The private sector will invest $30 million USD in five smelting plants in Kabul, Balkh and Nangarhar provinces – which would cover 30 percent of Afghanistan’s needs.
One of the factories will be built with a $20 million USD investment in Kabul and will be one of the biggest smelting plants in the country.
From 30 industries in the country, iron manufacturing is one of the foremost industries with at least $100 million USD investment. There are 22 smelting plants in the country at the moment.
But according to one investor, less than 50 percent of the capacity of 22 plants is currently being used due to the lack of raw materials and electricity.
“We have plants of which 20 percent, 30 percent and finally 50 percent of their capacity is used,” said Parwiz Khwajazada, head of the smelting plants union.
“We can cover a big part of Afghanistan’s market if the problem of electricity and raw material is addressed.”
Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Finance said they have started the sale of scrap metal in a move to encourage iron manufacturers to invest in the country.
The campaign will cover the sale of 37,000 tons of scrap metal to factory owners, said Mohammad Ibrahim Shams, head of the Finance Ministry’s Enterprises Department.
“We have so far collected 40 million AFs from selling the (scrap) metal and this has satisfied the factory owners,” he said.
“There are still some problems but we have plans to collect all the scrap metal in the country and sell it to the industry.”