Emirates Steel, the only integrated steel plant in the UAE, inaugurated the completion of its AED 7 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) Phase 2 expansion program in an event staged yesterday on facility grounds in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD1). The expansion demonstrates the high level of support that General Holding Corporation (GHC), parent company of Emirates Steel, lends to the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi.
According to HE Hussain J. Al Nowais, GHC Chairman, Phase 2 has increased Emirates Steel’s total production capacity to 3.5 million metric tons per annum (MTPA). He relayed to reporters at a press conference that the development is part of the massive endeavor that is set to increase Emirates Steel’s production to around 5.5 million MTPA within the next three years.
Emirates Steel launched the two-phased, AED 10 billion (US$ 2.72 billion) expansion program in January 2006, completing Phase 1 in June 2009 at a cost of AED 3 billion (US$ 816 million), more than doubling production capacity and making it the largest steel plant in the UAE, capable of manufacturing raw steel from iron oxide pellets.
Al Nowais said that Emirates Steel will soon become one of the largest steel complexes of its kind in the region. The objective, he added, was to satisfy local and regional demand for steel. He stressed that GHC will bolster its efforts to promote the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi by setting up special industrial units capable of adopting the latest technologies and offering qualified UAE nationals work opportunities.
Al Nowais applauded the efforts exerted by the work team that managed the expansion project, saying that developments continued to be made ahead of schedule and to the highest degree of standard in order to ensure that the best international practices were upheld throughout the roll-out of the expansion plan.
He noted that the meteoric rise of the Company has always been in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 – which maps out the government’s long-term plans for the diversification and development of the emirate’s economy.
“Each studied step has been made to ensure that we grow in parallel to the sustainable economy of Abu Dhabi, making provisions for global competitors within the emirate’s borders. As such our ambitions run far and wide to become the leader in our area of expertise and in turn reduce reliance on the world for imports.”
HE Engineer Suhail Mubarak Athaeeth Al Ameri, Emirates Steel Chairman and CEO of GHC, commented, “Having secured quality system certification to British standards, Emirates Steel is a quality certified steel producer, which has demonstrated a track record of sound operating performance. This legacy lives on into the Company’s future.”
Emirates Steel is also the leading producer of reinforcing bars (rebar), and is recognized as one of the foremost wire rod producers in the GCC. Besides the Company’s finished rebar, wire rod and sections; Emirates Steel also has the capacity to produce and sell Direct Reduced Iron as a semi-finished product.
Al Ameri said that the steel industry has seen staggering growth in light of the quickening pace of Abu Dhabi’s development and construction. “Steel production has been invaluable to the emirate’s progress, not only in supporting rapid construction but in accelerating the growth of non-oil based gross domestic product, which further serves economic diversity.”
He pointed out that demand for heavy sections in the MENA region continues to skyrocket, currently translating to 5.5 million MTPA and this figure is predicted to increase to 8.6 million MTPA in 2020. “Phase 2 has elevated our stature in the industry for being able to provide a more cost-effective, flexible and sustainable solution to concrete, which has proved invaluable to local and regional markets,” said Al Ameri.
“With the growing number of projects in the GCC and its emerging infrastructure, they require a bulk supply of material to hasten their completion. Our heavy section mill now rivals the most advanced in the world, positioning Emirates Steel at the center of excellence for the effective use of structural steel in construction,” added Al Ameri.
“More significantly,” commented Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi, Emirates Steel CEO, “the Company is now the sole producer of jumbo and heavy sections in the MENA region, which will offer improved products and drastically reduced lead times in terms of piece count and cut-to-length services”.
Al Romaithi said that Emirates Steel expansion has both directly and indirectly created over 2,000 jobs in the country; in parallel, many high profile technical jobs opportunities have opened up for UAE Nationals. The Company’s workforce is comprised of 25 per cent UAE nationals.
“As our facilities and output develop, so does our workforce. They represent our most valuable asset, and Emirates Steel continues to dedicate as much time and effort to increase Emiratization as it does production,” said Al Romaithi. He added, “highly-trained and adept UAE nationals will oversee development as we place the progress of our nation in their hands; enhancing the capacities of our brethren as they grow as we expand.” More than 30% of project team members working on Phase 2 were UAE National engineers.
Following on this vision, the monumental milestone also brings with it the unveiling of the transformation of the Company’s corporate identity. As Emirates Steel continues to grow and expand, changing the brand look-and-feel was the logical next step. The new branding is a stunning reflection of the Company’s new frontiers and aligns strongly with Emirates Steel’s core values; respecting its past, while looking into the future.
The revamped logo incorporates both Arabic and English – in vibrant blue, representing both local and international domination. The new color symbolizes the Company's energy and dynamism. This appears alongside a Woolmark-shaped symbol sketched with lines that run in parallel to form two of the most ancient chemistry symbols representing iron and carbon, the two elements that make up steel. The unique mark unites the two to form a new icon of excellence and quality.
Ultimately, the new branding represents Emirates Steel’s matured identity – one that has grown exceedingly strong and continues to bring immeasurable achievements with the aim of remaining a leading manufacturer and supplier in the steel industry.
Meanwhile, the completion of Phase 2 positioned the Company increasingly closer to its ambitions of becoming a leading worldwide competitor in its industry. Not only reinforcing the Company’s stance as a leading manufacturer and supplier of structural steel in the MENA region; the extensive range of structural products that its mill can produce will cater to differing structural steel needs, maximizing design effectiveness for customers.
In fact, the Company now has the capacity to produce a wide range of structural sections from approximately 200 to 1,000 millimeters in depth, including jumbo sections. The Heavy Section Mill now produces parallel-flange beams, columns and bearing piles with up to 1,016 millimeter web depth and 419 flange width, up to 430 millimeter parallel flange channels, 250 millimeter angles, 750 millimeter U-sheet piles and 630 millimeter Z-sheet piles using 350x220 millimeter blooms and up to 1050x460x120 millimeter beam blanks as starting material.
Engineering and civil works commenced in June 2008 for Phase 2; upon its completion, Emirates Steel now has installed a 1.6 million MTPA Direct Reduction Plant (DRP), 1.4 million MTPA Steel Melt Plant (SMP) comprising: 150 metric ton per heat capacity Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), 150 metric ton per heat capacity Ladle Furnace (LF) and 1.4 MTPA combi-caster (CC). Emirates Steel also now boasts a 1 million MTPA Heavy Sections Rolling Mill (RM4). Other associated facilities include: automated iron oxide off-loading hopper (jetty constructed under Phase 1), 220kV substation, air separation plant, reverse osmosis plant, ancillary buildings, warehousing and workshops, CO2 absorber facility, fume treatment plant and water treatment plants.
The Phase 2 DRP and SMP are sister plants to Phase 1 assets, which thereby significantly reduce associated technology and construction risks by providing substantial synergies to Emirates Steel in terms of the learning curve on commissioning, required maintenance crew, maintenance spares and the like.
Remarkable is that the growth has been profound and efficient every step of the way. The next milestone in the illustrious history of Emirates Steel will be the impressive results of the massive endeavor.