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Industry body aims to boost local steel production


To reduce Myanmar’s dependence on imported steel, plans are being made to increase local production with Chinese technology say industry officials.

“Local steel consumption relies heavily on imports rather than local production as only 10 percent of what the local market needs is produced locally while the 90 percent is imported,” said U Tin Myint, chief adviser to the Myanmar Steel Association (MSA).

“We are doing research to produce more steel locally with help from the Chinese .We hope that we can produce enough to cover two million tons to four million tonnes of local requirements,” U Tin Myint told The Myanmar Times.

He said that the manufacturing of steel locally is expected to start next year and ramp up by 2023 near coastal areas where raw materials for production are imported.

“Naturally, steel requires large long-term investments so it is important to have a stable, predictable economic and political environment. Moreover, the government will also need to support the establishment of standards for the local market,” said U Sit Taing Aung, chair of the MSA.

MSA officials said that steel consumption is an indicator of economic growth and domestic consumption has been steadily rising, from 2.1 million tonnes in 2017, to 2.4 million tonnes in 2018, and three million tonnes so far this year.

Steel consumption is projected to increase to about five million tons in 2025, with an 8 percent annual growth rate.

“Being an infrastructure industry, steel is vital, especially for Myanmar for the industrialisation and building of a modern country.” U Sit Taing Aung said.

He was speaking at a seminar entitled “Towards a Sustainable Iron and Steel Industry in Myanmar: Opportunities and Challenges” organised by the MSA and the Ministry of Industry in Nay Pyi Taw.

Members of the MSA also pointed out that the government should make efforts to ensure that poor-quality steel products do not flood the country. They said such low-quality steel could become a major safety issue in the many infrastructure projects being carried out in the country.

“Now is the time to set a Myanmar steel wtandard and to observe what ASEAN and neighbouring countries are doing to improve their steel industry,” U Sit Taing Aung.

Source: Myanmar Times

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