[ferro-alloys.com]A 500,000 mt/year wire rod rolling mill will start its hot test at the Algerian Qatari Steel's (AQS) works in Bellara, Jijel province, 300 km (186 miles) east of Algiers, at the end of March, an executive at Danieli which is supplying rolling mills for the works, told S&P Global Platts on Wednesday.
The plant will have three rolling mills (one wire rod line and two rebar lines) in operation by the end of this year, allowing Algeria to become a totally self-sufficient producer of rebar and rods.
AQS started production at rebar rolling mill No. 3 (8-16 millimeters) in May 2018 and its rebar rolling mill No. 1 (16-40 mm) in October 2017. Each of the rebar rolling mills has a capacity of 750,000 mt a year. The wire rod line will produce 5.5-12 mm diameter rod
At present the facility is importing billet, but once its two melt shops are in in operation the company will produce its own and also install a direct-reduced iron plant with capacity of 2.5 million mt/year. The first melt shop is ready to operate and the second one will be ready mid-year, according to the executive.
The Bellara plant is a joint venture between Algeria's Sider Co. & National Investment Fund (holding a combined 51% stake) and Qatar Steel International (with the remaining 49%). The project was launched in 2015 with support from the Algerian government, which wants to reduce dependence on imported material.
Algeria's other domestic producer, Tosyali, has last year run all three of its rebar lines and one rod line, producing around 2.5 million of long steel, while Sider El Hadjar, the former ArcelorMittal Annaba, last year produced 200,000 mt of rebar and local sources say the same output is likely this year too.
（S&P Global Platts）