Bahrain's SULB plans capacity expansion and new rebar mill

Prospective Bahraini steelmaker United Steel Company (SULB) plans to increase its melting and direct reduced iron capacity, as well as install a rebar mill in the second phase of expansion at its new steelworks in the north-eastern region of Al Hidd. Currently under construction, the works comprises a 1.5 million tonnes/year capacity DRI plant, 1m t/y melt shop and 600,000 t/y heavy sections mill that will produce medium-to-large H-beams. SULB expects to begin hot commissioning of the melt shop in September, while the DRI plant should come online in January 2013. In order to capitalise on burgeoning rebar consumption in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and to supply other Gulf Cooperation Council nations, the company intends to install a bar mill at a later stage, a SULB official tells Steel Business Briefing. The rebar mill, which is set to have a minimum capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year, would be complemented by a new DRI plant and melt shop. SULB is currently in talks with equipment suppliers and has not yet decided on commissioning dates. SULB is a 51%:49% joint venture between Kuwaiti holding company Foulath and Japanese sections producer Yamato Kogyo. In 2011, it acquired Saudi Arabian section mill United Gulf Steel Mill (UGS), which has a 450,000 t/y capacity. The Bahraini works is adjacent to Gulf Industrial Investment Co's 11m t/y iron ore pelletizing plant, which is part of Foulath's parent company Gulf Investment Corporation. Bahrain currently has only one rebar rolling mill: Universal Rolling (Unirol)'s 200,000 t/y capacity facility.

  Saudi Arabia infrastructure investments budget up in 2012

Saudi Arabia's SAR 690 billion budgets approved for 2012 indicates growing infrastructure spending and housing investments in the country. In line with the increasing government based development projects, Saudi Arabia's steel consumption is expected to remain at high levels in 2012. While spending priorities have not indicated a major change compared to the previous year, infrastructure investments for 2012 have registered YoY increase. Water, agriculture and related infrastructure spending is budgeted at SAR 57.5 billion up 13% YoY. Funds have been allocated for new projects in the industrial cities as well as for enhancing water supply and improving water and water treatment networks. SAR 250 billion financing to build 500,000 housing units has been allocated at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. However, it is not included in the budget. Saudi Arabia's 2011 economic performance was strong with a real GDP growth of 6.8% the highest since 2003 while manufacturing, construction and transport and communications performed unexpectedly well.

  Qatar Steel signs recycling slag agreement

Qatar Steel, located in the United Arab Emirates, has signed a sale and recycling slag contract with Slag Aggregate Producer (SAP), located in Doha, UAE. As part of the contract, Qatar Steel will sell to SAP 1 million tons of slag as steel wastes. SAP will process, recover the scrap and return the recovered scrap to Qatar Steel's steel mill in Jabal, UAE, where it will be recycled back into end products. The aggregate will be used in construction and infrastructure works, including rebar and wire rod. SAP is expected to process around 100,000 tons of slag a month. According to a release, Ali Bin Hassan Al-Murakhi, director of general manager of Qatar Steel, the recycling and processing of slag has many environmental advantages, including the reduction of slag disposed of as solid waste.

  Turkish ferro alloy imports up 9pct in 2011

According to the data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute, in December 2011 Turkey's ferroalloy imports rose 8.8% compared to the previous month and were down 37.6% compared to December 2010, totaling 31,187 tonnes. The value of these imports amounted to USD 46.3 million increasing by 6% as compared to November and down 40.9% YoY. In the whole of 2011, Turkey's ferroalloy imports totaled 432,549 tonnes increasing 8.5% compared to 2010. In 2011, Ukraine was Turkey's biggest source of ferroalloys with 135,083 tonnes decreasing by 25.5% compared to 2010 and accounting for approximately 31.2% of Turkey's total ferroalloy imports. Turkey's second biggest source of ferroalloy imports in 2011 was India with 59,225 tonnes increasing by 79.3% compared to 2010.

  "Al Rajhi Steel" will operate the rolling mill in Abha soon

CEO of Al Rajhi Steel Eng. Mehdi Alqahtani disclosed that his company will operate the rolling mill soon. The mill is forecasted to commence commercial production in April, announcing that preparation works have been almost completed. He added, during the festival held recently by the company for its clients in Abha, that company's production of merchant steel and reinforcing iron have reached nearly 1 million tpy. Alqahtani has said that commencing the new rolling project (with 1 million capacity to enter local markets, and 750.000 tonnes capacity of 10-40 mm rebars, plus 250.000 tonnes of 5.5-16 mm coils to the Saudi market production, making the overall production of the company about 2 million tonnes of reinforcing and merchant iron besides coils) will participate in increasing the manufacturing space for the company, and will help in settling the industrial development through the project that will provide direct employment opportunities for Saudi youth, this goes in line with the national plan aiming to providing jobs for young local cadres in order to achieve the principal of national development. These cadres were selected and trained theoretically and practically in a way that will make them ready for actual work as the mill starts production. He also clarified that among company's goals; the goal of serving Saudi economy and strengthening it via expansions and big projects which will help in meeting the needs of different sectors, and will provide high quality products capable of competing both locally and globally.

