Vietnamese steel giant eyes Kenya entry


Imported steel rolls at a container freight station in Mombasa on June 21, 2020. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

Vietnamese steel maker Hoa Phat Hung Yen Steel Limited has signed a number of contracts to export to Kenya rolled steel billets as it eyes a slice of the local market.

The firm— a subsidiary of Vietnam’s leading steel manufacturer Hoa Phat Group— said in a statement its inaugural shipment comprising more than 17,000 tonnes marks its entry into the African market.

“The first shipments with a total volume of nearly 30,000 tonnes will be transported to Kenya alongside Ghana in September and October this year,” it said in a statement.

“In particular, the Kenyan market is more than 17,000 tonnes, the rest is to Ghana.”

The Business Daily had not established the specific contract details by the Hanoi based steel firm by press time.

Its entry into the local market looks set to stiffen competition for local players at a time the Kenyan market is attracting global steel firms keen to capitalise on the local construction boom.

Along with ready-to-use steel, Hoa Phat said it sold 1 million tonnes of steel billets for construction steel production in the seven months to date, with 169,000 tonnes in July alone.

In June last year, Kenya instituted protectionist tax measures for local steel firms in line with promoting the Big Four agenda’s manufacturing pillar amid ongoing mega infrastructure projects.

Import costs of iron and steel were raised as the government moved to raise railway development levy on finished products from 1.5 percent to two percent in a bid to cushion local firms.