Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Steel has expanded its product range to include sheet pile materials; high value-added products that the UAE’s only integrated steelmaker has been developing over the past two years. With this product launch, the Senaat-owned company becomes the only steel manufacturer in the Middle East to develop and sell such materials.
Commenting, His Excellency Engineer Saeed G Al Romaithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, said: “To meet the requirements of our customers and to further expand our product range, we are developing a wide portfolio of sheet piles, a range that possesses significant and highly cost-effective structural and pile driving properties”. Steel sheet piles are technical products that can perform a wide variety of functions: in particular their application is in constructing both temporary and permanent load bearing retaining walls.
“We started developing sheet piles as early as 2012 and a year later the first new profile passed all of the required tests, allowing us to go into production,” Al Romaithi pointed out. In fact, it was on the 1st of December 2013 that the Company’s first sheet pile brand was launched: the z-shaped “ESZ18”. In March 2014, the first 1,750 tons of sheet pile were sold into Europe.
“Again we succeeded in highlighting our creativity and our spirit of innovation, based on unique know-how and many years of experience, during which we have successfully brought to market several technically challenging new products. Despite difficult economic conditions we have continued our efforts in terms of product development so as to meet the growing demands of our customers and, of course, to expand our customer base,” he said.
On March 21st, 2014, Emirates Steel started taking full orders for Z-piles, which are used as barriers to support excavations. The mill’s product development team will work on building up the portfolio with the addition of five more Z-products in the two coming years before the range is complete by 2017. According to Emirates Steel estimates, the demand for sheet piles in the GCC is around 80,000 tons per year.
Emirates Steel said it plans to produce up to 150,000 tons of sheet piles a year, depending on market demand, and hopes to add further value-added products to its range so as to reduce its exposure in the highly competitive commercial beam market. In total, the Company boasts rebar mills, a wire rod mill and a structural steel mill with a combined capacity of 3.5 million metric tons a year.
Al Romaithi stressed that high value-added long products are being developed to enhance profitability in the face of challenging market conditions. In June last year, Emirates Steel made public its plans to diversify the product range for its one million metric tons per year Heavy Section Mill to produce S355J2 grade structural steel specified in offshore oil, gas and petrochemical projects.
Emirates Steel is currently one of the largest steelmakers in the MENA region with the capacity to produce heavy sections, including beams, columns, channels, angles and sheet pile. The Company’s Heavy Section Mill produces parallel-flange beams, columns and bearing piles with up to 1016 millimeter web depth and 419 flange widths and parallel flange channels up to 430 millimeter depth. This structural steel is produced to norms such as EN, BS, W and JIS using steel grades such as S235JR, S275JR/J0/J2, S355JR/JO/J2, ASTM A36, A572 G50 and A992.
“We are in a period of transition,” concluded Al Romaithi. “We are ramping-up production to reach the one million ton capacity level of the Heavy Section Mill; a target we hope to achieve in three years as we further develop our product range and optimize our rolling efficiency levels”.