Oman’s MISCO to start steel production shortly, outlook controversial

Monday, 03 February 2020 16:50:56 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Oman’s Moon Iron & Steel (MISCO), one of the largest and long-awaited investments for steel production in the country, is expected to start operations shortly. According to local sources, the company plans to begin steelmaking at its 1.2 million mt per year steel complex by March this year. MISCO is expected to operate a 140 mt electric arc furnace, a 140 mt ladle furnace and a 1.2 million mt per year five-strand continuous billet caster. The company is expected to produce square billet for now, with further plans to launch a 1.1 million mt per year rebar mill, SteelOrbis understands.

However, market sources are somewhat sceptical regarding the MISCO start-up. One thing is that, being EAF-based, the company will need scrap, while the scrap generation in the country is not sufficient even for already-existing consumers. “It is 10,000-15,000 mt per month and we have already four buyers and now MISCO,” a producer from Oman said. While imports from the UAE is not considered as a sustainable option, the newcomer to the market may need to establish ties with deep sea scrap suppliers. In addition, sources suggest that MISCO may also have some issues with regular and sufficient electricity supply.

Entering the steel rebar market in the GCC might be also a problem for MISCO, unless the consumption situation in the region improves. In particular, Oman’s monthly average demand for rebar is around 50,000-60,000 mt these days, which is not enough for the existing players and is a reason for regular rebar exports to the UAE, SteelOrbis understands.

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