Emirates Steel today inaugurated the completion of its AED 7 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) Phase 2 expansion programme in an event staged on facility grounds in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD1). The expansion demonstrates the high level of support that General Holding Corporation (GHC), parent company of Emirates Steel, lends to the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi. According to Hussain J. Al Nowais, GHC Chairman, Phase 2 has increased Emirates Steel's total production capacity to 3.5 million metric tons per annum (MTPA). He relayed to reporters at a press conference that the development is part of the massive endeavor that is set to increase Emirates Steel's production to around 5.5 million MTPA within the next three years. Emirates Steel launched the two-phased, AED 10 billion (US$ 2.72 billion) expansion program in January 2006, completing Phase 1 in June 2009 at a cost of AED 3 billion (US$ 816 million), more than doubling production capacity and making it the largest steel plant in the UAE, capable of manufacturing raw steel from iron oxide pellets. Al Nowais said that Emirates Steel will soon become one of the largest steel complexes of its kind in the region. The objective, he added, was to satisfy local and regional demand for steel. He stressed that GHC will bolster its efforts to promote the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi by setting up special industrial units capable of adopting the latest technologies and offering qualified UAE nationals work opportunities. He applauded the efforts exerted by the work team that managed the expansion project, saying that developments continued to be made ahead of schedule and to the highest degree of standard in order to ensure that the best international practices were upheld throughout the roll-out of the expansion plan. Al Nowais noted that the meteoric rise of the Company has always been in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 - which maps out the government's long-term plans for the diversification and development of the emirate's economy. "Each studied step has been made to ensure that we grow in parallel to the sustainable economy of Abu Dhabi, making provisions for global competitors within the emirate's borders. As such our ambitions run far and wide to become theleader in our area of expertise and in turn reduce reliance on the world for imports."