Tariq Barlas, CEO, Al Tuwairqi Holding visits EPZA
Tuwairqi to bridge gap between demand and supply of steel; Chairman EPZA
Karachi – April 23, 2010: M. Tariq Barlas, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Al-Tuwairqi Holding (ATH), visited the office of Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and discussed issues of mutual interest with Engineer Aftab Ahmed Memon, Chairman, EPZA, today.
It is pertinent to note that ATH is the largest private-sector steel producer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is also engaged in setting up a state-of-the-art integrated steel manufacturing complex in Pakistan, namely Tuwairqi Steel Mills Limited (TSML) at Port Qasim, Karachi. The plant employs cutting-edgeDirect Reduced Iron (DRI) technology from Kobe Steel of Japan with a designed capacity to produce 1.5 million tons of high-quality DRI. The first phase of the project is now on the verge of completion.
Mr. Barlas was of the view that currently Pakistan is among the countries that rely mostly on imports when it comes to heavy mechanical structures and engineering goods. “By producing high-quality steel within Pakistan we can manufacture such equipment locally by value addition with the help of downstream industries,” he observed.
He further said that being a base, for the engineering and construction industry, TSML will not only be a source of transfer of the latest technology of quality steel making, it will also be helpful in giving impetus to the industrial progress in Pakistan. “It would open up new avenues of investment in similar plants besides giving a boost to the downstream industries of the country,” Mr. Barlas believes.
Engineer Aftab Ahmed Memon, Chairman, EPZA, appreciated the efforts of TSML and said, “It is a matter of great pride for us that Pakistan would be producing one of the most preferred raw materials for quality steel making - DRI (Direct Reduced Iron), upon the completion of the first phase of TSML.” He said that we are committed to transform our country into an industrial hub and for that we seek more projects - especially in the steel sector, since steel is the backbone of the industrial growth.
According to the statistics for 2009, the world crude steel production stands at around 1.2 billion tons, wherein Pakistan’s share is merely about 0.24 percent. This speaks volumes of a huge potential of investment and growth opportunity in the steel sector of Pakistan.
“The annual demand for steel in Pakistan stands at approximately 8.4 million tons, while the current steel production is about 4.9 million tons per annum. Hence, TSML will be playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the demand and supply of steel in Pakistan,” Memon noted.