Botswana’s Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has officially opened the first ever steel manufacturing plant in Botswana which will see the country start exporting the commodity.
Speaking at the official opening of Pula Steel in Selibe Phikwe, a town in northern Botswana, Masisi said it is the first company in the country that processes scrap metal into intermediate product called billet.
APA reports that the plant will further process billet into different types of steel products such as rebar and other products.
“Today we officially open the first phase of this production process which will produce the billet that will be 100 percent for export. I am reliably informed that in eight (8) months the production process will add a second phase which will produce re-bar and other products; a considerable part of which will be for the local market and some for export,” he said.
He noted that steel is a basic commodity which is required by any developing economy, for infrastructural developments, mines and construction.
According to international trade statistics, countries in the regional grouping SADC imported $3.3 million worth of steel in 2014.
“The local demand was met primarily by South Africa and China which supplied 50% and 40% respectively. Pula Steel is strategically located to serve both markets,” Masisi added.