Abu Dhabi in Talks to Acquire Steel Assets for Expansion

ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi is currently negotiating for the acquisition of steel manufacturing companies abroad in line with its aim to become the region’s leading steel producer, a top government official said.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 14 Apr 2009, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:34 AM

Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of General Holding Company, or GHC, said that the emirate has plans to expand its steel making capacity to 6 million metric tonnes by 2014.

But the emirate is weighing its options to further expand its steel making facilities or acquire steel making company in the region.

GHC, which runs Abu Dhabi’s industrial empire, is already working on using a four-phase expansion programme, investing a total of Dh18 billion. In reference to the capital’s focus on the industrial sector, Al Nowais said that the Abu Dhabi government is keen on pursuing all development projects without delay.

Al Nowais said that the steel industry will go ahead with all expansion plans, despite a global steel demand slowing down due to the world economic crisis.

He announced that Emirates Steel Industries, or ESI, is investing Dh18 billion over the next five years, with aims to boost overall production to 6.5 million metric tonnes.

ESI plans to spend $1 billion over the next two years to buy steel production facilities in the Gulf Arab region, Nowais said.

It would also enter into partnerships with other companies for production of steel pellets, hoping to forge a number of deals by the third quarter of this year.

UAE steel demand will fall to around 3.5 million tonnes in 2009, from around 5.5-6.0 million tonnes in 2008.

Despite the slump in demand, ESI will double output in 2009 from 2008 to around 2 million tonnes after bringing new capacity online.

With inputs from agencies.

· haseebhaider@khaleejtimes.com

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