MONROVIA-Early January 2023, the Belgian-headquartered multinational steel company, declared the start of phase 2 expansion project which also includes heavy investment in new jobs, even though, the project itself has created “nearly 300 jobs” already, according to the CEO.
Despite the delay by Liberian authorities to rectify its 3rd Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) is said to be fast progression with its phase two expansion plan.
Phase Two envisions an annual production of 30 million tones (mtpa) of iron ore, the construction of an ore concentration plant with new and improved investment in rail, port, and procession.
Since the commencement of the increase in mining and logistics operations, ArcelorMittal has augmented traffic at the seaport of Buchanan with the import of huge logistics from different parts of the world thereby increasing government revenue.
While the company continues to demonstrate committing to staying in Liberia beyond the lifespan of its existing MDA, ArcelorMittal reported quite recently that the phase 2 expansion was on course, rapidly moving on.
Chief Executive Officer, Josephus Coenen stated that the Phase II expansion in the last quarter made noteworthy headways across the engineering, procurement, controls, and construction phases, of the project.
What went unnoticed was when they stated that the company is expecting a big landmark shortly with the approval of the comprehensive budget for the overall project.
This budget, he stated values approximately US$1.6 billion.
Coenen said ArcelorMittal Liberia has signed nearly all important contracts to address fundamental objectives in the phase two expansion plan.
Said the AML CEO: “We’ve signed almost all the key construction contracts and today, construction is progressing across multiple fronts – Civils, Material handling, Structural steel erection, Tailings storage, and power station. In parallel, we’ve pushed ahead on driving better controls for the project with a new digital tool called PRISM”.
ArcelorMittal Liberia said it is proud of its safety performance so far, with the implementation of the Phase II project.
A company publication quoted the CEO as saying: “our health and safety metrics have been rapidly improving. This year, we’ve completed over 1.3M manhours with no reported incidents year to date.
“We also received high praise from the leadership team on our commitment to safety, following the visit of Robin Paulmier, corporate head of Health and Safety, to the site.”
Amidst these sheer successes, the company enjoys the confidence and support of its host communities in Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Bong counties.
As has always been the case, communities in the affected areas benefit from AML’s social development initiatives while the company regularly pays all its taxes and royalties to the government.
For example, last week alone, and as part of the phase two expansion program, AML dedicated two playgrounds in Grand Bassa and Nimba counties. A third playground is awaiting dedication in Yekepa’s Camp#4 area.
A week earlier, Grand Bassa authorities turned over four community-approved projects at the cost of more than 288,000 dollars in direct funding from the 20% deducted from ArcelorMittal’s social development fund paid annually to the central government.