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Kenya’s housing sector eyes proposed steel plant for renewed growth

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Mr Henry Rotich, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, said that NMC would benefit from a KES 3 billion stimulus package meant to revive local industries. Kenya’s construction industry is poised for growth following the proposed establishment of a steel milling plant in Kwale County.

The plant, which will have the capacity to produce 157,000 tonnes of steel products each year, is expected to go a long way in providing affordable raw materials for the country’s growing construction industry.

Top Steel Kenya Limited is the company behind the plans for setting up the multi-billion shilling facility in Mwavumbo area of Kwale County and is in the process of seeking approval from relevant regulators.

According to regulatory filings by Top Steel Kenya Ltd, the facility will manufacture Thermo-Mechanically Treated bars (TMT) known as Top TMT.

Read the filings in part, “The steel mill will operate a light and medium structural mill with an installed capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year as well as a tube mill plant with an installed capacity of 12,000 tonnes per year.”

Currently, Kenya does not produce engineering grade steel despite the capacity to do so and has to rely on importation. Final cost The country needs about 1.2 million metric tonnes per year of steel but is only capable of smelting about 40% of that locally. The balance is imported from China with the transportation costs adding heavily onto the final cost of the product making the cost of construction and manufacturing steep.

The construction of the standard gauge railway, the LAPSSET project and several energy and infrastructure projects have drastically increased the demand for steel making the product more expensive having a knock-on effect on the overall cost of building and construction.

The entry of Top Steel Kenya Limited is further set to stoke competition with existing Kenyan steel manufacturers including Athi River Steel, Devki Steel Mills, Brollo Kenya and Simba Products among others.

Meanwhile, the revival of Kenya’s State-owned Numerical Machining Complex (NMC) which was touted to reduce the cost of doing business in the country has remained in limbo for over two years now.

Source – Standard Media

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