May 272013

ISLAMABAD: Tuwairqi Steel Mills (TSML) recorded the highest-ever production level of an iron making plant in Pakistan during a demonstration test. The plant’s commercial production was kicked off in January this year.

A joint venture of Al-Ittefaq Steel Production – a subsidiary of Al-Tuwairqi Holding, Saudi Arabia – and South Korea-based Posco Limited – the world’s fourth largest steel maker by market value – TSML is located at the Port Qasim over an area of 220 acres. The mill, built at a cost of $342 million, will produce 1.28 million tons of Directly Reduced Iron (DRI) per year in the first phase.

According to a statement by the National Bank of Pakistan, during the test the plant operated at 100% capacity producing 160 tons of DRI per hour for 72 hours achieving all of the objectives set for the plant. NBP became one of the largest individual contributors to the project after offering project financing and working capital facilities to TSML of $100 million.

Currently, Pakistan’s per capita steel consumption was 40 kilogrammes, exuberantly low when compared to the global average of 215 kilogrammes.

Speaking on the occasion, NBP President Dr Asif Brohi said that TSML has augmented Pakistan steel production capacity by 1.28 million tons per annum, which will help meet the growing demand of steel in the country.

With the capacity of 1.28 million tons, Pakistan first private sector steel complex is able to cater not only domestic needs but also export value-added products to the international market.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2013.

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