x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Emirates Steel steps up a gear

Emirates Steel opens the next phase of its expansion campaign.

Emirates Steel has fired up new units at its Abu Dhabi foundry and is targeting more new capacity by the end of the year.

The units make Emirates Steel one of the largest producers in the region and will aid Abu Dhabi's plans to diversify away from oil.

"The expansion plan and overall growth strategy of Emirates Steel are in line with the Government's long-term plans for the development and diversification of the Emirate's economy," said Gregor Munstermann, the chief executive.

The new facility known as "Phase 2A" took almost three years to build and comprises a direct reduction plant and a liquid-steel making plant. It will bring Emirates Steel's capacity to 3.2 million tonnes a year of direct reduced iron, and 2.8 million tonnes a year of liquid steelmaking.

"The growing number of projects in the GCC working on developing infrastructure, industrial plants, power transmission towers, bridges, sea ports and high-rise towers all require the new products we will be able to supply in large numbers once the expansion is complete," Mr Munstermann said.

Emirates Steel is a subsidiary of General Holding Corporation, which is fully owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. It was launched in January 2006 with an investment programme worth US$2.45 billion (Dh8.99bn).

The plant became operational in June 2009 at a cost of $816m.

Within the next four years, Emirates Steel plans to grow to a total production capacity of about 6.5 million tonnes a year.

Once its expansion is complete, an estimated 2,000 more jobs will have been created in the country. In its mission to support the Government's developmental goals, Emirates Steel has focused on hiring UAE nationals, said Ahmed al Dhaheri, the assistant vice president of projects for the company.

"More than 30 per cent of the project team members, who worked on the two-phased expansion, were UAE engineers," Mr al Dhaheri said. "Emiratisation is one of our highest priorities and we remain dedicated to contributing to this important government initiative."

igale@thenational.ae