RM5bil investment planned for iron and steel industry

Local players want to boost competitiveness and sustainability

A group of upstream players from the Malaysia Steel Association (MSA) is planning to invest about Rm5bil within the next three years in an effort to boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the local iron and steel industry.

MSA president Tan Sri William Cheng said “With the support from the government, MSA members will undertake investment that involves increasing their capacity, productivity and also, an upgrade in technology and quality.”

MSA members have a total steel making capacity of 9.6 million tonnes, which represents 81% of the upstream steel industry in Malaysia.

They include the big steel companies such as Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd, Amsteel Mills Sdn Bhd, Antara Steel Mills Sdn Bhd, Eastern Steel Sdn Bhd, Established Metal Industries Sdn Bhd, Kinsteel Bhd, King Hong Steel Sdn Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd.

MSA members to date have invested about Rm14.5bil in the local steel industry, Cheng said at the association’s dinner themed “Steel – The Foundation of The Nation” with the International Trade and Industry deputy minister Ong Kian Ming as the guest of honour held here last Friday.

He pointed out that “To enable our steel industry and the downstream industries to grow and contribute to the country’s wealth and development, we need the support and assistance of the government to formulate policies to encourage the local industries to grow and compete on a level playing field with the foreign manufacturers.”

The steel industry also need to invest in human resources for the development of the country as human capital is vital for any industry to perform well, added Cheng.

Hence, the local education system must understand the needs of industry and the market as much of the competition among nations today is the competition for human resources.

“We need to train our people not only in the hard skills like producing more scientists and technicians to undertake research and development; we also need people to be equipped with the soft skills who can multi-task, communicate and are well-versed in more than one language.

“All these measures by the Government to assist our industries, like what is being done in many other countries, will provide us with a competitive edge over foreign manufacturers,” he explained further.

At the dinner, Cheng presented a mock cheque of RM250,000 on behalf of MSA to Malaysia Steel Institute (MSI) for the latter to promote and develop the competitiveness, resilience and sustainability of the local iron and steel industry.

Earlier, MSA and Steel Wire Association of Malaysia had signed an MOU to collaborate, cooperate and to pool their resources to further the best interests of their members and the Malaysia steel industry.

Source: The Star 

Posted on : 30 September 2019
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Last Updated : Thursday 17th October 2019