Egypt’s Trade Union Federation calls for overturning Iron and Steel Company liquidation

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jan 2021

The federation said it will address President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to intervene and salvage the company

Iron and Steel Company headquarter. Al-Ahram
Iron and Steel Company headquarter. Al-Ahram

The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) voiced on Tuesday its rejection to the decision of liquidating the Egyptian Iron and Steel Company (EISC), a week after the hotly debated resolution was passed officially by the company's board of directors.

In an official statement released following a meeting held earlier today, the ETUF called on all concerned bodies to overturn the decision and form an experienced national committee to look into the step's ramifications.

The federation said it will address President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to "intervene and salvage the company."

The industrial icon started operations in 1961 and currently employs 2,500 workers.

The ETUF said the company and other Egyptian business companies serve the process of development and the establishment of national mega projects in the country.

It also called for considering the studies of developing the 67-year-old company and increasing its production in a way that lives up with its history as a "leading" company in the Middle East.

The federation stressed the significance of preserving the technical and production assets of the company, including the oxygen plants that are being supplied to the health ministry to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, according to the statement.

The EISC has been one of the country's industrial icons since its establishment in 1954 and the start of its operations in the early 1960s.

The liquidation resolution stipulated that the EISC will be divided into two companies, one for iron and steel, and another for mines and quarries.

The EISC board said the decision was made as a result of the heavy losses that have been accumulating over the years, which hit EGP 9 billion, 982.8 million of which were lost between July 2019 and June 2020.

The Egyptian Ministry of Public Enterprises attributed the losses to the "outdated" technology used by the company as well as the increasing production cost due to the low concentration of the iron extracted from the company's mines, a matter that leads to a high consumption of coke and gas in the production process.

An analysis released by the ministry on Sunday played down concerns over the impact of the liquidation decision on the market, saying the EISC has an annual production of 112,000 tonnes, less than 1% of the overall production capacity in Egypt, which reaches 11.8 million tonnes. Another 2 million tonnes are imported at lower prices.

The consumption rate in Egypt ranges between 7 and 8 million tonnes per year, the ministry added in the analysis.

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