LIBERIA: ArcelorMittal Loans 30mtpa Expansion in Phase II Project

ArcelorMittal Liberia CEO, Josephus Coenen

Since the middle of 2022, ArcelorMittal has continued to make steady progress towards its phase two expansion program which is at the core of the company’s priorities at current.

Phase two of the company’s mining activities as reported earlier, will among others include further investment in Liberia’s Buchanan port, mainly through a new fixed ship loader that will have loading capacity of 6-8,000 tons of iron ore per hour.

Chief among its targets is a directed yearly production of 30 million tons up from 15mtpa.

It will also see new investment in Liberia’s rail infrastructure which ArcelorMittal has with the government agreed in the delayed 3rd Mineral Development Agreement for a multi-user arrangement which could potentially generate additional revenue.

What also comes with the phase two expansion is the construction of a mega ore concentrator at the mine site in Yekepa which will produce iron ore pellets enabling ArcelorMittal to gradually increase its production capacity to 30 million tons per year.

In an interview on Sunday in Buchanan City the AML Chief Executive Officer Joep Coenen while speaking on company’s support to the just ended district league in Bassa mentioned the phase two expansion as key and that it will help expand community development.

Joep COENEN who this year joined ArcelorMittal from Ambatovy JV in Madagascar where he led the mining team as Director, Mining Operations told Ablejay TV that as the company progresses with its phase two growth project, AML will intensify assistance to its host communities and continue to support various forms of community engagements.

His statement aside, it is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) like this that will create new jobs and more opportunities for Liberians, This is what will expand the economy and lead to more purchasing power to locals, which in turn leads to an overall boost for targeted economic advancement.

We are aware that the fourteen years of civil conflict (1989-2003) destroyed Liberia’s social and economic infrastructure and brought the economy to a halt as the country grapples with a workforce that came of age during the conflict largely unskilled, and the supply of workers exceeding demand by a substantial margin.

Unemployment is still high especially among many youths with the value from 2021 place Liberia’s unemployment rate at 4.09 percent.

For comparison, the world average in 2021 based on 181 countries is 8.46 percent.

A big advantage of this foreign direct investment from ArcelorMittal’s Phase Two Expansion is the increase of the target country’s income base that it offers.

With additional jobs and higher wages, the national income normally increases which promotes economic growth.  This is true because ArcelorMittal Liberia is one of such firms in Liberia that offers higher salary levels than what you would normally find in Liberia, which can lead to an increment in income

As the AML phase two expansion unfolds, the government tax incentives will increase especially where the company‘s capacity would have reached 30 million tons per annual.

With the port of Buchanan handling complex logistics from Europe and other parts of the world, and with the employment of additional number of staff, the phase two expansion is the kind of investment that will stimulate Liberia’s economic development and create a more conducive environment for other companies, the investor, and inspire local community and economy.

Apart from just employment and increase in economic activities, the development of Liberian human capital resources is a big advantage we can gain from AML expansion.

The skills gained by the workforce and individual employees through training by ArcelorMittal will increase the overall education and human capital within the country.

The Phase Two expansion also encourages the exchanges of knowledge, technologies, and skills that can further develop the country’s human resources all while maintaining ownership of its natural resources and increase workforce productivity.

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