The Kaduna Private Steel Plant project located in Gujeni community of Kagarko local government area of Kaduna State being executed by the African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML)
has achieved over 95 per cent completion and will be commissioned before end of 2023.
The Head of Mining at ANRML, Partha Ghosh, who represented the company’s group managing director, GMD, Alok Gupta, at the just concluded three-day Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit in Abuja, disclosed this to newsmen.
He said,”We are at more than 95% level of completion. We’re just doing now some trial testings and fine-tuning and all that. And we hope later this year, it will be commissioned successfully.”
Affirming that ANRML is investing $600 million on the Kaduna Steel plant, Ghosh said the plant which is the first of its kind in the country in that, with a mining capacity of 5.4 metric tonnes per annum, it will be producing steel directly iron ore.
He added that in that way the plant would help to bridge the gap of steel importation and save forex as well, even as it would boost Nigeria’s chances of becoming a steel hub among nations globally.
“This project will be first of its kind because steel will be produced directly from iron ore,” he said, adding that at the moment, steels are made from scrap metals in the country.
Ghosh noted that his company started its main business in the country in 1971 that is with main business in Nigeria in 1971, about 52 years ago and has grown to be largest steel producer in the country.
“We are the largest producer of steel in this country. We have many steel units across Nigeria – Abuja steel mills limited African steel mills limited, African foundries limited. We have this mining company which is African natural resources and mines limited under the brand name of ANRML. We are equally into lead processing and manufacturing,” he said, adding that apart from all that the company is into power generation an distribution.
Justifying his claim on power, he said, “We have a power plant in our steel plant in African foundries limited in Ogun state where we are generating 150 megawatts power, which is supplied to the national grid, and it is providing electricity to parts of Lagos state. Even in this particular project also, we are going to generate power up to 36 megawatts, which will make this project self-powered, and the excess power will be supplied to the national grid,” Gosh noted.
On how the company is coping with the insecurity challenge that is every where in the country, especially in the company’s area of operation, ANRML mining chief who affirmed that there are security challenges posed by terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and the like said however that they have a robust security system in place to safeguard lives and properties at the steel complex.
“We have a three-layers security system made up of guards, mobile policemen, and military officers on ground to protect lives and properties.
“We are also in touch with the governor of Kaduna state, who is wholeheartedly supporting our project, and he’s also providing the support in terms of security and all other assistance that is required from there,” he said.
The Third National Development Plan (1975–1980), specifically between 1976 and 1978, set the tone for Nigeria commencing the construction of two integrated Iron and Steel plants located at Ajaokuta (ASC) and Aladja (DSC) and three rolling mills at Oshogbo, Jos and Kastina.
It is therefore regrettable that this national objective has not been realised more than four decades since the idea was conceived. The Ajaokuta Steel Plant, which is supposed to be the flagship of steel development in the country, has, unfortunately, remained a white elephant project and indeed a major drainpipe into which task payers’ money amounting to billions of dollars have been sunk.
As it is now, there are conflicting signals over what the federal government wants to do with the comatose Ajaokuta Steel Mill, last heard about which was the move to concession it after such several unsuccessful attempts in the past.