Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday launched the Chinese-invested steel factory Kiluwa Steel Group, located in the eastern district of Kibaha.
Speaking at its official launch, President Magufuli commended the Chinese investors for choosing Tanzania as their investment destination in the east African region, calling other foreign investors to follow suit.
He described the new Chinese investment as important as it is part and parcel of the government-driven industrialization agenda.
Magufuli said: "This is an important project for Tanzania as it produces quality iron bars that meet the international standard as they are used in any bridge across the globe."
He discouraged the tendency of importing raw materials from other countries when in Tanzania there is a big deposit of iron ore in Mchuchuma area of the southern part of the country.
"I am aware of the challenge with our iron ore, as it is mixed with titanium and vanadium so the iron is combined with the two elements. These two elements have value than iron ore, I urge Tanzanian experts to find ways of separating the elements so that we get pure iron ore which is fit for iron bar production. This will also reduce the cost of importing to our investors," Magufuli suggested.
The Kiluwa Steel Group located in Mlandizi area of Kibaha District in Coast Region has the capacity of producing 300,000 tonnes iron bars per year in the first phase.
In the second phase, the plant will produce an average of 1,200,000 tonnes of iron bars per year.
Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Lu Youqing congratulated the factory's launching, saying it will contribute to China-Tanzania cooperation.
The factory is linked with 3.5-km railway line from Tanzania Railway Ltd., at an advantageous point for the transport of raw materials and final products to the market.