of ESI, announced that ESI is steadily delivering on its vision to become a steel company with a production capacity of 5m tons per annum.

'ESI is pioneering the way for the steel industry in the UAE and will achieve this vision through a series of expansion projects. This new steelmaking plant, with an estimated investment of Dh802m, is a significant component of our overall backward integration plan and gives us a competitive advantage over many major steel players in the region,' Al Nowais said.

'Once commercial production begins in May, the production of steel billets will displace much of ESI's imported billets and also lower production costs by a significant amount,' said Al Nowais.

He added that, over the past year alone, ESI has raised rolling mill production capacity to 2m tons per annum, as part of the first phase of its expansion strategy.

Eng. Ahmed Al Dhaheri, ESI's Vice President for Projects, explained that the production capacity of the steelmaking plant will be 1.4m tons per annum. 'ESI will have the capability to produce billets of different qualities and grades and the flexibility to serve a wide range of customers with finished goods tailored to their needs,' said Al Dhaheri.

'ESI has been importing close to 1.2m tons of steel billets a year from several countries,' said Eng. Saeed Al Romaithi, ESI's Vice President for Production. 'The operation of the new steelmaking plant will reduce our reliance on imports and increase our share in the local market. ESI's state-of-the-art plant will also allow ESI to transfer billets directly from the caster to the rolling mills. This will reduce our energy consumption and increase efficiency in our operations,' he added.

Last year, ESI signed a Dh2.5bn deal with Italy's Danieli '&' Company to execute a second vertically-integrated phase of its expansion, which will increase the operation's steel production capacity to 3m tons per annum by 2011.

The final link in the production chain will be commissioned later this year, with a plant that converts imported iron ore pellets into raw iron for the new steelmaking plant. The import facilities for the pellets became operational in February of this year.

ESI's ambitious expansion plan addresses the region's growing demand for steel and will increase output to 5m tons per annum. Al Dhaheri stressed that 'the many strategic alliances that we are currently structuring with leading technology providers, coupled with our state-of-the-art facilities, will allow us to maintain our position at the forefront of the industrial sector.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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