Of the 17 companies applying to prequalify, 11 were shortlisted and 10 are expected to bid by the mid-January deadline.

The bidders include Al Ezz Steel Company, Suez Steel Company and Egyptian Iron & Steel Company, all local, Essar Global and Zoom Developers, both of India, and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal.

Two of the plants will manufacture direct reduced iron and two will produce steel billets. Each will have capacity of 2 million tonnes a year (t/y).

The country’s present steel capacity comprises 6 million t/y of direct reduced iron, 3 million t/y of billets and 6 million t/y of steel bar (MEED 12:10:07).