Bosnia's Mittal Steel targets 2006 output of 630,000 tonnes

Author: Reuters, Sarajevo
Uploaded: Tuesday, 14 February, 2006

Mittal Steel Zenica plans to nearly double output

Bosnia's largest steel maker, Mittal Steel Zenica, aims to nearly double output this year to 630,000 tonnes from 340,000 in 2005, an official said on Monday [9 January 2006]. In 2004 output by the unit of Mittal Steel , the world's biggest steel maker, owned by Indian-born steel magnate Laksmi Mittal, was about 110,000 tonnes, development director Aziz Mujezinovic told Reuters.

He said the company had initially planned to produce 800,000 tonnes in 2005 but had to revise its plans as the trial of a new 100-tonne electric arc furnace installed that year took longer than expected. Its annual production capacity is 800,000 tonnes, he added.

Mittal Steel, which raised its stake in the Zenica plant to 92 percent from 51 percent for $98 million last month, plans to export 450,000 tonnes of products including forgings, bars and rods to the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the European Union.

Mujezinovic also said the new owner would invest some 100 million euros ($120.9 million) in 2006 to restart integral production which will enable total output of about 2 million tonnes of steel a year. That would expand the product portfolio with slabs and new long products and place the company among mid-sized steel makers, he said.

The former socialist-era giant, which collapsed during the Bosnian 1992-95 war, used to have an output of 1.8 million tonnes a year.

In 2004 Mittal Steel Company also acquired a majority stake in the Ljubija ore mines in northwestern Bosnia, which supply the Zenica plant with iron ore.


Reuters
9 January 2006

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