Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has secured USD 6 billion as part of plans to lure USD 32 billion of investments. The nine projects include a USD 4 billion steel plate mill complex for the shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction and defense sectors and a green flat steel complex that will supply the automotive, food packaging, machinery and equipment, and other industrial sectors. Both projects are already underwaySaudi Arab’s Industry & Mineral Resources Minister Mr Bandar al-Khorayef said that the ministry is now processing 145 exploration license applications from foreign companies. He said “These targeted investments represent an important 'down payment' in our efforts to move beyond exploration and extraction and into the creation of integrated value chains, a central focus of our overall mining strategy. The investments will continue to position the Kingdom as a mining production and logistics hub for a region that stretches from Africa to Asia, while also supporting the transformation of our mining sector so it can achieve its potential.”Saudi oil giant Aramco had signed a MoU with world’s largest steel maker Chinese Baosteel in September 2021 to conduct an engineering study and develop plans needed to build, own and operate an integrated steel plate manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. Baosteel had said the companies planned to carry out a feasibility study on building a plant to make heavy steel plates, which are widely used in the construction industry. Aramco h ad signed a similar agreement with South Korean steel giant Posco last year. Back in 2018, it signed an MoU with Japanese firms Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation Saudi Arabia to conduct a feasibility study for an integrated steel plate mill project in the Ras ai-Khair area. Moreover, Sabic Hadeed, the largest steel producer in Saudi Arabia, also planned to build a 1.5 million tonnes steel plate mill at the cost of around USD 3.5 billion in the Saudi city of Jubail, a few years ago, but the downturn in the steel market and weak oil prices poured cold water on the plan.Currently there is no steel plate mill operating in Saudi Arabia and all Saudi plate demand is satisfied through imports. Total consumption of steel plate in the Middle East and Africa was over 4 million tonnes in 2019, where Saudi Arabia accounted for around 14% of the regional consumption.