Per capita-consumption of steel in Pakistan is only 38kg compared to the global average of 175kg. Even a modest increase in per capita steel consumption to 80kg in the next 10 years, the steel requirement works out to be 16Mt/y for a population of around 200 million people by 2020.

These were the views expressed by Dr Hilal Hussain Al Tuwairqi, chairman of Al Tuwairqi Holding, after being elected as chairman of the board of Arab Iron and Steel Union (AISU).

"Today, Pakistan needs a number of quality steel manufacturing projects so that it does not only become self-reliant in the steel sector but also can enhance its share in the global engineering arena, which is evidently a multi-billion dollar market," he said.

He mentioned that the establishment of a Technology Centre and Applied Research Centre with was the long-term vision for human resource development.

The AISU board includes major Arab companies producing iron ore from Mauritania, Algeria and Bahrain, as well as a number of steel producing companies from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Qatar, Morocco and Kuwait.

Dr Hilal, being the head of the board, can help strengthen Pakistan's steel industry and would facilitate Tuwairqi Steel Mills in arranging technical expertise to accelerate mining and exploration activities in Pakistan with the help of AISU member companies.

Source: Business Recorder, Karachi