Steelmaking capacity in the Middle East is growing rapidly. Demand for steel in the region is expanding as higher energy and raw material prices increase income and boost investment in the region. Producers in the region are planning to expand capacity to meet this growth in demand, especially in long products production such as reinforcing steel. Steelmaking capacity in this region is projected to rise from 32.3 million tpy in 2007 to 56 million tpy in 2010.
Iran, the major producer in the region, plans to raise capacity from 13.3 million tpy in 2007 to 31.8 million tpy by 2010. Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) is a large player in Iran who will raise capacity at Esfahan from 4.2 to 5.4 million tpy. The project is one of three that will take MSC’s flat products capacity to 9 million tpy by 2010. The project will focus on MSC’s steel melting facilities. Other projects are the 700,000 tpy Saba thin-slab mini-mill and the Shahid Kharazi project, which will provide additional capacity of 2 million tpy.
Esfahan Steel, Iran’s largest long products producer, plans to expand its crude steel capacity from 2.2 million tpy to 3.6 million tpy by 2008. The company became the country’s first producer of H-beams. Alborz Steel is building a new steel plant on the Persian Gulf coast that will gain its own meltshop in the second phase of development.
Gamborn Steel has plans to build a 2 million tpy electric-arc furnace by March 2009. This would make it the largest private crude steelmaker in Iran. Ardebil Steel planned to start up a billet plant in Iran in March 2008. The 500,000 tpy meltshop will be fed with scrap or direct reduction iron. The electric-arc furnaces and transformers, as well as ladle furnace and continuous caster, have already been installed and other machinery is being shipped to Iran.
The state-owned Arfa Iron & Steel Company will build an 800,000 tpy steel plant in the Ardakan Iron & Steel complex. The project will comprise an 800,000 tpy electric-arc furnace and a continuous caster producing slab, fed by a direct reduced iron (DRI) plant.
A ceremony in Baft marked the start of construction of Baft Steel, one of eight direct reduced iron-fed mini-mills NISCO has committed to building by 2010. The company will have billet capacity of 800,000 tpy and is one of the eight steel projects that the Iranian government is promoting in order to stimulate growth in economically undeveloped areas of the country.
Essar Pars Steel Company, a joint venture which is majority owned by the Indian steelmaker Essar, started building a 3 million tpy direct reduced iron plant and a 1.4 million tpy billet making mini-mill in Iran in 2007. The first phase is scheduled for commissioning by 2009.
Iran Alloy Steel Co (Iasco) has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with a consortium of Iranian firms in order to more than double its alloy steel capacity to 450,000 tpy. The company has a separate project to build a carbon steel mini-mill with capacity of 650,000 tpy.
Iran National Steel Industrial Group has begun production at its new 430,000 tpy billetmaking facility and aimed to reach full capacity by the end of 2007. The new meltshop produces billet, fed by a 60-tonne electric-arc furnace.
Iran’s Mines & Metals Technological Engineering Company (MMTE) was set to provide a new direct reduced iron plant to the Khouzestan Steel Company (KSC) in May 2008. The Zamzam II DRI plant will have a capacity of 960,000 tpy. It is part of KSC’s development plans to increase its semi-finished steel product capacity to 3.2 million tpy from 2.2 million.
Safa Industrial Group has begun to build the Middle East’s largest steel plant in the Iranian city of Khorramshahr. The plant will have designed capacity of 9.2 million tpy of crude steel. In the first phase Safa will begin producing some hot-rolled coil and plate by the end of 2008, before ramping up to full production by the end of 2010.
India’s Tata Steel has won approval from the Iranian government to set up a 3 million tpy steel project in the country. The project could be commissioned in three years from the start of construction, though it remains unclear when Tata Steel will be able to start work on the project.
The Iranian Mines & Mineral Industries Development & Renovation Organization has allocated USD 450 million for the development of a new steelmaking plant in the Hormozgan province. The works, which is scheduled for commissioning in the summer of 2009 near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf, will initially produce 1.5 million tpy of slab.
In Bahrain, United Stainless Steel Company is in the process of building a 90,000 tpy coldrolling mill in Bahrain. The USD 210 million mill will be the first stainless strip producer in the Gulf region.
