The government will not currently offer new licences for steel production, Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ismail Gaber told the Daily News Egypt.
He added: “The government’s most recent decision to settle with Bianco Group permitted the IDA to also settle existing factories and allowed them to diversify their production of steel industries, as permitted by the amount of electricity available.”
The cabinet agreed to modify Bianco’s licence to allow the company to produce rebar and billet according to the energy available after paying fees for altering the licence as well as fees for violating the terms of their current licence.
Head of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries at the Federation of Industries Mohamed Hanafi said that there are a number of factories that produce angle steel and beams and have enough electricity to produce rebar during times when the market demands this product more than traditional ones.
He pointed out that under the decisions of the previous government, these factories were not able to convert to rebar production without obtaining licences from the Supreme Council of Energy. He added that the cabinet’s recent agreement will allow companies to “alter and change the assortment of production for rebar and beams or angle steel according to the amount of energy available”.
Gaber told the Daily News Egypt that the domestic market must add 3m tonnes of steel to production in order to meet the country’s growing needs through the year 2020.
Hanafi said: “Modifying factories’ current licences and permitting them to produce rebar, in addition to settling with companies that produce steel without licences, will raise domestic production to about 10m tonnes per year instead of the current 6m tonnes, plus there will be no need to introduce new licences.”
The Chamber of Metallurgical Industries of the Federation of Industrials requested that the IDA settle with the existing factories that have licences and contracts to provide the necessary energy and hope to increase rebar production, like Elcosteel Group.
According to the financial statement for the general draft budget for the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the government will work to “abolish all subsidy policies in order to direct capital toward investment in energy-intensive industries which are inherently non-labour intensive as a proportion of the size of its investments”.