On more than one occasion the Arab Iron and Steel Union has pointed to the necessity of joint cooperation among the Arab steel companies and to the necessity of putting a limit to the small mills scattered in the Arab countries in order that the Arab steel industry can cope with emergent crises. Such crises have become frequent. We have seen the world economic crisis during the second half of 2008. There are also indicators for the fall of the international economies in the claws of new financial crises through the escalation of the American European debt crisis and the impact thereof on the world stock exchange markets.
It is expected that the steel consumption would exceed 50 million tons ( per year ) because of the construction upturn and the infrastructure projects witnessed by the majority of the Arab countries, on one hand, and in spite of the fact that the year of 2011 had seen turbulent political situations in the Arab world accompanies with impacts which have affected the industry, in general, and the Arab steel industry, in particular. This has resulted in the stop of a number of production lines in some companies, such as the Libyan Iron and Steel Company or in curbing their production due to the reduced demand for the steel product locally or due to the problem of logistics connected with the inputs and outputs of this industry, which has affected the export operations in these countries. However, we see that there are illuminated signs on the path of this industry in the Arab world, as the Arab steel industry has become experiences in coping with what gets in its way by the surrounding circumstances. A number of companies have achieved great successes in this field and they are going on in developing themselves and their performance on a permanent basis. Indicators thereof are many during 2012 and the coming years.
Hadeed SABIC has declared that the new steel production unit whose production capacity amounts to one million tons of billets per year will start up by 2012 to provide the Saudi Arabian market with different steel products. After putting this unit into operation, the company's production capacity will come up to 6.5 million tons per year, and production of long steel products will be 3.8 million tons per year.
Qatar Steel will upgrade the steel mill in Mesaeed in order to increase the billets production capacity by 30%. Expansions will include importing an electric arc furnace with a 95 tons capacity and a ladle furnace with also a 95 tons capacity from Siemens company in addition to a unit containing six billet continuous casting lines. A new unit has also been installed to remove dust in the mill which will reduce the gaseous emissions resulting from the steel manufacturing process. It is expected that production will start after completing upgrading in the middle of 2012. The Gulf Industrial Investment Company in Bahrain has also signed a contract with some crude steel production companies in Canada to supply the company with about 7 million tons of crude steel until 2014.
Janada Shdeed Company in Oman Sultanate has also inaugurated its direct reduction iron with a production capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. The company also plans to add an electric arc furnace, a ldle furnace and a continuous casting machine at the second stage at a cost of about 200 million dollars. The company expects to have this project completed by 2013.
The Egyptian Iron and Steel Company has set an investment plan to get a 20% share in the steel market of Egypt by 2012 in order to reach a production of 2 million tons (per year). The Emirates Steel Company which is one of the companies of the Public Holding Company has also declared putting into operation of the first rolling mill of the heavy construction sections in the Middle east under an Emirates management. Eng. Suhail Mobarak al-Amiri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company said that the rolling mill will satisfy the increasing demand for the heavy sections and steel structures in the GCC's countries and the Middle East through what is proposed of huge infrastructure projects denoting that new reports have estimated the volume of demand of the region for such products in 2012 to be about 4.3 million tons per year.
The Executive President of al-Rajihi Steel, Eng. Mahdi al-Qahtani, has revealed the nearing of putting into operation of the rolling mill expected to be put into the commercial production next April of this year, declaring that the preparation operations are now in their final phases.
The Arab Iron and Steel Union sees that it is a must for the Arab countries combined to achieve their goals under cooperation and investment in major projects not only in the field of iron and steel industry but also in all the allied industries because these industries are closely connected to the iron and industry which feed it with all its innumerable requirements, in addition to the fact that the engineering industries are considered the biggest consumer of the flat products. The Arab steel companies also need to have an Arab joint cooperation to boost their ability to maintain the growth of the Arab steel industry which is the most sizeable and most investing industry leading the wheel of development in any country.
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