African Foundries Limited, which began steel production in Nigeria since 2010, has concluded plans to start major shipment of the product from the year 2018.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Sanjay Kumar, disclosed that the steel giant has planned to ship about 5,000 tonnes of fully manufactured iron rods to Ghana as its first major export deal.
“In the next 5 years, Nigeria may be one of the largest producers of steel in the world. Nigeria is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of unexplored iron ore, so if steel is developed, then it will lead to more mining and essentially more development for the nation’s steel sector and the entire economy.
“Currently, we have an order of 5,000 tonnes of steel product and this has been produced and prepared for shipping out. We are trying to get around the ancillary challenges of logistics occasioned by the large volume of the present order.
“However, we expect to meet the time lines and we have met all the required international quality standards,” said Kumar.
The company presently has an output capacity of 500,000 tonnes of steel per year, and is working towards doubling this number, which will make the steel factory one of the biggest in Africa.
He further explained the need for the company to expand production because in the economics of steel manufacturing, the more steel a company produces, the cheaper it becomes for it to produce.
“The potential is there for Nigeria because of her drive towards economic diversification; her manpower base; her intellectual base in metallurgy science; and because she possesses abundant natural resources for steel production. It is without doubt that Nigeria has the capacity to become Africa’s voice in the international market place for the manufacture, marketing and exportation of rods,” Kumar stressed.
In another report by the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, African Foundries Limited, Uche Iwuamadi, he explained that the indigenous steel companies are trying hard to bridge the local demand-supply chain, and rod production could reach 1,250,000 tonnes by end of 2013, however, the Federal Government should improve the infrastructures to encourage more investors so as to increase local production.
According to him, the steel industry will attract skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour, which will lead to employment in the Country.
“Recycling of scrap metal entails getting scavengers to go get waste metal object and supply mills that use them to produce rods. About 5000 people alone have been known to be gainfully employed and supplying us with the scrap metals we recycle for our production,” he said.