Ambassadors of two European countries and America have lauded Arcelor Mittal Liberia for its investment in the country. A press release issued this week said.
"The United States ambassador to Liberia, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Liberia, and the French Ambassador recently visited ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) to learn about the existing operations, discuss the Company's plans for the future and review its readiness to recommence construction," the statement said.
U.S. Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy, E.U. Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, and French Ambassador Michaël Roux toured the AML mine, rail and port operations and visited the Vocational Training Center (VTC) in Yekepa. The guests also held a meeting with AML's senior management headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Scott Lowe.
Briefing the Ambassadors, CEO Lowe said it was a great honor to have them visit AML and reaffirmed the company's strong commitment to Liberia.
CEO sets out the vision for the future
The CEO, said the company has exciting expansion plans for the future in Liberia that will benefit all stakeholders, adding AML is strategically aligned to and supporting the Government's Pro-poor Agenda and working closely with Government representatives.
The statement said, CEO Lowe told the diplomats that AML was planning to make a bold step into the future with the resumption of its expansion project known as Phase II at an additional cost of approximately $800m, taking AML's total investment in Liberia to over $2.5Bn. The AML expansion will triple production from 5mtpa of direct shipment ore (DSO) to 15mtpa of high-value concentrate product with plans for further growth in the future.
Mr Lowe added that the project represents major economic and social benefits for the government and people of Liberia in jobs, revenue, and social development.
The current model of operations will be transformed with the introduction of expanded mining, state-of-the-art processing technology, and upgrades to rail and port infrastructure. Importantly, the project will also involve developing the skills of Liberians and expanding the life of the mine for up to thirty years.
Lowe said: "ArcelorMittal Liberia has been in Liberia since 2006, and we are in this for the long haul. We intend to be a part of Liberia's long term future, delivering growth for the benefit of the country, community, employees, and shareholders."
Ambassadors provide feedback
U.S. Ambassador McCarthy described the ArcelorMittal Liberia investment as a "hope for the future of Liberia" and encouraged the company and staff to continue the good work.
He said the AML VTC is exactly what Liberia needs, noting that the company has put the future in the people's hands, and they [the youth] need to take it from there.
The French Ambassador Michaël Roux shared similar views about the impact of AML's business and also highlighted the role of TVET in Liberia's economic development.
Head of E.U. Delegation in Liberia Ambassador Delahousse spoke of the importance of Public-Private partnership, and hoped that other companies in Liberia or from abroad will come, invest, create jobs and give a future to all young Liberians.
The recent visit of the three diplomats followed earlier high-level visits by other members of the diplomatic corps and most recently, H.E. President George M. Weah to the AML Concession, something CEO Scott Lowe said is an indication of the strong partnership between AML, the government, the international community and people of Liberia.