June 6, 2008 - Ansteel and Bekaert build plant in Chongqing

Ansteel, a leader in the Chinese steel industry and one of the top steel producers in the world, and Bekaert, global market and technological leader in advanced metal transformation and in advanced materials and coatings, decided to set up a 50/50 joint venture.

Following the announcement of May 26, 2008 on the Memorandum of Understanding outlining the terms for a strong cooperation between Ansteel and Bekaert, the joint venture is a first step in the realization of the strategic partnership.

Ansteel and Bekaert will invest a total of € 150 million in the construction of a new steel cord plant to be built in the Shuangqiao District within the Chongqing Municipality. This investment will, in line with market development, take place in phases. The first phase is scheduled to enter production in 2009 and involves a capital investment of € 40 million.  Both companies will sign the investment agreement with the Shuangqiao District Government in Chongqing on June 8, 2008.

According to Mr. Chen Ming, Director of the Strategic Development Department of Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corporation, this joint venture is an important step in Ansteel's strategic downstream integration plans since it will open up new markets for Ansteel in partnership with Bekaert, a world leader in advanced wire products.

Mr. Geert Roelens, Group Executive Vice President of Bekaert, adds: "with Ansteel being our partner in wire rod development and supply, as well as an industry leader with great knowledge of the local market, we are confident that this first tangible realization of our partnership agreement will be the start of an extensive and fruitful cooperation."  Mr. Roelens also states that this project well addresses the westward development objectives and actions of the Chinese Government and of the customers to whom Bekaert wants to continue to ensure nearby support.

Download joint press release to read more