  Jindal Shadeed plans for palletizing project at Sohar

Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel is targeting 2015 and 2016 time frame for the launch of a new iron ore palletizing plant as part of its rapidly expanding steel project at the Port of Sohar. According to a top company executive, the palletizing unit which will involve an estimated investment of USD 500 million is a key component of the company's vision to establish a world scale integrated steel complex at Sohar. Mr DK Saraogi executive president & head Oman, Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel LLC said, “As an upstream facility, the proposed pelletizing plant will provide pellets as feedstock for our Direct Reduction Iron unit currently in operation at Sohar. When it eventually comes into operation, we will no longer need to depend on others for the basic raw material for our steel units. Thus, our Sohar complex will become, in a true sense, an Integrated Steel Plant.” Mr Saraogi said that a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian steel conglomerate Jindal Steel, Jindal Shadeed is looking to set up 7 million tonnes per annum capacity pelletizing unit adjoining its DRI furnace within the industrial port at Sohar.
Importantly, the project will add to a burgeoning steel industry in Sohar that already includes a massive iron ore pelletizing plant and distribution hub set up by Brazilian mining giant Vale as well as a Steel Melt Shop operated by Sohar Steel. Jindal Shadeed itself has outlined an ambitious plan to invest USD 1 billion to ramp up output from the present 1.5 million tonnes per annum of DRI to 5 million tonnes per annum of steel by 2015 and 2016. Mr Saraogi said that in the Phase II of a robust expansion drive, Jindal Shadeed aims to set up a major rolling mill at its Sohar site. The project would be completed in one phase over the next 3 years and 4 years. Iron ore for the plant will either be sourced from Jindal Steel's operations in Bolivia or bought from the international market. Besides nurturing the growth of a major steel industry in the Sultanate, the pelletizing project will also support employment generation on a significant scale.

  Talks to establish a new rebar mill in Bahrain with a Japanese company

Well-informed industrial sources clarified that multilateral talks are going on in the country for establishing a new rebar mill which is considered the second mill of its kind producing rebars used in building and reinforcing the concrete. According to the sources, investors are ambitious to get facilitations from Trade and Industry ministry for building this huge mill; estimated capacity may reach 500.000 tpy. The Sources mentioned that the new mill is still in the process of negotiations with a well-known Japanese company. The sources didn't clarify the amount of required investments in the project, yet they said they are going to be "huge" investments, stating that the mill will be different from the Universal Rolling's rebar mill; since it is going to be an integrated mill producing steel from scratch; from raw materials to finished products. Worth mentioning is the fact that many Japanese companies are participating in infrastructural and industrial projects in Bahrain, some of which are electricity projects and steelworks.
According to the sources, the existence of steel industry infrastructure such as pellets line which has been in Bahrain for many years exporting its products all over the world, along with the building of an integrated steelworks complex for industries in Alhad region; all this will help in establishing the project in Bahrain. United Steel company (SULB) ,located in Bahrain and a mutual project between United Holding Gulf Steel company (FULAD) 51%, and the Japanese company Yamato Kojio 49%, has an industrial steel complex consisting of DRI mill producing sponge iron with nominal capacity (1.5 mtpy) and designed capacity (1.8 mtpy), meltshop with nominal capacity (0.80 mtpy) and designed capacity (1.2 mtpy), and medium-heavy rolling mill with nominal capacity (0.60 mtpy) and designed capacity (1.0 mtpy). It is expected that complex's production will commence in the end of this year. SULB will cover 20% of the imported finished products from abroad for the Middle East region estimated by 4 mlt. During March, Universal Rolling disclosed that it will establish the first rebar mill in Bahrain in co-operation with the American company "MMFX Steel" with 200.000 tpy rebar capacity. This mill will be used in construction works and is located in Alhad industrial zone which is considered one of the most attractive industrial zones for high value added investments in Bahrain kingdom. "MMFX Steel" provided the technique and raw materials and is leading the marketing process in the GCC countries, while Universal Rolling's mill is handling the production operations.

  Outokumpu delivers stainless steel in Qatar

Outokumpu delivers stainless steel for unique student housing project in Education City in Doha, Qatar. The planned facility puts high emphasis on sustainability in building and aims to achieve a platinum rating in line with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. LEED is an internationally recognised mark of excellence in sustainable construction. The stainless steel in austenitic grade 316L is delivered for Energy Tec W.L.L and will be used as cladding in the student house building for Qatar Foundation, Doha-Qatar. Sustainability factors were decisive throughout the project for all suppliers involved in the construction phase. Stainless steel is an inherently sustainable material and to support this, Outokumpu has issued factsheets for the LEED and other international building standards specifying how sustainability aspects are supported by stainless steel. Additionally, Outokumpu's third party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for cold and hot rolled stainless steel for construction provide architects and builders a means for assessing the sustainability performance over the entire building lifecycle. "Stainless steel offers a strong, durable and long-lasting solution. Keeping in line with the sustainability requirements of the project which aims at the platinum rating according to LEED, the support and advice from Outokumpu was of high importance to us", says Mr Salim Naroth, Operations Manager, Energy Tec W.L.L, Doha-Qatar. Raghavan Viswanathan from Outokumpu continues: "The Qatar foundation student housing project follows a trend of sustainability requirements increasing in construction in the coming years. With the various environmental certificates and long-term work at Outokumpu, we are able to offer important environment and life cycle related information to customers and help them achieve more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions".