The East Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation achieved one of its most coveted goals when it established the first steel mill of Pakistan at Chittagong. This achievement is an important milestone in the story of. Pakistan’s onward march to the goal of self-sustained economic growth. The Mill was formally inaugurated by the President of Pakistan on August 24, 1967 and since then it has been producing various types of iron and steel materials. To commemorate this important achievement the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of 15 paisa denomination on the 7th January, 1969.
The importance of setting up a Steel Mill, a basic industry to meet the requirements of many other industries, engaged the attention of planners in the Government soon after the establish-ment of Pakistan. The project was conceived of in the First Five-Year Plan. It was, however, taken up for implementation in the public sector during the Second Five-Year Plan period.
The scheme on Chittagong Steel Mill, originally named Iron & Steel Works, was approved by the Government in April, 1963. With concerted efforts, the construction of factory buildings and erection of machinery were completed in 1966 and first batch of ingot was tapped on 1st February, 1967 after trial runs. The total investment in the Mill is 335.7 million of which 171.1 million was in foreign currency. The recurring foreign exchange requirement of the Mill is estimated to be Rs. 79.1 million annually.
When in full production the Mill will be able to produce1,50,000 tons of ingot steel. And the ingot steel will, be finished into such items as are presently most in demand as indicated below:
Bar and Shape: 43,000 to 45,000 tons
Black Plain: 4,000 tons
Galvanised Plain: 6,000 tons
Galvanised Corrugated: 40,000 tons.
Plates: 15,000 tons
Total: 1,08,000 to 1,10,000 tons
It will save Rs. 2.8 crores annually in foreign exchange at its existing capacity. By 1970 when the expansion which has been taken in hand will be completed, it will turn out another 100,000 tons of ingot steel raising the capacity of the Steel Mill to 250,000 tons of ingot steel per year. The foreign exchange saving by 1970 will be about Rs. 4.75 crores per annum.
In order to make the Mill more economic with diversification of finished products, expansion of Mill has been envisaged to increase the capacity to 250,000 tons of ingot steel. The ex-pansion scheme has been approved by EC of NEC on 14-9-66 and contracts for supply of plant and machinery has since been signed. The expansion work of the Mill is going on in full swing and when completed it is expected to yield the following additional finished products and thus the ‘Steel Mill will meet about 35% of the demand of the province
Bar and Shape:15,000 tons/year
Plate: 47,000 tons/year
Feasibility study to set up another Steel Mill plant for pro-duction of 500,000 tons of ingot steel on imported iron ore has been made. Work on the project is expected to commence during the Third Plan period.