Aja. Steel Plant : Union describe Basic Oxygen Furnace Technology viable , not obsolete.
The Nigeria Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) , Ajaokuta steel branch has described the basic oxygen furnace technology adopted for the building of Ajaokuta Steel Plant as the best , viable and flexible in operation, saying “it is not obsolete as being insinuated”
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Lokoja the Chairman of the union , Ajaokuta steel branch Comrade Salami Mohammed Jimoh said the Basic Oxygen Furnace Technology has the capacity of processing even the least acceptable grades of Iron Ore, noting that the technology aside its durability “it is also quite flexible in operation”
Comrade Jimoh who averred that if the total world crude steel production as at December, 2012 stood at approximately 1.5 billion tones representing 100 per cent, and 70 per cent of the product was produced through the basic oxygen furnace technology, said that it was erroneous on the part of some people to claimed that the technology is obsolete.
“Ajaokuta Steel Plant equipment and facilities are robust , rugged and designed with 25 per cent safety factor .Similar plants in Russia and Ukraine have been in operation for over one hundred years till date .
“The technology therefore remains the most acceptable and applied technology in Iron making process and it is the most established and energy efficient steel process technology worldwide.
“In spite of the long year partial operation of the steel plant, the technical readiness (98%) already achieved so far has not diminished significantly as preservation of equipment and facilities are constantly undertaken by the steel workers which was confirmed by the technical audit report of 2010 and the recent one conducted in 2018. So, to say that the technology is obsolete means that the statement is coming from people who does not have an iota of the knowledge of Basic Oxygen Furnace technology”
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for taking a bold step in returning the steel complex back to the original builder to resuscitate the plant in the interest of Nigerians, the Union Chairman, maintained that Ajaokuta steel company when completed will generate over 15,000 direct jobs including the over 50,000 jobs that will evolve from the down stream industries.
“We lack words to thank President Buhari for the effort and concern shown so far concerning the resuscitation of Ajaokuta steel company. We are glad and grateful because the recent decision of the federal government to give the steel company back to the original builders which is the Russians was a very good step in the right direction.
“It is obvious now that the President and his team have come out to put a square peg on a square hole. This type of decision has eluded the company for almost four decades.
“We are happy today because in the recent past , previous administrations have made a concession agreement with some foreign companies but to no avail because they don’t owned the technology in Ajaokuta steel company” he said.
He urged the staff of Ajaokuta steel plant to be ready to cooperate with the Russians as soon as they landed to enable them achieve the aims and objectives of President Buhari in revitalizing the ailing industry.