Egyptian Steel to build two new factories

11 February 2015

Egyptian Steel, a leading manufacturer of steel products based in capital Cairo, plans to build two new factories by the middle of next year, raising capacity to 3.5 million tonnes per year and boosting its market share, said its chairman Ahmed Abou Hashima.

In addition to its plants in Alexandria and Port Said, it aims to launch a E£3.5-billion ($460 million) facility in the Nile city of Beni Suef this July or August with an annual capacity of 1.36 million tonnes.

It also hopes to start a factory in Ain Sukhna on the Red Sea by mid-2016, said Abou Hashima.

"We are seeking to acquire 20 to 25 per cent of market share after production starts in all of these factories," he said. Egyptian Steel currently claims 10 per cent of the market.

"There is strong demand in the market and we expect that there will be growth with many housing. construction and infrastructure projects."

The expansion plans reflect growing optimism that the economy can recover after years of turmoil triggered by the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Egyptian Steel currently produces 800,000 tonnes of steel per year and aims to raise capacity to 3.5 million tonnes annually once its new projects are completed.

Abou Hashima said it was looking at a feasibility study for a fifth factory that would be powered by coal.

He also said he was involved in organising an investment conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in March that the government hopes will attract billions of dollars of cash.

"We will have real investment," he said, praising President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to improve government finances and cut bureaucracy.

Egyptian Steel was established in 2010 as a joint venture between Egyptian and Qatari interests that brought together three existing firms. Egyptian Steel now has capital of about E £2.2 billion ($290 million) and plans to raise a further E£350-400 million ($45.6 to 52.2 million).