Prometal, a key player in Cameroon's industrial landscape, invests CFA57 billion to unveil two cutting-edge steel plants, Prometal 4 and 5, in Douala-Bassa, reports Business in Cameroon. The facilities promise a surge in annual production, introducing innovations like wire rods and catering to diverse steel products. This strategic move not only propels Cameroon into self-sufficiency in gas cylinders but positions it to actively participate in the African Continental Free Trade Area. With a potential job creation of 3,000 and impactful reductions in trade deficits, Prometal reshapes Cameroon's industrial narrative.
In a monumental stride towards industrial advancement, Cameroon is set to witness the inauguration of two state-of-the-art steel processing plants on January 19, 2024. Spearheaded by the Prometal Group, these facilities, named Prometal 4 and 5, are positioned as transformative entities in the Douala-Bassa industrial zone, with a combined investment of CFA57 billion.
The first jewel in this industrial crown, Prometal 4, constructed with an investment of CFA45 billion, is hailed as Sub-Saharan Africa's most modern and diversified steel transformation plant. This plant significantly elevates the Prometal Group's annual production capacity to a staggering 360,000 metric tons of finished steel products, encompassing reinforcing bars, wire rods, beams, angles, and flat bars. Notably, Prometal 4 achieves a milestone as the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to produce wire rods, laying the foundation for the manufacturing of essential materials like nails, screws, and smooth bars.
The second plant, Prometal 5, marks the fifth steel transformation facility established by the Prometal Group. With a construction cost of CFA12 billion, this unit focuses on the production of gas cylinders and metal structures, boasting an annual capacity of 600,000 cylinders and 5,000 metric tons of metal structures. Aiming for self-sufficiency, Prometal 5 is poised to end Cameroon's imports of gas cylinders, aligning with local demand estimated at 400,000 cylinders annually.
The official estimates suggest that the inauguration of these two plants will generate approximately 3,000 new jobs, with 1,000 being direct employment opportunities. Beyond the immediate economic impact, Prometal 4 and 5 position Cameroon to actively engage in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). With production capacities exceeding national demand and the introduction of innovative materials like wire rods to the Sub-Saharan African market, Cameroon emerges as a formidable player in the regional trade landscape.
Prometal's strategic move holds the potential to bring about significant economic transformations. Prometal 5, by putting an end to gas cylinder imports, aims to curtail expatriation of capital amounting to CFA8 billion annually. This not only contributes to reducing the country's trade deficit but also aligns with broader economic goals. Moreover, the introduction of wire rods by Prometal 4 is anticipated to slash Cameroon's trade deficit in iron-based construction materials by around 50%, as per the company's projections.
The inauguration of Prometal 4 and 5 adds to the string of industrial endeavors led by Hayssam El Jammal, Head of the Prometal Group. With a total investment exceeding CFA50 billion, including the discreet commissioning of the Novia Industries plant in 2023, El Jammal emerges as one of Cameroon's most prolific investors in recent years. The Novia Industries plant, an agro-industrial complex, stands as a testament to Prometal Group's multifaceted contributions, creating jobs and bolstering the production of refined oil and soap.
Prometal's visionary investments in Prometal 4 and 5 mark a pivotal moment in Cameroon's industrial evolution. These steel processing plants not only signify technological advancements but also position Cameroon as a self-sufficient player in the steel industry. The potential job creation, reduction in trade deficits, and active participation in regional trade through AfCFTA underscore Prometal's strategic importance in shaping Cameroon's economic landscape. As Prometal continues to spearhead transformative projects, it leaves an indelible mark on the nation's journey towards industrial self-reliance and economic resilience.