Egypt’s Ezz Steel expects the Algerian government to veto its plans to build a $750m steel plant at Bellara, sources close to the project tell MEED.

The company has known for a while that facility has been under threat because of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the controversial World Cup football playoff between Egypt and Algeria in November 2009 when rival supporters clashed and the Algeria team coach was attacked by fans in Egypt, one source tells MEED.

“Ezz [Steel] has known about this for some time,” the source says. “People from inside the company have been worried about this happening for some months.”

In late May Algerian Industry and Investment Minister Hamid Temmar said that the government was looking to replace Ezz as the developer on the project with another company.

Ezz issued a statement on the website of Egypt’s stock exchange saying that it had not been officially notified of any decision regarding the facility.  

Ezz was not available for comment when contacted by MEED.

The first phase of the facility was due to have a capacity of 1.5m tonnes-a-year of steel rebar, reinforcing bars used by the construction industry.