We started with a small rolling mill back in 1998. The capacity was 500,000 tonnes per year, and today Emirates Steel is capable of producing 3.5m tonnes a year. Today we can see that the requirements of the markets are not only commodities, not only steel for construction. It requires more sophisticated and developed products. We succeed in actually producing nuclear-grade rebar that can be used in nuclear power plants that we supply to Baraka, and we are very proud of this because we are one of very few companies in the world that actually is capable of producing such products.
We are proud to really establish grades that can be used in offshore grades for oil and gas. We developed sheet piles that are used in isolation applications. In wire rods, we are in value-added grades, where our products can go in cable armouring, for example, or welding electrodes and many other applications.
Our products are used in massive projects, for example, Burj Khalifa; in Egypt, the Suez Canal; in the United States, there were so many projects. Back in 2006 we were well established in the UAE. In 2008 our presence was well recognised in the GCC region. In May 2013 we sold our first shipments to the United States and Mexico. Today our products are available in more than 30 countries around the world.
The main project we can talk about here is our project with ADNOC and Masdar and our CO2-capturing project, which of course starts from Emirates Steel, capturing the C02 and then we give it to Al Reyadah, which is going to inject it in the oil wells to boost up oil production, and at the same time reserve the natural gas for other uses.
The project is meant to capture up to 800,000 tonnes of C02 in a year, and this is like planting 100,000 trees or taking 170,000 cars off the streets.
It is a challenging time now, but I think it is a cycle. We have confidence in our leaders, and I think this is very important. Our leaders are always on top of things and always motivating us.
We have over 500 UAE nationals in the company, and more than 300 are engineers and technicians. We have young UAE nationals who are leading plans here. I have a couple of UAE nationals who are around 30 years old, and they are leading plants. They are having international records under their names, and I think no matter what the circumstances are, the future will be very bright for the UAE.