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Saudi International Iron & Steel Conference kicks off on Sept. 12 with regional and global participation

RIYADH: The second edition of the Saudi International Iron and Steel Conference will kick off on Sept. 12 in Riyadh, with the participation of regional and global industry leaders and experts, as the Kingdom aims to become a major player on the map of the global steel industry. 

Organized by the National Iron Industry Committee of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, the event will be held under the patronage of the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, and the Minister of Investment, Khalid  Al-Falih, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Saudi Arabia’s push to develop the mineral and mining industry comes as a part of the Kindom’s effort to diversify its economy, which has been dependent on oil for several decades. 

Touted as the largest of its kind in the region, the event will be inaugurated by Ministers Al-Khorayef and Al-Falih, along with  Ajlan bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, president of the Federation of Saudi Chambers. 

The first day will witness an exhibition in which the conference sponsors from various prominent steel industries, representing Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, and international companies, participate.

On the second day, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajjraf, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, will deliver a speech.

This will be followed by the first working session, where Osama Al-Zamil, deputy minister of industry and mineral resources; and Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice-minister for mining affairs, will speak along with other experts. 

There will also be a bilateral dialogue session titled ‘The Status of the Iron and Steel Market in the Middle East and North Africa,’ with Edwin Basson, executive director of the World Steel Association. 

The third session on the second day, ‘Game Changers in the Global Iron and Steel Market,’ will be held with the participation of five speakers.

Among them will be representatives from the World Steel Association, the Indian Iron Federation, Germany-based Baosteel Europe, a Turkish steel company, and a senior partner of McKinsey Globalism. 

The fourth and final session on the second day of the conference, titled ‘Supply Chains, Energy, and Raw Materials,’ will have speakers including Louay Mashabi, undersecretary for logistics services at the Ministry of Transport and Logistics; Abdul Rahman Al-Thukair, CEO of the Saudi Export Development Authority, in addition to three CEOs of the Gulf region and international steel companies.

Earlier in September, the UK-based steelmaker J.O. Steel Holdings announced that it will invest $865 million to build an integrated billet manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia’s Ras Al-Khair Industrial City. 

The investment is in line with the Saudi government’s National Steel Strategy, which aims to expand Saudi flat steel production as a part of Vision 2030.

The third and final day of the conference will begin with a speech from Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, the Kingdom’s $500 billion Giga project, followed by another speech from Rayed Al-Ajaji, chairman of the National Iron Committee, and president of the conference. 

It will end with a dialogue session titled ‘Lessons Learned and Next Steps’ where Al-Khorayef along with international personalities will talk as keynote speakers. 



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