Indian group Essar to build iron ore terminal at port of Beira, Mozambique

9 June 2011

Cape Town, South Africa, 9 June – Indian group Essar plans to build an iron ore terminal at the port of Beira in Mozambique with an annual capacity of 20 million tons, the group’s resident director for the Middle East and Africa, Firdhose Coovadia said Wednesday in Cape Town.

During the Africa Iron Ore Conference, Coovadia noted that the terminal would be used to transport surplus production from the Mwazeni and Ripple Creek mines that the group operates in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

The Essar group, which is headquartered in Mumbai, has been increasing its iron ore and coal reserves, which provide the basic ingredients for steel production, after a rise in prices resulting from increased demand in Asia.

Financial news agency Bloomberg reported that the average price of iron ore had almost tripled since 2008 and added that in May Morgan Stanley projected a steady rise in the price of coal over the next five years.

In May the Essar group acquired a 54 percent stake in Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Co, a company that has been at a standstill since 2004 due to accumulated debts and obsolete equipment. The company announced it would invest US$750 million to re-launch operations.

The group is also considering construction of a coal terminal at the port of Beira, with an annual capacity f 20 million tons, in order to export surplus production from Zimbabwe. (macauhub)