By Franklin Alli
NIGERIA’s steel production has received a $100 million Chinese investment through HongXing Steel Company Limited. According to the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN), Nigeria’s present steel production stands at about 300,000 tonnes per annum, while consumption is above 20 million tonnes per annum.
Managing Director, HongXing Steel Company Limited, Mr. Feng Zheng Ke, said the company has invested $100 million to establish scrap and billet manufacturing plants in Nigeria to boost domestic consumption and export, adding that the steel plant, which is located in Aba, Abia State capital, will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Biggest steel manufacturing plants
Zheng Ke who spoke during a briefing on the project said, “Once the plants start operation, the likes of Julius Berger and other construction firms in the country won’t need to import steel again. We are currently investing over a $100 million to build state-of-the- art and the biggest steel manufacturing plants not just in Nigeria, but in West Africa. When operational, not only will it feed the local consumption, we will also be able to export and earn foreign exchange for Nigeria”.
According to him, the company has achieved 70 percent completion of the first phase of the plants and it will become operational on or before the end of the first quarter of 2017. He said,
“The Aba projects have plant A, which will be using local raw materials from scraps, while the plant B will be using billets and will be producing to international standards. When operational, the plants have great prospects not only for the company but also for Nigerian economy. The project has reached 70 percent completion. Recently, we commissioned the power plants sub-station, which is a milestone to having the plants to start operation.”
Zheng Ke urged governments to help local manufacturers to thrive by granting them incentives like tax waivers, power and infrastructure incentives, among others.