Bahrain: Official inauguration of Foulath
Under the patronage of Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Economic Development Board of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf United Steel Holding Company (“Foulath”), a leading global steel investment vehicle and holding company and the world’s first fully integrated steel producer, today marked the official inauguration of Foulath and three of its major investments, which together with the existing facilities, comprise the Company’s manufacturing complex in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a total investment value of approximately $3.5 billion.
The inaugural event was held at Foulath’s Steel Complex, located in Bahrain’s Hidd Industrial Area in Salman Industrial City, stretching across 1.3 million square metres. It is the world’s first fully integrated steel manufacturing facility and home to Foulath’s investee companies: Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC), a world-class pelletizing company, which is one of three merchant plants in the world and the only one located in the Middle East, United Stainless Steel Company (USCO), the region’s first manufacturer of stainless steel, and United Steel Company (SULB), which will be the region’s only producer of beams and medium and heavy structural steel sections. Together these companies are the only in the world that start with the manufacturing of pellets through to final product at the same site. Established in June 2008, Foulath has recently launched its new corporate identity, concluded the consolidation of key administrative functions of its investee companies at its fully integrated steel complex and commenced efforts to further articulate its vision and execute its strategy, which aims to see Foulath drive further development in the region’s steel industry, add value to the regional economies and become one of the world’s most competitive steel manufacturers through investments across the entire steel value chain from “Mine to Metal.”
The event further served to underscore Foulath’s commitment to making ongoing investments across the region, with additional pelletizing projects planned in Egypt and Oman, whilst also highlighting a number of recent developments at Foulath’s existing investee companies. This included:
- The inauguration of the second pelletizing plant at GIIC, with a production capacity of 6.0 million tons per annum, making it the largest grate-kiln pelletizing plant in the world, and just adjacent to GIIC’s first pelletizing plant which has been operating in Bahrain since 1984;
- The inauguration of USCO’s stainless steel cold rolling plant, with the capacity to produce 100,000 tons of cold rolled stainless steel per year. This is the first plant of its kind in the Middle East.
- The establishment of the $1.2 billion SULB project, with a production capacity of 1.5 million tons per year from its Direct Reduction Iron Plant, production capacity of 1.2 million tons per year at its Steel Melt Shop and production capacity of 1.0 million tons per year at its Heavy and Medium Section Rolling Mill, which is expected to replace about 14% of the current imports of medium and heavy sections into the region.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Hassan Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: “Bahrain is a mature and well-established business hub with the largest financial institutions in the entire MENA Region. Bahrain is committed to free market and democratic principles, the rule of law and serving the needs of businesses and individuals. I am gratified that in selecting the Kingdom of Bahrain to base these projects, Foulath and its Shareholders have extended a significant vote of confidence in our country, its long-term economic strength as well as its vision 2030 and economic policies, which have been developed under the guidance of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and implemented by the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain”.
Mr. Hisham A. Al-Razzuqi, Chairman of Foulath and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), Foulath’s 50% shareholder, added: “On behalf of the board members and shareholders of Foulath, we are delighted to mark the official launch of the Foulath brand and the inauguration of these projects, which together create the world’s first fully integrated steel manufacturing facility at the same site. The benefits of these projects are not only significant for Bahrain, where the facility has been established, but for the entire region. Together these projects will help to reduce dependence on steel imports and enhance the security of supplies to the Middle East markets, where steel is a critical building block of growth.
“The success of Foulath is in no small part due to the support extended to the Company by the Kingdom of Bahrain headed by His Majesty, the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who we commend and thank for the creation of an optimal investment environment in the Kingdom. It is also a result of the vision of the Company’s shareholders, who are comprised of some of the region’s most prominent investors, each of whom has played a leading role in the development of the private sector and the overall economic development of the Middle East.” Mr. Al-Razzuqi concluded, “As Foulath moves forward, the Company intends to further reinforce its market leading role by supporting the ongoing development of the region’s steel industry as well as through the strengthening of its industrial base. This will be achieved through additional investments in projects of regional significance, the development of local talent and, importantly, through the transfer of technical know-how and expertise to the Middle East markets leveraging the 25 year track record of its subsidiary GIIC and its partnerships with world leading steel industry players.”
More than 300 people were in attendance at the event including key government representatives of the Kingdom of Bahrain and dignitaries from across the region and beyond. Also in attendance were the Company’s Board Members and other representatives of its shareholders. Foulath’s shareholders are Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), Kuwait, which is the Company’s 50% shareholder and is owned equally by the six governments of the GCC. They also include Qatar Steel Company, Qatar, Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons Company, Kuwait, National Industries Holding Group, Kuwait and Kuwait Foundry Company, Kuwait. Additional guests included Foulath’s international steel industry and other technical partners such as Japan’s Yamato Kogyo, Nippon Steel, JFE Steel and Kobe Steel, Germany’s SMS Group and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering. Key customers and suppliers from around the world and senior management and employees of Foulath and its investee companies were also in attendance.