Barely four decades after its redundancy, the Ajaokuta steel plant worth over $7.5 billion dollars with an estimated production capacity of about 10million metric tonnes of steel yearly, has bounced back to active production.
Production has just begun on a low scale at the plant as modalities including inland ports construction, Niger dredging, railway lines and other indispensable aids to its production activities are being worked out.
The plant, experts believe can generate 110MW of electricity, potentially reduce imports by $10 billion annually and create 500 thousand jobs.
As at December 2012 an estimated 1.5billion tonnes and 70 per cent of world steel production was produced through the basic oxygen furnace technology, the blast furnace, according to sources within the industry.
Though yet to return to maximum functional capacity, the blast furnace is a technology which the Ajaokuta Steel Company boasts. Given that world crude steel production of about 70 per cent was achieved through this technology, the popular opinion is that the technology in Ajaokuta remains the most acceptable and applied technology in iron making process.
Regarded as Nigeria’s largest steel plant , the Ajaokuta Steel mill, many say remains an integral part and the bedrock of Nigerian Industrial Revolution plan.