Oman-Singapore specialty steel JV inaugurated
   

The inauguration of Gulf Specialty Steel Industries Plant (GSSI) was recently celebrated at Sohar Industrial Estate in Oman.
GSSI is a joint venture between BH Global Marine Ltd (Global Steel Industries Pte Ltd), Singapore, and Takamul Investment Company SAOC, Oman.
GSSI will have the capacity to produce 60kt/y of galvanized steel wires used in the manufacture of electrical cables. These products will be marketed locally, regionally and internationally.
The opening ceremony was performed by Nasser bin Khamis al Jashmi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and the Chairman of Oman Oil Company.

  Arab Steel Summit : Arab countries concerned over high import tonnages
   

During the opening ceremony of the Arab Steel Summit held in Dubai on October 26-28, the participants voiced their concerns over the high import billet and rebar tonnages coming into Arab countries. Domestic steel producers indicated that the import prices are so low that domestic products are unable to compete and they called on the relevant authorities to take action in terms of implementing antidumping duty measures against the high import tonnages.
At the first session of the meeting, Ahmed Al Dhaheri, vice president of projects and strategies of Emirates Steel, pointed out that, despite the billet and rebar capacity increases in most of the Arab countries, the import tonnages for these products are high. Mr. Dhaheri stated that the biggest billet and rebar importer, Turkey, accounts for 96.5 percent of billet and rebar imports to the United Arab Emirates. Dhaheri indicated that ex-works rebar prices are higher than retail and import prices in the region, adding that the retail rebar prices follow the same price trend as ex-CIS billet prices.
Mr. Dhaheri said that North African rebar and billet production capacity remains below consumption volumes, adding that the biggest share of imports into North African counties belongs to Spain, followed by Turkey. Finally, Dhaheri stated that Saudi Arabia accounts for 33 percent of steel consuming construction and infrastructure projects in Arab countries.

  UAE-based Conares' rebar mill to reach full capacity in November
   

UAE-based steel producer Conares has announced that it plans to reach full capacity production at its rebar mill in November due to the substantial increase in both domestic and export demand mainly supported by the improving situation in the construction industry.
In November, Conares will produce 45,000 mt of rebar, 50 percent higher than the September and October volumes. Conares said that its ERW black and galvanized pipe outputs will remain unchanged at 6,000 mt and 3,000 mt, respectively.
Conares' order book for November rolling has been filled and negotiations for December rolling will start in the third week of November.
Conares has an annual production capacity of over 750,000 mt, including 500,000 mt of rebar, 250,000 mt of ERW pipe and 36,000 mt of galvanized pipes. The company's exports account for over 20 percent of its total production and its main export destinations include the MENA region, the EU and the US.

Ural Steel to supply flat rolled products for automotive wheels
   

Russia-based leading global iron ore and hot briquetted iron (HBI) producer Metalloinvest has announced that its integrated iron and steel plant Ural Steel and German wheel producer Mefro's Russia plant have agreed to extend their cooperation agreement for the supply of rolled products for manufacturing of car wheels. The parties have agreed on the delivery of a trial batch of Grade 15 and Grade 10UA flat steel products.
Mefro's Russian plant stated that it has now international customers including Volvo, Mercedes, Renault-Nissan and Ford, making material requirements even stricter. Ural Steel said that manufacturing flat rolled products for car manufacturers is one of its priorities. In June, the plant supplied a trial batch of 10UA flat steel products with thickness of 6.5 mm to Mefro's Russian plant.

1.2mtpa steel mill planned in Sohar
   

In a significant step in the continued growth of the industrial sector in the Sultanate, Bank Sohar recently signed a contract agreement with Moon Iron & Steel Company (MISCO) whereby the Bank has been appointed as the Sole Arranger for tying up the entire project debt requirement of $270 million. The landmark steel production project will comprise facilities which will manufacture 1.2 million tonnes per annum of steel billets, out of which 0.70 million tonnes per annum will be pumped into manufacturing hot rolls to produce rebars while 0.50 million tonnes per annum are to be sold as steel billets in the market. The steel production facility is expected to commence production by September 2015. Highlighting the importance of the agreement, Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Kalmoor — CEO of Bank Sohar — said “We look forward to supporting such an important integrated project for the country. It aims to partly fill the gap in supply of steel billets in the Sultanate and is going to be a huge steel provider for the local market which in turn will service a number of industries. It will also provide employment opportunities to many Omanis.” He further added, “We at Bank Sohar will be part-financing the project, which has been appraised by our Project Finance & Syndication Department, and additionally we will be syndicating about 40 per cent of the equity capital of the company from local institutions.”
Meanwhile Mervyn Fernando, DGM — Wholesale Banking at Bank Sohar, said “The project is coming up in Phase 7 of the Sohar Industrial Estate, and is expected to commence production by September 2015. It is the first of its kind in the Sultanate for billet manufacturing with forward integration into rebar production.”

