The President of the Republic unknotted the protocol ribbon, together with Máximo Vedoya, Héctor Obeso and Sebastián Castro, as a symbol of the entry into operation of the most modern and eco-efficient industrial center in the country.
The President of the Republic of Colombia untied the protocol ribbon, flanked by Máximo Vedoya, Héctor Obeso and Sebastián Castro, as a symbol of the entry into operation of the most modern and eco-efficient industrial center in the country.
"My main motivation here is to talk about the vision of a country that values, desires and drives private initiative," said President Ivan Duque Marquez, at the inauguration ceremony for the Ternium industrial complex in Palmar de Varela, held virtually on February 18 in the department of Atlántico, an event followed by 1,200 people online.
"This plant is a new step forward in the industrial development of the Techint organization in Colombia, a country where we have been present for more than 40 years," said Paolo Rocca, the president of the Techint Group, in a video message. He added that caring for the environment, social investment and technology are the main lines of action pursued.
The new production center, representing an investment of over 270 billion pesos, has an annual production capacity of 520 thousand tons of steel rebars and compact rolls. Added to the 220 thousand tons that Ternium currently produces, this will allow the company to triple its capacity to 740 thousand tons per year, positioning it as the largest steel producer in Colombia.
In his speech at the ceremony, Máximo Vedoya, CEO of Ternium, said that: "We share with the government the conviction that Colombia has the conditions to develop a solid industrial fabric able to create jobs, and a robust value chain that contributes to sustained long-term growth."
“This is one of the reasons why we decided to invest in this project, as well as to contribute to the supply of strategic steel products for the country. The pandemic has shown us the importance of being able to guarantee the continued operation of sectors as critical as construction and infrastructure,” Vedoya continued.
The new industrial center is an essential factor for the reactivation of the country's economy. In addition to driving the industry and the national economy, it is fostering value in its neighboring communities. During the construction phase, some 1,000 job opportunities were created, which involved the participation of 110 women, a major achievement considering that these tasks have historically been the purview of their male peers.
"With entrepreneurship, we can build equity, and we are seeing it right here,” said President Duque during his speech. “A multimillion-dollar investment creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs, which opens up possibilities for women, and also means transforming the quality of life of the community in Palmar de Varela. This factory represents 30% of the steel rebar production in Colombia. Born in the midst of the pandemic, this achievement is a testament to the resilience and productive capacity of our country, and that is the industrial and transformative Colombia that we seek.”
With the increase in its capacity, Ternium will produce a third of the steel that Colombia needs to meet demand from sectors such as construction and infrastructure. This volume complements the steel sector’s current capabilities, allowing it to cover 100% of the amount of material required to carry out infrastructure works, such as the Bogotá Metro, 4G and 5G routes, as well as housing projects. This is part of the company’s underlying purpose, to provide Colombia with self-sustainability in steel production, using Colombian technology and labor.
“We are bringing this plant to life today, at the same time as we are beginning our vaccination process. This is a sign that in Colombia, we are looking at the future with a vision of progress,” concluded Duque.
With its operations, Ternium will create around 300 quality jobs and, in alliance with SENA, the company has provided the nearby community with technical training for more than 590 people, preparing them for the various opportunities which this new industrial center brings to the region.
The event was attended by Hector Obeso, president of Ternium International; Sebastián Castro, president of Ternium Colombia, some of the plant personnel, and members of the delegation of the President of Colombia.