Most prominent steel producers in southern Turkey, which halted production after significant earthquakes that hit the region a month ago, have gradually resumed their activities.
“All but one of the ten steel mills in the towns of Iskenderun and Osmaniye, which make up a third of Turkey’s steel production capacity, have resumed operations”, said Veysel Yayan, Secretary General of the Steel Producers Association of Turkey.
“The largest factory in the region, Iskenderun Demir Celik, is likely to start operating this weekend”, he added in a phone call.
“By mid-March, they will all be operational, as we expected when the earthquakes hit the region”, Yayan said.
According to Yayan, the twin earthquakes on February 6, which killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria, did not cause any damage to the steel production lines. However, the factories were closed due to the impact on employees.
Turkey is among the world’s top 10 steel producers and exporters and is likely to see a surge in domestic demand as rebuilding efforts progress after the deadliest turmoil in nearly a century.
Steelmakers have already ramped up production to make up for the loss from the quake-hit region, which is likely to push capacity utilization rates to nearly 70 per cent in Turkey this year from 63.7 per cent in 2022, according to the Steel Producers Association.
“I think the national steel production in March will be more than half of the same month last year, and April production will be the highest year on year,” Yayan said.