By Atevure Princess,
Nigeria’s hope of steel production as backbone for industrial development comes alive as Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is set to commission the resuscitated Aladja Steel complex of Premium Steel and Mines Limited with a one million ton capacity.
Addressing newsmen in his office on Monday, Mr Prasanta Mishra, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Premium Steel and Mines Ltd (PSML) says that the company’s first phase of production which is scheduled for commissioning on Friday March 2, 2018, would meet some 50% of Nigeria’s long steel product needs which are currently supplied mainly by imports.
“Our production will bring about 50% import substitution of Nigeria’s long steel product consumption which is met principally by imports. We shall help the country save some 50% of the foreign exchange it expends on steel importation each year.”
The Premium Steel and Mines limited formerly called Delta Steel Company (DSC), is Nigeria’s most versatile and only integrated steel plant projected to produce about 1.2 million tons of various steel products per annum at full capacity.
Mr Mishra said the legacy of the erstwhile Delta Steel Company originally commissioned in 1982 was left with various challenges as the plant was in a poor shape when his company acquired it and so retooled it with state-of-the-art equipment for competitive production.
He says “We had to pull down all the obsolete automation system and auxiliaries of the rolling mill complex built by the Austro-German consortium. We had to replace with the state-of-the-art equipment to meet today’s competitive market needs. Today, we are one of the best Nigerian steel mill to produce the BS4449 grade steel, TMT and other value added products of such high capacity which will be used for most high-rise buildings, bridges, flyovers, malls and other sky scrapers due to its high mechanical and yield strength.” He added.
Mr Mishra disclosed that the gestation period to get the plant to attain production level was littered with much challenges due to the terrible state the former investors left the plant in, adding that ‘’with sheer determination and uncommon show of irrepressible disposition, our team of world class engineers and technicians have labored hard to resuscitate the comatose plant and bring it back to life. The flag-off of the rolling mill will signpost the first bold step towards reinventing the entire integrated steel complex in order to realize the dreams of the founding fathers of this gigantic enterprise”, he said.
According to the Managing Director, besides being primed for profitable operations, the company is also prepared to touch the lives of Nigerians beyond tax payments. He says the company will touch the lives of the local communities particularly through accessible and affordable healthcare, employment, women empowerment and education. It targets bringing sustainable development which will lead to “inclusive growth” in its area of operations.
The whole communities segment are quite excited, as the President General of the Union of Udu Communities, Chief Steve Sokoh says, ‘’the long awaited day has come.
For the Otota of Udu Kingdom, Chief Sam Odibo, ‘’PSML is living up to its responsibility’’ while Comrade Dogene Elias, President of Aladja community, ‘’at last the economy of Udu and environment will improve…we are excited to hear this.’’
Also speaking to newsmen, Executive chairman of the Udu local Government Council, Hon Chief Jite Brown says that the up and running of the Premium Steel would add to the development of economy of Udu and Delta state in terms of youth empowerment and engagement.
Dignitaries expected to join senior government officials, captains of industry, business leaders and top politicians include Traditional rulers and community leaders across Delta state and beyond.