SUEZ: Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf toured and inaugurated Tuesday a new rolling factory for the Suez Steel Co., an investment of LE 300 million ($50 million).
The project, which will produce new lengths of rebar steel previously unavailable in the market, is the “largest investment of a strategic product” in Egypt since the revolution, officials said.
Calling it the first city where “martyrs of the January 25 Revolution fell,” Rafic Daou, vice chairman of Suez Steel said the new company would provide 600 new jobs, 80 percent of them being Suez youth.
Previously the longest length available was 12 meters, however, as much as 4 percent of it was lost due to construction work, bending, and shaping.
“Our factories shall launch ‘Hadidna’, our new product brand name in the market starting from 2012,” said Gamal Al-Garhy, chairman of Suez Steel Co.
“The company took this step to cater to the local demand for steel in Egypt and offer competitive prices following some comprehensive studies of the Egyptian market’s needs that have affirmed Egypt steel imports to be about 100,000 meter tons per month,” said Daou.
The new line’s capacity of steel is expected to be 410,000 tons annually, through using “cutting-edge technology in the field in full compliance with environmental requirements, considering work environment, health, and workers’ safety, as well as the thermal load within the furnaces area.”
Daou added that the Egyptian market “shall witness a high turnout on part of international companies in the near future owing to its significance.”
“There are numerous expectations that Egypt will attract foreign investments to support the Egyptian capital in order to enhance various industries, namely heavy industries,” he added.
Red Sea Group, which is also made up of the Egyptian National Steel Company and the Egyptian Company for Iron and Steel, has set up an investment plan that targets getting 20 percent of the steel market in Egypt by 2012 by producing 2 million meter tons per year.
Suez Steel Co., established in 1997, is a part of the Red Sea Group a holding company compromising two iron-producing factories including.
LITAT Group, owned by Rafik Daou, currently owns 50 percent of the holding company.
Daou revealed, however, the holding company would no longer be known as Red Sea Steel Group and would change its title to Solb Misr, meaning Egypt Steel.
Shortly after the prime minister inaugurated the company, a press conference, where he was supposed to speak along with Egypt’s petroleum minister and the governor of Suez was abruptly cancelled.
Sharaf was criticized by the people of Suez, specifically by the families of victims of the January 25 Revolution, who claim they have not yet seen justice for the police officials who killed their loved ones.
PM Essam Sharaf attended the inauguration.