Nigeria’s government plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with a Russian firm in January 2020 to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company, mines and steel development Olamilekan Adegbite is quoted as saying by local media.
According to previous reports, Russian engineering and construction group MetProm is the company lined up to carry out the work, which will be part funded by the state-owned Russian Export Center JSC.
Construction of the mill began in 1979 with the help of the Soviet Union but the steelworks has never been completed. Its completion is part of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to move the country away from dependence on oil, Kallanish notes.
Ajaokuta Steel has a blast furnace with a 1.3 million tonnes/year capacity and two 130-t basic oxygen steelmaking furnaces with the same annual capacity. It also has three 4-strand continuous bloom casters and four mills for producing billet, wire rod, light sections and medium/structural sections. It also has a captive thermal power plant that can produce a total of 110MW from two generators of 55MW each.
According to worldsteel data, Nigerian semi-finished steel imports slumped -84% on-year in 2018 to only 8,000 tonnes. Long products imports surged 148% to 198,000t and flats intake rose 30% to 959,000t. Tubular products imports more than doubled to 324,000t. Apparent finished steel use grew 44% to 1.59mt.