The director of the concrete columns factory in Homs, Engineer Bassam Youssef, informed Athr Press that the factory, the sole one in Syria, has halted production due to the unavailability of high-stress iron required for column manufacturing. Securing this imported material has proven difficult, with no viable alternative for local production within Syria.
Youssef emphasized that the factory’s production line is outdated and requires either complete replacement or extensive refurbishment. He further highlighted a shortage of workers in the factory.
Youssef elaborated that there are ongoing studies to revive the plant, either through replacing the production line or forming a partnership with the private sector in accordance with governing regulations and laws. He mentioned that there is a current offer from an external company to operate the plant, which is currently under evaluation.
The director of the concrete columns factory stated that, with the availability of iron, the plant can operate at 10% of its production capacity, estimated to be around 50 columns per month. He explained that during its peak, the factory used to produce approximately 1,000 columns per month, but production declined in the years leading up to its cessation in 2021, reaching only 300 columns.
Youssef indicated that preparations are underway to announce a tender for the import of iron, following an unsuccessful attempt due to the absence of bids from traders. He mentioned an ongoing study with al-Baath University to explore the possibility of replacing imported iron with domestically produced iron. If successful, this project would greatly benefit the factory and mark a significant milestone in its operations. Youssef added that the laboratory requires experiments, but only for a short period.
The director of the concrete columns factory in Homs also expressed concern about a severe shortage of workers. A request has been submitted to the institution to allocate workers from the surplus workforce of Homs Electricity Company or the middle employment department. However, only seven workers were recently appointed through a central competition for electricity, which remains insufficient. There is also a shortage of drivers, accountants, administrators, technicians, and guards. At present, the factory employs a total of 45 workers, including technicians and administrators.
It is worth noting that the concrete columns factory in Homs was established in 1980 and is currently the sole producer of concrete columns in Syria, following the closure of the Deir-ez-Zor factory.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.