Angang sets August target for its new steel plant

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2003, 12:00am

Angang New Steel hopes to complete its joint-venture galvanised-steel plant with Thyssen-Krupp of Germany by August, after abandoning its original June target.

Angang chairman Liu Jie said the H-share company had received a test order from First Auto Works, in Liaoning province, for 600 tonnes of galvanised steel sheets for its Red Flag limousines and its joint venture with Volkswagen.

When completed, the US$60 million 50:50 joint-venture plant will have a production capacity of 400,000 tonnes a year.

Speaking after the company's results announcement, Mr Liu said he expected steel demand to remain brisk this year as Beijing continued to issue national bonds to stimulate domestic demand and build a wide range of infrastructure projects.

'Of course, China's anti-dumping measures will also have an impact,' he said.

State-controlled Angang said it expected its iron and steel products to come under pressure after a sharp rise in sales in the past 12 months, while competition from private enterprises would intensify.

The price of its biggest revenue generator, cold-rolled sheets, rose to 3,746 yuan (about HK$3,508) in the first two months of this year from last year's average of 2,882 yuan. The average price of its thick plates rose to 2,556 yuan a tonne from 2,183 yuan. Large steel products fell to 2,560 yuan a tonne from 2,902 yuan.

Mr Liu played down competition from the private sector in the short term, saying: 'We are still way more technologically capable than these firms.'