NIGERIA – The Managing Director of African Industries Group Company, Mr. Alok Gupta, has said the company’s $600million Integrated Steel Plant would be Nigeria’s biggest non-oil Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The ore would then be beneficiated to produce high grade concentrate followed by making into pellets and then finally into Directly Reduced Iron (DRI).
Gupta explained that the DRI will be used to make steel billets, enabling the company to avoid its need to import the same thereby saving scarce foreign exchange.
The surplus power generated will further assist in developing other industries and residences.
Gupta made the disclosures when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite visited the project site in Kagarko in Kaduna State.
My visit here is to encourage this investment and also to urge them to do this as quickly as possible to bring the obvious benefits, first to the community where it belongs.”
Gupta revealed that the company was hoping to commission Phase I of the project by end December 2020.
The plant, according to AIG’s MD, will serve as a catalyst for development of solid minerals sector by attracting other serious investors following its example in downstream processing.
“Currently 100 per cent of steel production in Nigeria is from scrap route, which is a diminishing resource.
Producing steel from locally available iron ore will lead to sustainable economic development, considering the abundance of iron ore reserves in the country,” explained Gupta.
The project will also contribute significantly to the Nigerian GDP by way of royalties and direct and indirect taxes.
It is the largest producer of steel in Nigeria having the lion share of the market with an annual production capacity of over 1.2 million tonnes of finished Steel Products.