Algeria, Berrahal (Annaba): The ETRHB Haddad steel complex recovered by Sider El Hadjar

  • 27 September 2023 / News / 662 / Hejer

Algeria, Berrahal (Annaba): The ETRHB Haddad steel complex recovered by Sider El Hadjar

In April 2023, the State completely recovered the project from the ETRHB group of Ali Haddad in the wilaya of Annaba.

It's official. Sider El Hadjar will recover all the equipment from the ETRHB Haddad steel complex in Berrahal (Annaba), which has been shut down since 2019.

This decision was taken following the transfer of ownership of this giant factory to the state portfolio, after the incarceration of its former owner, Ali Haddad. This is what El Watan learned yesterday from a source close to the Ministry of Industry.

“The equipment in question, including a rolling mill and a DRI installation, a set of processes for obtaining pre-reduced iron ore, had been supplied by the Italian group Danieli. Recovered by public domains in April 2023, they represent three quarters of the equipment delivered by the Italian partner Danieli, the value of which is estimated at some 80 million US dollars. The majority of equipment supplied by the Italian is still exposed to the four winds in the ports of Skikda and Annaba,” say sources close to this affair.

In April 2023, the State completely recovered the project from the ETRHB group of Ali Haddad, in the wilaya of Annaba.

“All the equipment and the 134.33 ha site representing the area to accommodate in Berrahal (Annaba) the project of an Algerian-Italian steel complex, between the Algerian ETRHB and the Italian Danieli, the agreement of which had been signed in 2017, have, since that date, been in the hands of the State. All legal, administrative and financial obstacles have been lifted, giving rise to total ownership of public domains. Initially agricultural, the entire area was included in the PDAU, before being declassified and the fellahs compensated ,” confirm sources close to the general directorate of public domains.

In April 2021, the former Minister of Industry, Mohamed Bacha, declared during his visit to the industrial zone (ZI) of Berrahal extension of Annaba: “The site to house the ETRHB Haddad steel complex in partnership with the Italian Danieli and its financing must benefit the Algerians and it is up to the State to find the best formula for its recovery.

Rail Production

To make a definitive decision on this matter, he invited the parties concerned to a meeting in Algiers to “ find a legal solution, since the 367 hectares of this extension of the Berrahal ZI, the area to accommodate the project, are mortgaged , by court decision, by the bank which granted the credit to ETRHB Haddad . Estimated at more than 27 billion dinars, the construction work already carried out is currently deteriorating.

It should be remembered that the Italian supplier Danieli, one of the largest in the world in its field, equipped the Algerian-Qatari complex (AQS) in Bellara (Jijel). It was adjusted to the last penny, without the assembly of its equipment.

In fact, the contract stipulates the supply and installation of this steelmaking equipment with a supplier guarantee at the end. This service will be carried out for the benefit of the possible buyer of this complex, Sider El Hadjar in this case.

During his last visit to Sider El Hadjar, Ali Aoun, Minister of Industry and Pharmaceutical Production, announced that a feasibility study aimed at the production of rail by the El Hadjar complex was engaged by its services.

With the acquisition of equipment from the former ETRHB Haddad steel factory, everything suggests that Sider El Hadjar will produce rail in the near future. This decision is commendable in more than one way since it will probably save the Sider El Hadjar factory and its 5,600 steelworkers, on the verge of bankruptcy.

Once installed and put into operation, this modern equipment will allow the complex to face tough competition from steel products in Algeria, by rationalizing its costs.

“With Danieli equipment including a DRI installation to supply pre-reduced iron and a state-of-the-art rolling mill, Sider El Hadjar will begin its technological, energy and environmental transition,” estimate experts in the field .

Technological since this equipment is equipped with cutting-edge technology; energy because DRI installations operate with gas which, in the absence of combustible coke, the environment will be less polluted.

Time is currently running out for the recovery of overdue containers at the ports of Skikda and Annaba.

Facilities are granted to those in charge of this operation, the customs clearance costs of which are the responsibility of the State, on the instructions of the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.