Turkey’s man of steel

Dunya Executive - - COVER PAGE - HANDAN SEMA CEYLAN

Tosyali’s chairman uses super incentive to expand Turkish steel and tackle the CAD

Tosyali Holding will become the first Turkish private sector company to begin producing steel from iron ore in Turkey after receiving a ‘super incentive’. The incentive will allow Tosyali to make a $7 billion investment in Turkey’s Kayseri, Sivas and Malatya provinces, where the ore will be extracted and enriched. The project is expected to provide $3 billion of ‘antidote’ for the current account deficit.

“We will build our facility in the Iskenderun Bay, just in front of the ports where steel imports are made,” Tosyali Holding Chairman, Fuat Tosyali, said. Tosyali Holding is one of the biggest companies involved in the project-based incentive system, developed over the last year and a half in cooperation with the public and private sectors. The aim of the program is to cut $19 billion from Turkey’s current account deficit, which exceeded $47 billion in 2017.

Steel is considered a core industry by both the European Union and the U.S. and its contribution to national economic security has been cited as one of the factors contributing to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese steel imports.

“We will also not leave Turkey exposed,” Tosyali said. “9 million tonnes of flat steel were imported to Turkey last year. We need to think about how to substitute this.”

Ch ldhood dream

Construction on the steel plant is expected to begin next year and the goal is to begin production three years later. The plant will initially produce four million tonnes of liquid steel and eventually reach 8 million tonnes, including stainless steel. “Our investment in Algeria is also about to reach 8 million tonnes. With all our investments around the world we will reach a size exceeding 20 million tonnes. This will bring us to the top 20 in steel production globally,” Tasyali said.

“I have been in the industry since my childhood and this is my 50th professional year,” he added. “It has always been my dream to produce steel from ore in Turkey. We do this in Algeria. Steel production investments have been made by the U.S., China and the world. I have business with all the actors in the sector. I’ve always wanted to turn my dream into reality.”

Publ c sector part c pat on a must

The public sector also has to maintain its determination while Turkey’s private sector is involved in these large investments, Tosyali noted. Ministries, he said, have shown this determination which is essential for the sustainability of the investment climate. “Likewise, the bureaucracy has to facilitate these investments,” he said. “Financing is essential to business success. We will find money and invest it in our production. The important thing is that the political power needs to adopt it. We believe we can provide 50,000 jobs with these projects, which is a huge investment in employment.”

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