Home » Kenyan tycoon Narendra Raval’s Devki Group opens $240-million steel factory

Kenyan tycoon Narendra Raval’s Devki Group opens $240-million steel factory

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Narendra Raval

Devki Group, a multi-product steel manufacturing corporation run by Kenyan multimillionaire industrialist Narendra Raval, has opened a steel production unit in Kwale County as part of the group’s ambitions to provide cheaper industrial steel to local industries.

The mill, which has the capacity to produce 500,000 metric tonnes of steel, will create 2,500 jobs, 60 percent of which will be direct jobs, and assist Kenya in avoiding the importation of industrial steel products for the production of billets, wire rods, and TMT bars.

According to Narendra Raval, Chairman of the Devki Group, the factory, which is one of the largest in Africa and the region’s first raw steel production plant to use locally produced iron ore, is a game changer for East African nations that have been net importers of raw steel.

“The engineering work was a little difficult,” Raval said. “Funding was also a difficulty; it cost me Ksh30 billion ($240 million), which is Africa’s largest single steel investment in two decades.”

“It took us three and a half years to complete the project,” he said, adding that the facility has been active on a trial basis for the past two months and is scheduled to be fully operational by March of next year.

Raval explained that Kenyan steel companies rely on industrial steel product imports, primarily from South Africa and China, but the new steel mill will employ locally produced iron ore and provide Kenya steel product producers with cheaper access to industrial raw steel.

Devki Steel Mills is a multi-product steel manufacturing business of the Devki Group, a privately held manufacturing conglomerate specializing in the production of building materials such as cement, aluminum, and steel.

Raval, who was estimated to have a net worth of $400 million in 2015, founded Devki Group with his wife in Nairobi in 1986 as a small steel-processing and trade company, eventually growing it to become the largest building material and steel product manufacturer in East and Central Africa. He controls the majority of the company.

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