Afripalm signs with India’s Sail for steel mill

Afripalm Resources signed a memorandum of understanding with Steel Authority of India to build a steel mill in South Africa, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

Citing Afripalm chairperson Lazarus Zim, the paper said the companies would conduct a bankable feasibility study for a R21-billion plant, expected to produce between three million to five million tonnes of steel a year.

“There is room for another steel mill for the domestic and export markets. The net effect will be to bring competition to the market and bring prices down, but this business has to make commercial sense,” Zim was quoted as saying.

Zim resigned last year from the board of Kumba Iron Ore, the world’s 10th largest iron ore supplier, to start a new steel firm.

The South African steel market is currently dominated by ArcelorMittal South Africa, a unit of the world’s largest steel producer.


The government has in the past accused ArcelorMittal of charging excessive prices to the detriment of the local steel industry and for failing to pass the benefits of an iron ore discount it used to receive from Kumba to consumers.

ArcelorMittal is currently in a dispute with Kumba after a preferential deal with the iron ore supplier lapsed last year.

State-run Sail said earlier this week it plans to spend $12-billion to build four overseas plants in Indonesia, Oman, Mongolia and South Africa.

The paper did not specify how the shareholding or funding for the South African project would be split. Zim could not immediately be reached for comment. – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday