Last year marked the golden jubilee of the country’s leading manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of steel roofing products to Tanzania’s construction industry. Established in 1960, Aluminium Africa Limited – ALAF – pioneered steel roofing products here and was the first company to set up a totally integrated state-of-the-art production facility.
Based in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, ALAF operates through its four divisions – Steelco, Galco, Pipeco and Aluco. In 2009, ALAF became the first company in Tanzania to issue an unsecured bond listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE). “We have neither guaranteed nor offered any security on bonds and we have raised Tsh 15 billion ($10.5 million) on the DSE,” says Sharad N. Salgar, chief executive of ALAF Ltd.
In 1997 ALAF produced and sold approximately 15,000 tons of steel and aluminum. In 2009 this figure had risen to 51,500 tons, of which only 7% to 8% was exported. However, in December 2009 ALAF invested $35 million in a new galvalume line, called Zincal. Using technology provided by Bluescope U.S.A., a long lasting combination of zinc and aluminum is coated onto the steel instead of a traditional zinc layer. ALAF is only the second company in Africa to adopt this process. The move has added 70,000 tons to ALAF’s capacity and new opportunities beckon in neighboring landlocked countries.