Business confidence simmers

Coega gives the green light for Agni Steel SA

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Steel recycling and processing plant Agni Steel SA, located in Zone 6 of the Coega SEZ, recently received authorisation for its Phase 2 and 3 expansion plan from the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEDEAT). In 2009, DEDEAT authorised Agni Steels SA Phase 1 development with amendments done in 2011.

Phase 1 consisted of the installation of a set of induction furnaces for reclaiming of scrap metal. The induction furnaces had a capacity of 25 tonnes and produced 90 000 tonnes of mild steel billets per year. Phase 2, which was just approved in June 2018, includes the addition of two sets of furnaces and a ladle-refining furnace.

The two additional furnaces will perform the same function of the current, running alternately with one being used for melting whilst the other is prepared for the melting process.

The additional furnaces will thus double production and produce 180 000 tonnes of steel billets per year.

In addition to the furnaces, a ladle-refining furnace (LRF) will also be installed. Once all three phases are completed, Agni Steels SA will be deployed using modernized rolling mill to locally convert the steels billets produced into reinforced steel for local and regional export consumption.

The authorisation by DEDEAT’s sets out environmentally safe conditions which Agni Steel SA will need to comply with whilst undertaking their expansion which is in accordance to the objectives of the Environmental Management Act, Act 107 of 1998.

Business Development Manager for Metal Projects, Sadick Davids, expressed enthusiasm for the approved expansion commenting on its investment and job creation opportunity. “The authorisation for their expansion means Agni Steel SA will be investing an additional R100 million and creating an additional 150 jobs. This is consistent with CDC’s view that those investing in the SEZ not only grow but thrive as well,” he said.

Marketing, Brand and Communications Unit Head, Dr. Ayanda Vilakazi, applauded the DEDEAT’s decision to grant approval for Agni Steel SA’s expansion plans, saying: "We appreciate the endless support the department has given us [as Coega SEZ). It shows their commitment to supporting our vision and mission, which is to create jobs and responsible investment opportunities. It also shows how the department is invested in the growth and development of the SEZ itself and we are looking forward to their support in future”, he said.

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