Egyptian steel company, Solb Misr, announced losses of around EGP500m ($64m) in 2015, Chairman Gamal El Garhy told Amwal Al Ghad. The chairman added that losses were due to being forced to operate at 25% capacity through eight months of 2015, as increases in the price of gas used to make steel and difficulties in obtaining dollars for importing steel inputs made operations difficult.
The company has been forced to delay its entrance into the Egyptian stock exchange until profitability returns and expansion plans for two new steel factories are completed. The new factories, requiring a $300m investment, will have a 2m ton annual capacity.
El Garhy said that energy problems had largely been resolved, as the government had provided for high-intensity industrial users to allow them return to full operationality. There remain some concerns for many industry stakeholders, however, as to whether gas supplies will remain at their full capacity to meet industry’s requirements during the high-demand summer months.