Work on Sharjah steel plant to start by end of the year

23 March 2010

Al-Tuwairqi Group still keen on resurrecting $400m project in UAE

A $400m steel project in Sharjah that is currently on hold should be resurrected by the end of 2010, a source familiar with the project tells MEED.

The scheme, which is being developed by the Saudi Arabian Al-Tuwairqi Group, involves the construction of a direct reduced iron and meltshop plant to produce 1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of steel.

“They [Al-Tuwairqi Group] have never forgotten about this project,” the source says. “Although it is still on hold, I believe that work will start by the end of this year.”

The planned facility would be located at the Hamiriyah Free Zone in Sharjah and cover an area of 1.2 million square metres. The project was put on hold because of the fallout from the global financial crisis and the difficulty of obtaining gas for the plant from the Sharjah-based energy company Crescent Petroleum.

Demand is picking up for Al-Tuwairqi’s domestic production due to the lifting of an export ban on steel products in Saudi Arabia, the source says, buoying the company’s ability to finance the scheme.

“Since the ban was lifted in November 2009, the company [Al-Tuwairqi] has seen exports to Iraq and Pakistan pick up,” he says.   

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