  Ezz Steel to increase its capacity to 11.4 million mt by 2018
   

During the opening ceremony of the Arab Steel Summit held in Dubai on October 26-28, Ezz Steel marketing director George Matta said he believes that both Ezz Steel and Egypt have come through the worst times and that the country is on the road to recovery and improvement.
Matta stated that Ezz Steel will increase its current total production capacity of 6.9 million mt per year (4.7 million mt of long products and 2.2 million mt of flat products) to 11.4 million mt per year by 2018. Matta also remarked that the construction industry accounts for 71 percent of total steel consumption in Egypt.
The Ezz Steel official went on to say that political stability is key to the economic growth, pointing out that the Egyptian government expects GDP growth rates of 3.8 percent, 4.5 percent and seven percent for 2014, 2015 and 2018 respectively.

  MISCO steel plant in Oman to become operational in 2015
    The UAE's Moon Iron and Steel Company (MISCO) has announced that its billet manufacturing and rebars production facility in Oman is expected to become operational in 2015
According to Muscat Daily, the steel manufacturer has signed an agreement with Bank Sohar to help it procure a syndicate loan of US$270mn for the facility.Bank Sohar would partly finance the project and approach local institutions to procure the remaining funds.
MISCO's upcoming facility in Phase Seven of the Sohar Industrial Estate in the sultanate is expected to produce 1.2mn tonnes of steel billets per annum. Out of this output about 700,000 tonnes will be used to manufacture rebars each year, Muscat Daily reported.
Earlier this year, Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel had announced that it would commission a new steel plant with a capacity to produce two million tonnes of steel per annum in the sultanate. This is expected to become the Gulf's largest steel manufacturing facility, according to company sources.
Bank Sohar chief executive officer Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Kalmoor said, "We look forward to supporting such an important integrated project for the country. It aims to partly fill the gap in supply of steel billets in the sultanate and will service a number of industries.”
  Jindal Shadeed billet plant launch set for January
    The 2 million metric tons/year steel plant being set up in Oman is progressing well and will be commissioned by January 2014.” said India's Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSPL) of its investment in the Arab Gulf that will expand operations at its subsidiary Shadeed Iron & Steel from being merely a supplier of hot briquetted iron to an integrated steelmaker.
Billet output from the new steelworks – previously slated to start up before year-end – will either be sold on the merchant market or shipped to the group's affiliated rolling mills as Shadeed waits commissioning of its 1.4 million mt/y rebar mill. Scheduled to come on stream by early 2015, the rolling mill will also have the option to be configured for wire rod production.
Shadeed's operations in the three months ending September 30 “exceeded the performance over the same quarter of the previous year,” Jindal said in the statement published last week, without being specific. During the latest fiscal year ended March 31, net income at the wholly-owned unit almost doubled to $70 million after Shadeed's HBI output at its gas-based plant in Sohar surged 20% to a record 1.52 million mt. JSPL bought Shadeed in 2010 and invested $525 million in its HBI facilities. The Midrex DRI/HBI plant started production in January 2011
  Industries Qatar's steel segment revenues decline in Jan-Sept
    Industries Qatar, the parent company of Qatar Steel, has announced its financial results for the first nine months of the current year, reporting a consolidated net profit of QAR 6.3 billion ($1.73 billion), down 4.8 percent year on year.
Industries Qatar stated that the revenues from the steel segment for the first nine months amounted to QAR 4.4 billion ($1.2 billion), decreasing by 8.2 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. According to Industries Qatar, the year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter performances were both negatively impacted by lower DRI and HBI sales volumes, as the group's steel subsidiary continued to reserve strategic DRI/HBI stocks for the commissioning of the EF5 green field steel melt shop. Third quarter volumes were also impacted by 72 days of planned and unplanned maintenance at various plants. Rebar pricing trends; however, remained broadly consistent with previous quarters primarily due to resilient domestic demand.
The company also said that the EF5 steel melt shop project, which has a designed capacity of 1.1 million mt per year of billets, is expected to start commercial production in early 2014. Company, the decrease in sales volume was mainly due to the continued sluggishness in most of the global industrialized zones and fierce competition and predatory dumping from foreign producers. Al Jazeera Steel stated that the most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments have continued to announce significant spending on infrastructure and the company expects that this will reflect in demand for its products. The company added that its management is adopting a very cautious approach against any market downturns.