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2019-07-26

Expert: “There are no specific deadlines in the draft Concept for the Development of Metallurgy, this omission must be eliminated”

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Experts continue to discuss the draft Concept of development of the metallurgical industry of Uzbekistan. Valery Osin, Chief Engineer of the Tashkent Metallurgical Plant (TMZ), who is under construction, shared his opinion on this document.

“The discussed concept, without any doubt, is a very serious and important document, the purpose of which is to significantly accelerate the development of the metallurgical industry in Uzbekistan. The draft concept emphasizes that metallurgy is one of the leading sectors of the country’s economy. To this we can add that it is ferrous metals that form the basis for the development of industrial production, transport, construction, communications, trade and all other industries in the republic," he noted.

Therefore, the expert believes, the effective supply of the country’s economic complex with ferrous metallurgy products is one of the most important factors for the successful implementation of all transformations.

“Among the prerequisites for development, the concept points to the presence of monopolistic harvesting and processing of scrap and waste of ferrous metals, which limits the ability of entrepreneurs to create small foundries, especially in free economic zones. The document proposes to remove these restrictions. Here it is important to understand that it is necessary to be very careful in reducing the monopoly in this direction, because due to unreasonable actions, prices for black scrap can increase many times over,” said Valery Osin.

Another important point, he adds, is the presence in the republic of labor resources, large reserves of natural iron ore, which create the necessary prerequisites for the accelerated development of the steel industry.

"However, the production of ferrous metals on the basis of only secondary raw materials, as it happens at Uzmetkombinat, has no real prospects for growth and meeting the needs of the country. Moreover, such products are not as high-quality as those obtained from iron ores. At the same time, Uzbekistan has sufficient potential of mineral resources necessary for the industry. One possible way for a more complete supply of ferrous metals is to create a production with a full metallurgical cycle through the development of the available deposits of the republic", - he said.

According to him, the concept went precisely along this path - it is planned to build a mining and smelting plant based on the Tebinbulak iron ore deposit. This will provide enterprises with their own foundries, domestic metallurgical raw materials for steel production.

“It is very pleasant that in the draft concept, among the measures for the implementation of the goals set, the construction of the Tashkent metallurgical plant with an annual capacity of up to 500,000 tons of cold-rolled steel is indicated. Indeed, this is a very important investment project for the industry of Uzbekistan. TMZ will be one of the most modern enterprises for the production of cold-rolled steel with protective anti-corrosion coatings for the construction industry, engineering and other sectors of the economy", - said the source.

Putting the plant into operation will reduce the country’s dependence on imports of metallurgical products and significantly increase its industrial potential. The selected production technology will offer the market a new high-quality product corresponding to the level of consumer properties of the best world analogues.

"At present, construction of the main plant of the future enterprise is being completed at the construction site, construction of foundations for technological equipment, construction of infrastructure facilities, construction of external networks and pipe racks and energy carriers is underway," said Osin.

The expert also highlighted another draft concept - the construction of a foundry-rolling shop on the basis of "Uzmetkombinat" with an annual capacity of hot-rolled sheet - more than one million tons per year. This product is intended specifically for TMZ, from this raw material will produce cold-rolled galvanized sheet steel with a polymer coating.

He rightly believes that the draft concept provides for an increase in labor productivity in the industry and indicates specific indicators that need to be achieved in this direction. According to the report of World Bank experts, labor productivity in the metallurgical industry of the republic has decreased in recent years. One of the reasons for this is the shortage of qualified personnel.

"I am sure that at TMZ we will not only be able to ensure the fulfillment of this indicator, but we will also increase it year after year, including due to well-planned personnel work, which began to be carried out long before the start-up of the enterprise. So, this year is planned staffing administrative staff and two full shifts, that is, about 500 people needed to start production. In total, 672 jobs will be created. We cooperate with local and foreign recruitment agencies that will deal with selection of specialists ", - said the representative of TMZ.

According to him, since it will be a completely new facility that has no analogues, foreign specialists with experience in such production will be involved in the work. But the main part of the future staff will be from Uzbekistan. It also provides for training of employees at operating metallurgical enterprises in Russia. In addition, training will be conducted from the supplier of the main technological equipment of the Italian company Danieli.

 “In conclusion, I would like to note an important point - the draft document lacks specific deadlines for the implementation of the tasks and goals set. This omission needs to be eliminated, including the period during which the Development Concept for the metallurgical industry will be implemented,” Osin concluded.