A stacker at the Emirates Steel plant in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi

A stacker at the Emirates Steel plant in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi

Emirates Steel hits $1.8bn revenues

The region is poised to implement mega construction projects and Emirates Steel will be on hand to feed significant steel demand arising from them

March 2014

Emirates Steel, a Senaat portfolio company, saw revenues reach Dh6.5 billion ($1.8 billion) last year, up nearly 8 per cent compared with 2012, notwithstanding difficult market conditions marked by sluggish demand across the global steel industry, excess steelmaking capacity in world markets and continuing volatility in raw material costs.   

Production of long products in 2013 reached 2.6 million tonnes, an increase of 12 per cent over 2012 and in which 1.7 million tonnes were rebar, 316,000 tonnes structural steel and 573,000 tonnes wire rod. Encouraged by a buoyant project market in the region, the steelmaker sold 3.0 million tonnes of product in 2013, of which 1.9 million tonnes were sold in the domestic UAE market. The balance was exported to a diverse range of markets, including Europe, the Far East, the Americas and the Middle East.

“In spite of the difficult market conditions our business continued to grow and enter new markets, delivering a solid performance in 2013,” said Saeed G Al Romaithi, CEO of Emirates Steel. While economic conditions for the global steel sector remain uncertain, many analysts are forecasting demand growth for steel in 2014.

In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the World Steel Association (WSA) expected steel demand to grow by 1.7 per cent only, to 64.3 million tonnes, in 2013 – after 2.2 per cent growth was recorded in 2012. In 2014 the WSA forecasts steel demand in the region to grow by 7.3 per cent; to reach 69 million tonnes. Al Romaithi believes that construction projects in the GCC will be the key driver in supporting the steel industry’s growth in the near term, followed by oil and gas, petrochemicals and other infrastructure projects.



Al Romaithi: solid performance despite market impediments

Al Romaithi: solid performance despite market impediments

“The GCC’s construction sector is becoming more stable which will drive the demand for steel. But more importantly, the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects planned across the region will be the main driver and cornerstone of the region’s economic growth in the coming years,” he highlighted.

2013 was an important year for nationalisation at Emirates Steel. Throughout the year, the steelmaker provided professional education to UAE nationals with more than 624 training courses offered. Their numbers in the workforce also increased, pushing their ratio to 19 per cent. This percentage is expected to further increase to around 30 per cent in 2018.

Al Romaithi commented that “the operating environment in 2013 continued to be challenging but we, with the support of Senaat, delivered progress in a number of important areas”. In May, Emirates Steel dispatched its first shipment of structural steel to the American and Mexican ports of Huston and Altamira, a move which provided tangible evidence of the recognition of the company and its growth potential in the global marketplace.

“We have succeeded in exporting our products to our regional markets, in addition to the Indian Subcontinent, Asia and Africa. With our recent sales to Europe and the Americas we have now extended our global footprint to establish a measured presence in these developed markets,” said Al Romaithi.



In September the company made its first delivery of UAE–produced nuclear-grade reinforcing steel to Barakah, the site of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy programme. Further orders will be placed over the next seven years as the construction of Enec’s four nuclear energy plants progresses.

In November, the company joined hands with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Masdar, the nation’s renewable energy company, in developing a carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) project. The project will involve Adnoc and Masdar building a $123 million CO2 compression facility and a 50 km pipeline, along which the captured CO2 will be pumped to Adnoc’s oilfields.

Emirates Steel is a key partner in this project; the CO2 generated in the company’s plants will feed the project when it goes operational in 2016 and the compression plant will be located close to Emirates Steel’s premises. The project will sequester up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually – the effective elimination of a major element of Emirates Steel’s carbon footprint, which will improve Adnoc’s oil recovery.

“CCUS presents a viable technology for energy-intensive industries to lower their carbon footprint. By capturing and storing its CO2 stream, Emirates Steel will be setting a clear example in the support of Abu Dhabi’s sustainability objectives.

“This is far from the first time that gas has been pumped underground to improve oil recovery, and in the past the UAE has used surplus hydrocarbon gases for this purpose. However, with the increasing demand for energy the CCUS project will allow the UAE to preserve its natural gas for domestic electricity generation,” said Al Romaithi.

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