Investment Min to construct new iron and steel factory
Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman - YOUM7/Hossam Atef

CAIRO: Ministry of Investment seeks to construct a new steel factory to be mostly owned by the public Iron and Steel Company, with 10 percent owned by a private investor, an official source at the Ministry of investment who requested anonymity told al-Masry al-Youm on Sunday.

In an interview with al-Maal Newspaper, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said Sunday that the ministry is considering creating a company, with 90 percent ownership by Iron and Steel Company and the rest owned by an investor who undertakes administrating the project.

The source added that the minister of investment seeks to construct a factory worth $1 billion to produce 1.5 million tons; the cost of the factory during former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazeef’s government, however, was 5.5 billion EGP ($770 million,) he said.

He added that the Investment Minister arranged for this project to produce steel and iron from in an attempt to monitor the market through the state’s investments, especially since the plan was presented in 2008.

Mohey al-Deen, the first Minister of Investment during the government of Ahmed Nazeef reversed his decision on the project followed by leaks that prominent Egyptian business tycoon Ahmed Ezz had refused it.

Ezz was Chief Executive Officer of Ezz al-Dekheila (EZDK) Steel and the former Secretary General of the dissolved National Democratic Party, who has a 55 percent stake in EZDK, the largest steel complex in the Middle East.

In October 2012, Ezz was found guilty on charges of corruption and squandering public funds and was sentenced to seven years in prison as well as a fine of 19.3 billion EGP. However, the state’s Court of Cassation accepted his appeal in May, ordering a retrial.

North Giza Criminal Court decided last July to set Ezz free. He was fined 50 million EGP (US$ 9.6 million) over the illicit gains charges.

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