Dubai Investments says the Saudi company is expected to start steel production from December 2010, with an initial capacity of 1 million tonnes a year (t/y).

The remaining 90 per cent of South Steel Factory is owned by the Pan Kingdom Investment Company.

Dubai Investments says while the steel billets produced will be sold to customers within the GCC, 15 per cent of the steel reinforcement bars (rebar) will be exported to Yemen and Sudan, with the rest consumed domestically.

The plant is expected to hit full production capacity by 2015.