In Egypt, Al Ezz Steel Rebars plans to install a new 1.35 million tpy EAF-based meltshop and a 800,000 tpy thin-slab caster at its majority-owned subsidiary Al Ezz Flat Steel (EFS), where output of finished products will also increase by 800,000 tpy.
ArcelorMittal will build a 1.6 million tpy DRI-based steelworks after a placing a bid for USD 62 million. The company intends to start construction of the 1.6 million tpy plant and a 1.4 million tpy billet-making electric-arc furnace steel plant in 2009, which will be located on Egypt’s northern Red Sea coast. The licence was auctioned by Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and is one of four DRI-based steel expansions the Egyptian government has recently approved.
In Iraq, The government remains open to approaches to reopen the State Company for Iron & Steel in Basra, the steel plant destroyed in the Gulf Wars, despite the failure of a privatisation attempt in the middle of 2007. A 1.1 million tpy direct reduced iron plant, four electric-arc furnaces, two 6-strand continuous casters for 100-150mm square billet, a 12-32mm twist-type bar rolling mill and a UPN sections mill are all still on site. In Kuwait, United Steel Industries Company has plans to increase output to one million tons in 2008.
In Oman, Jindal Saw International, a subsidiary of India’s Jindal Saw, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Arab Emirates-based Shadeed Iron & Steel to set up a one million tpy seamless tube plant in Oman’s Sohar Industrial Port, with commercial production to start by the third quarter of 2008.
In Qatar, Qatar Steel is planning to start a joint venture with India’s Essar Group to build a 4 million tpy integrated steel plant in Qatar’s Mesaieed industrial city. Meanwhile the company has successfully commissioned its new bar mill, with productivity of 700,000 tpy, which will raise its production of rebar to around 1.5 million tpy.
In Saudi Arabia, Al Tuwairqi Group (ATG) plans to add 400,000 tpy of crude steel production at its Jeddah facility by 2009, where there is currently no meltshop production. ATG has commissioned a 1.35 million tpy bar mill to cater to the growing demand for long products in the Gulf region. The mill has been built in Jeddah to produce rebar, round and flat bars in carbon and engineering steels. The company also plans to expand its meltshop capacity at the Damman facility by 600,000 tpy by 2009. Pan Kingdom Invest Company plans to build a USD 250 million mini-mill in Jizan Economic City. In April 2007, the company chose the German plant-making group SMS to supply a 1 million tpy meltshop and a 500,000 tpy rebar rolling mill, which is scheduled for commissioning by mid-2009. Unicoil is planning to build a 3 million tpy flat products mini-mill. Construction of the works is due to start in the first half of 2008 after final project approval. The initial plan is to have a meltshop with a continuous slab caster fed by a captive DRI plant and a hot strip mill.
In the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Steel Industries has awarded the Italian plant-maker Danieli a USD 1 billion contract to build a new mini-mill in Abu Dhabi. It will be located in the Mussaffah Industrial Area and include a 1.6 million tpy direct reduced iron plant and a 1.4 million tpy steel meltshop. It currently produces around 720,000 tpy of rebar. It will have a 620,000 tpy high speed bar mill and a 480,000 tpy wire rod mill. Emirates plans to increase its crude steel capacity to 5 million tpy in 2012. ETA-Ascon Group hopes to install a 800,000 tpy meltshop in Fujeirah. A contract is close to being signed and commissioning would be towards the end of 2008. Construction of the meltshop would take Star Steel’s total investment to around USD 150 million.
In Yemen, Al-Rahabi Trading Industrial Group plans to develop the country’s first integrated iron and steel works at a cost of USD 250 million. The new facility will have a production capacity of 1 million tpy and will be developed in co-operation with Kuwaiti, Saudi, Qatari, and UAE-based investors on a 400,000 square meter site. The new mill will be the largest in Yemen and will be fed by iron ore exploited from Yemeni mines. Saudi Arabia’s Al-Tuwairqi Group plans to invest USD 1 billion in Yemen to build steel and power plants. The steel plant will have a capacity of 5 million tonnes of liquid steel. In addition, the company will build a rolling mill which will produce 1 million tonnes of rebar annually. The investment includes installation of a power plant. The plant will operate by 2011.