By Gokhan Ergocun and Tuba Sahin
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish steelmaker Tosyali Holding will make an investment in Senegal to reduce the west African country's dependency on steel imports, its chairman said.
"Senegal is dependent on imports of rebar and steel, so we have decided to invest in the country at the invitation of the Senegalese authorities," Fuat Tosyali told Anadolu Agency.
Once completed, Tosyali said, the new investment will meet the steel needs of not only Senegal but also the region.
“It will be the biggest industrial investment in Senegal,” he added.
He said Senegal’s interest in Tosyali Holding stemmed from the company’s investment and production performance in every segment of the iron and steel sector.
Tosyali noted that the company and Senegal’s Mines and Geology Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the second edition of Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum on Wednesday.
The company will lay the foundation for the new investment by the end of this year, Tosyali said. “We are not only focusing on Senegal. We have prepared a multistage investment plan that includes other influential countries in the region,” he added.
In the first stage, the company will be able to provide raw material from Turkey and Algeria, and build a facility in Senegal with the target of producing 1 million ton of rebar.
“This investment will enable Turkey to export semi-finished materials to another country and substitute imports in other countries,” Tosyali said.
He added that investment in next stages will be improved parallel with production growth and market in Senegal.
Tosyali said the company already has a prominent steel facility in Algeria in terms of its size.
He noted that the company’s investment in Algeria has reached $3 billion.
“We have production of more than 4 million tons. We have passed to the next stage; our production will surpass 6 million tons, then in the next stage will produce 2 million tons more,” Tosyali said.
Applauding Turkish investors’ approach toward Africa, Tosyali said Turkish investors contribute positively to development and social life in the continent.
“Other countries see Africa as income while making investing there. Turkish investors not only build industrial plants but also encourage formation of new SMEs[…],” he said.
“This attitude makes Turkish investors more preferable for Africans,” he added.