Product from the Emirates Steel plant in Abu Dhabi

Product from the Emirates Steel plant in Abu Dhabi

Emirates Steel help for downstream

The company has capacity and a spirit of innovation and improvement to serve much of the expanding downstream industry and create greater opportunities for it to grow

February 2015

UAE steelmaker Emirates Steel is expanding the range of its wire rod brands following development of their local industrial users particularly wires for welded mesh, nails, hangers, screws, chain link and gabion fencing, wire nets, barbed wires and binding wires, welding electrodes, nuts, bolts, rivets, PC strands and many other such materials.

“Our innovation and continuous improvement will play a major role in creating clean and consistent quality wire rod products,” said Saeed G Al Romaithi, Emirates Steel CEO. “That is why we are constantly expanding our range of sizes and chemistries to meet more demanding criteria,” he added. At present, Emirates Steel is relying on its own R&D capabilities to produce special grades of high carbon wire rod that would be used in the production of lighter automotive components such as car springs and tyre reinforcement cords; high-tensile ropes for bridges and wire ropes for the oil and gas industry that can withstand harsher environments.

The Senaat-owned steelmaker has the capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes of wire rods per annum. According to Emirates Steel figures, production of wire rod in the UAE is expected to remain at around 724,000 tonnes up till 2015, while exports will remain at around 500,000 tonnes. For steel in general, a recent BMI forecast report estimated the UAE’s crude steel production in 2018 at 3.04 million tonnes, marking an annual average growth of 3.8 per cent from 2013 estimates. BMI also forecast the consumption of steel to rise from 9.5 million tonnes in 2013 to 13.3 million tonnes in 2018.

“There is little local value added in the domestic steel and industry and this is one reason why we are looking at downstream integration with other local manufacturing industries,” commented Al Romaithi. Another reason for that is to protect the local steel industry from foreign dumping. Emirates Steel manufactures wire rods in a continuous casting and rolling process, turning billets into premium quality wire rod in diameters of 5.5 mm to 16 mm.

“Abu Dhabi is on track to fulfil its ambitions for the industrial sector,” Al Romaithi highlighted. Using its hydrocarbons resources to diversify into energy-intensive industries, the emirate’s manufacturing base will continue to grow in the coming years. The government has put the infrastructure in place, both in terms of industrial zones and transport investment and also regulations, to support this growth. “Large-scale industries, such as Emirates Steel, should help to facilitate the development of smaller downstream segments. And in the coming years, the emirate is likely to see increasing production of semi-finished and finished higher-value products,” he stated.

At present, the UAE still depends on wire rod downstream products imports with little domestic production. According to Emirates Steel’s count, there are today 20 to 25, generally small, local companies using wire rod for downstream production, around 15 of them are wire mesh manufacturers. The rest are fabricating steel nail products.

“Our strategy for the medium and long term is to support this government initiative by creating further opportunities for downstream manufacturing industries,” Al Romaithi said. Emirates Steel believes that about 30 per cent of its total production of wire rod is now being used by the domestic steel downstream manufacturing industry.

The company’s carbon steel wire rod, which is produced by a high-speed (110 m/sec) wire rod mill, corresponds to HS trade code 7213 and all sub-headings. These standards are described for wire rods equivalent to SAE/AISI. Emirates Steel’s wire rod is certified by SIRIM of Malaysia for grades C4D to C62D.

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