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Kallanish Kallanish

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September, 28th 2021

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SEP 10
13:36

UAE elevating industry performance, steel prioritised: Al Remeithi

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Emirates Steel (ESI) chief executive Saeed Al Remeithi says he will prioritise the best interests of United Arab Emirates steel producers in his new role as deputy treasurer to the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The UAE government is developing strategic plans to elevate industrial sector performance, he tells Kallanish in an exclusive interview.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, UAE construction sector activity had slowed as many large projects were completed. Gulf Cooperation Council suppliers are pinning their hopes on Saudi steel demand, which is projected to grow significantly this decade on the back of Vision 2030-related projects. It came as a shock, therefore, when Saudi Arabia announced its rules-of-origin decree at the beginning of July. Saudi imports from its GCC neighbours have since declined significantly.

Asked about the impact on UAE supply to Saudi, Al Remeithi said: “The UAE and Saudi Arabia are long-term partners and stakeholders that will find solutions that are beneficial to both our economies … We export our high-quality products to more than 40 markets around the world … We have many factors that affect our sales performance and operations from the volatile prices of iron ore, and the changing global trading policies, to our domestic demand.”

On his new position, the ESI chief, who is also chairman of worldsteel’s economics committee, observed: “Undoubtedly, it would be my responsibility to best represent the steel industry, and prioritise the best interests of the UAE’s steel producers and the industry in general. The UAE Government realises the important role of the industrial sector for its sustainable development plans, and in developing strategic plans to elevate the sector’s performance.”

Touting ESI’s green credentials, Al Remeithi said the company produced approximately 0.56 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of liquid steel produced in 2019. The global average among DRI-EAF producers like ESI varies from 0.9t to 1.1t of CO2 for every tonne. The steelmaker recently announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) to develop a large-scale green hydrogen project enabling the first green steel production in the Middle East and North Africa.

ESI is also currently conducting a detailed study into the construction of its long-awaited hot strip mill Phase 3 expansion, which will boost crude steel capacity to over 5 million tonnes/year.

Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Steel was established in 1998, while Al Remeithi started his career as the firm’s production manager in 2002. He was appointed ceo ten years later. Today, the firm is a 3.5m t/y crude steel capacity steelmaker producing rebar, wire rod, and heavy sections. By year-end it will merge with cement, concrete products, glass fibre reinforced polyester (GRP) and PVC pipe producer Arkan. State holding company Senaat owns 51% of Arkan, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, as well as all of unlisted ESI.

Burak Odabasi Turkey