Speaking at MEED’s Steel Conference in Dubai on 13 October, Al-Hmili announced that the location of the plant is still under discussion but said it will be on the east or west coast of the kingdom.

The company is aiming for annual production of 1.7 million tonnes of flat steel at the new plant.

Procurement will begin in early 2009, he said. Planning is still in the early stages.

Al-Hmili also announced a further 1 million-tonne-a-year plant, which is due to come online in 2012 and said financing for both projects should not be a problem.

“This year Hadeed had the best year ever,” he said. “I do not think it will be an issue even if the banks do not want to finance the projects”.

Hadeed is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Company (Sabic).