India’s Essar to build region’s biggest HRC complex in Saudi Arabia

India-based Essar Steel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Arabia’s industry minister for the construction of a hot-rolled coil manufacturing unit, the Middle Eastern country’s National Development Center (NDC) said on Wednesday October 27.

Bandar Bin lbrahim Al-Khorayef, Saudi Arabia’s minister for industry and mineral resources, and Rewant Ruia, representing Essar Steel, signed the MoU for investment in a greenfield plant in Saudi Arabia, the NDC said.

“The complex will be the largest manufacturer of hot-rolled coil not only in the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] and the Gulf, but in the [entire] Middle East,” according to Mohammed Al-Jabr, vice chairman of the steel committee of the Council of Saudi Chambers.

The complex will produce material for use in food packaging, oil and gas supply, the automotive industry, machinery, equipment, household supplies, and the military and marine industries, as well as the construction sector, Al-Jabr added.

Details of the investment have yet to be announced, Saudi Arabian market participants told Fastmarkets.

ArcelorMittal has owned and operated Essar Steel, a joint venture with Nippon Steel, since 2019.

The only local HRC producer in Saudi Arabia is Hadeed SABIC, which has capacity for 2 million tonnes per year. The country imports HRC mainly from China, India and Taiwan.

Current demand in Saudi Arabia for HRC is limited, however.

Fastmarkets’ latest weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr Saudi Arabia, was $960-990 per tonne on October 26, falling from $1,000-1,010 per tonne on October 19.