The public group metallurgical and steel industries (Imetal) is on negotiation with foreign partners for partnerships in mining activities and other industries such as pipe mill and steel mill, declared Sunday the Chairman and CEO of the group, Kamel Djoudi.
Speaking on national radio Mr Djoudi said his group is negotiating with Chinese partners to develop the deposit Gara Djebilet (Tindouf) which holds significant iron ore reserves.
“The Chinese are very interested in this deposit. We are currently in negotiations with several partners to create a consortium to support this deposit, “he said believing that this area was “highly specialized” sector that Algerians could not develop on their own and where a partnership with foreigners was necessary.
The Chairman and CEO of Imetal added in the sense that his group relied heavily on the development of mines because it is an area “closely linked to the steel industry,” a government priority to revive the domestic industry.
Recently, the Minister of Industry and Mines Abdessalam Bouchouareb had noted that the deposit Gara Djebilet was a “priority” of the government that is structuring the project in terms of job creation, security of internal supply and export possibilities.
Concerning Steel, Mr Djoudi said the group was in discussions with an Indian partner to create a steel company dedicated especially to the rail transport sector (rail).
“We were recently in a meeting with the Ministry of Transport and we have estimated the needs of the rail domestic market at 1.5 million tonnes of steel. Our goal is to create a steel plant specifically to meet these needs, “he argued recalling that Algeria annually imports from 6 to 7 million tonnes /year of steel for $ 7 billion.
In the area of the pipe mill, the public group plans to conclude a contract with operators from the United Arab Emirates to develop this activity.
In sum, the Imetal Group, composed of 70 companies operating in three major sectors (steel, metallurgy and metal construction) has redeployed its strategy to develop these sectors that are a priority of the government.
To do this, last week the group agreed with the Indian ArcelorMittal on an outline agreement for the restructuring of the ownership of the 3 companies ArcelorMittal Algeria, ArcelorMittal Pipes and Tubes Algeria and ArcelorMittal Tebessa.
This restructuring “is part of the will of the Algerian Government to ensure the promotion and development of the domestic steel industry and contribute positively to its goal of promoting self-sufficiency in steel,” explained the ministry in a statement noting that the reconfiguration was also part of the framework of the optimization of the asset portfolio of ArcelorMittal.
In this configuration, ArcelorMittal will transfer its minority stakes in both companies ArcelorMittal Algeria (AMA) and ArcelorMittal Tebessa (AMT) and its majority stake in ArcelorMittal Pipes and Tubes Algeria (AMPTA) to the Algerian party takes control, thereby fully these companies.
Both parties must finalize this agreement in the coming weeks to strengthen the three platforms industrial development plan: the complex of El Hadjar, the pipe mill and mining in Tebessa and sustainability over the long term.
In this regard, the Chairman and CEO of Imetal said the operation was not a “nationalization” or a “renationalization” of the El Hadjar factory. “It’s just a share buyback concluded after a series of negotiations between the two groups (Imetal and ArcelorMittal) who sought both to restructure.”
Mr Djoudi reiterated that the state would not intervene on the group’s investment program. “Imetal will finance investments through bank loans,” he said, ensuring that all employment positions on the three companies would be preserved and even strengthened through new recruitments.
Source: Agence Presse Service (APS)