Session (4): Supply Chain, Energy and Raw Materials

Saudi Arabia has long been touted as an excellent location for low-cost direct reduced iron-electric arc furnace-route steelmaking thanks to its plentiful gas reserves and low energy prices. The discovery of iron ore deposits in the west of the kingdom has also raised the prospect of Saudi steelmakers becoming self-sufficient in raw materials. However, increased gas costs and supply shortages have led to DRI production issues in recent years, while tight iron ore pellet availability globally, coupled with a graphite electrodes shortage, has increased raw materials sourcing costs. The steel industry is nevertheless at the forefront of new technological developments designed to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, which could be utilised in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s stepping up of exports in recent years since restrictions were eased presents new opportunities, but does domestic logistical infrastructure facilitate or hinder export competitiveness? Will Saudi make increased natural gas available for the steel industry? Are there technologies available to tackle gas shortages? Is more support for exports, including export financing, required? What are the prospects for Saudi establishing a captive iron ore supply? How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted regional supply chains and what measures can be taken to alleviate this? What has the impact of the global energy crunch been on MENA’s economies and its steel industry? The outbreak of war in Ukraine has further inflated global oil and gas prices, thereby exacerbating energy costs and restricting steel production in Europe. To what extent can hydrocarbon-rich Saudi Arabia exploit this opportunity for the benefit of its steel suppliers? Will disrupted supply of DR-grade pellet and HBI from Russia impact Saudi steelmaking costs? How is increasing investment in renewable energy and hydrogen as the future fuel of choice going to impact the steel industry? This session will aim to answer these questions, as well as looking at potential renewable energy investments and how they could benefit the steel industry.

Key Themes:

  1. Case study of China: development of steel sector despite lack of own raw materials base
  2. The prospect for energy reduction measures/technology in GCC steelmaking
  3. Outlook for electrodes, alloys, magnesium and other consumables
  4. Saudi renewable energy sector development and benefits for steel industry
  5. Saudi steel export progress/incentives and actions for competitive shipping costs – comparable to other ports in GCC – Bank of Exports development
  6. Allocation of natural gas at competitive energy prices for the GCC steel industry
  7. Process developments leading to energy conservation in steel industry
  8. Covid-19 supply chain disruptions impact on trade and resolution?
  9. Energy crunch impact on Saudi/MENA?
  10. How will Ukraine war impact Saudi steel mills’ energy competitiveness and raw materials sourcing?

(Order according to alphabetical sequence)

Dilip George

Group CEO​

Loay Mashabi

Deputy Minister of Logistics Services

Marcello Spinelli

Executive Vice President, Iron Ore

Onur Yigiter

Chief Executive Officer

Suliman Almazroua

Chief Executive Officer


Abdulaziz Al-Mogbil

Energy Observer