Iron and steel factory project underway in Rayan [Archives:2006/914/Business & Economy]

January 23 2006

Authorities presently are in the process of completing construction of an iron and steel plant in the city of Rayan, 50 kilometers northeast of Mukalla in Hadramout governorate. The project occupies an area of 180,000 square meters at a total cost of $26 million. The project's first batch of equipment and machines is scheduled for March delivery in Mukalla port. This investment activity comes at a time when Yemen needs iron and steel products due to increased consumption of such products by public and private sector establishments, in line with noticeable building and construction growth throughout Yemen.

Omar Abdulrahman Bajarsh, chairman of the board of directors of Hadramout Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “The $26 million project is financed by a number of Yemeni investors and expected to begin production by the end of this year.” The factory's initial production capacity is expected to be 120,000 tons, rising to 300,000 tons annually by completion of the project's future stages. The factory is designed to produce construction steel bars of differing diameters, steel used in hangar construction and various other steel structures. Factory production will meet the needs of Hadramout and nearby governorates. In its first phase, the factory will employ 300 domestic workers.

The factory is one of the strategic investments established in Hadramout governorate and it will be managed with high western technology expertise. This investment project is among this year's other Hadramout projects, including a cement plant, oil refinery and two residential and tourist cities in Durat Al-Mukalla and Jawharat Al-Mukalla.

Bajarsh believes the increased demand for investment in Hadramout is a product of efforts made by the Hadramout Chamber of Commerce and Industry in domestic and international promotion of investment projects. Yemeni businessmen and contractors previously criticized the government for increased iron prices, which is imported from abroad, especially from Turkey. They said iron prices were too high for consumers trying to build houses or small businesses for cereals, commercial goods or water storage.

A report prepared by a branch of the General Authority for Investment in Hadramout desert and valley recently indicated that several factories will be constructed in the governorate this year, such a date packaging plant in Sayoun, a drug plant and factories for marble and red brick. The report was presented to the Hadramout valley and desert executive bureau at its regular session to review floundering projects.

The bureau studied a brief account of the district's 2006 investment program for the third five-year plan of development and poverty alleviation. The program aims to achieve sustainable development rates, besides economic and social development aspects, as well as improve living standards and create new job opportunities. It also aims to enhance partnership with local development donors and partners and take advantage of available investment privileges and investment opportunities, besides encouraging private sector development.