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Posco builds giant steel mill in Vietnam

Posco builds giant steel mill in Vietnam

Hanoi: POSCO Co. Ltd, the world's fourth-largest steel maker, said on Wednesday that it has started a $1.13 billion steel plant project in Vietnam. Under the plan, POSCO will build a cold-rolled steel plant with an annual output capacity of 1.2 million tonnes and a hot-rolled plant, which can produce 3 million tonnes annually by 2012.

POSCO had a ground-breaking ceremony for the cold-rolled plant in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Wednesday, which would be the country's largest foreign direct investment project, the steel maker said in a statement.

POSCO plans to start building a hot-rolled steel plant after completing the cold-rolled plant by 2009. The products will go to the Vietnamese market and other Southeast Asian countries.

Vietnam produced 1.22 million tonnes of cold-rolled steel in 2005, while the country's demand for the steel is likely to rise to 2.54 million tonnes by 2015, according to Vietnam Steel Corp.

In 2005, Southeast Asia imported 32 million tonnes of steel and its demand for steel has increased 12.3 percent annually on average for the past seven years.

POSCO has been looking for an opportunity to enter Vietnam as a gateway to the Southeast Asian market.

POSCO has also considered building an integrated steel mill in Vietnam.  [02/08/07]