NIGERIA – The Managing Director of African Industries Group Company, Mr. Alok Gupta, has said the company’s $600million Integrated Steel Plant would be Nigeria’s biggest non-oil Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He noted that the new plant would boost the nation’s economy and lead to the mining of 5.4 million tonnes of Iron Ore in the country.

The ore would then be beneficiated to produce high grade concentrate followed by making into pellets and then finally into Directly Reduced Iron (DRI).

Gupta explained that the DRI will be used to make steel billets, enabling the company to avoid its need to import the same thereby saving scarce foreign exchange.

He also said a 36 megawatts power plant will be constructed from the waste heat recovered from the plant, which will be partly used for captive consumption.

The surplus power generated will further assist in developing other industries and residences.

Gupta made the disclosures when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite visited the project site in Kagarko in Kaduna State.

Mr. Adegbite said, “It is part of our mandate to encourage investment in mining and steel development which this group has started.

My visit here is to encourage this investment and also to urge them to do this as quickly as possible to bring the obvious benefits, first to the community where it belongs.”

Gupta revealed that the company was hoping to commission Phase I of the project by end December 2020.

The plant, according to AIG’s MD, will serve as a catalyst for development of solid minerals sector by attracting other serious investors following its example in downstream processing.

“Currently 100 per cent of steel production in Nigeria is from scrap route, which is a diminishing resource.

Producing steel from locally available iron ore will lead to sustainable economic development, considering the abundance of iron ore reserves in the country,” explained Gupta.

The project will also contribute significantly to the Nigerian GDP by way of royalties and direct and indirect taxes.

AIG started operations in Nigeria in 1971 employing over 8,000 people in our 18 manufacturing plants.

It is the largest producer of steel in Nigeria having the lion share of the market with an annual production capacity of over 1.2 million tonnes of finished Steel Products.