Solb Misr Seen EGP1bn Losses in 2014 as Energy Crisis Intensifies

Big 5

Egyptian steel group, Solb Misr is likely to end this year with total losses of one billion Egyptian pounds amid the group’s severe shortage in energy supplies, said owner and chairman Gamal El-Garhy.

In 2013, the group incurred losses worth 780 million pounds.

El-Garhy further told Amwal Al Ghad that the energy shortage crisis has driven Solb Misr to reduce its capacity in its factories by 50%.  Consequently, officials from the Group have urged Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to interfere by pumping extra amounts of fuel necessary to run their factories.

The Group has already sent a memo to both ministries of Electricity and Industry requesting to solve the crisis, but no response has been received up till now, noted.

Furthermore, El-Garhy referred that Solb Misr’s current energy shortage has caused a delay in carrying out the group’s expansion strategy such as pumping investments worth US$300 million to finance the establishment of two new steel plants, with production capacity of 2 million tonnes per year.

The group also decided to postpone plans to sell around 20% of its shares in the Egyptian stock exchange (EGX) until crisis is resolved, he noted.

Moreover, El-Garhy further renewed its call to the Egyptian authorities to revise a government decree of canceling protective tariffs temporarily on imported steel, saying the tariffs are pivotal to protect the national steel industry.