News in Brief from the October issue

Vietnam seeks partners

The Vietnam Steel Corporation is seeking strategic partners following its reorganisation as a joint venture.

Under the equitisation process, 29% of the firm would be offered to foreign strategic investors, leaving the State with a controlling interest of 65%, said General Director Le Phu Hung.

“Next month, we will learn more about interest from some major Japanese steelmakers, including Nipon Steel, JSE, Tokyo Steel, Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi and Marubeni-Itochu,” said Hung.

“We plan to complete our search for foreign strategic partners in the fourth quarter of next year.”

Vietnam Steel has already received feelers from Russian investors including Novolipetsk Steel Corporation and Evraz Group.

SMS secures order

Ziehwerk Plettenberg from Plettenberg, Germany, has placed an order with SMS Meer, Germany, for the supply of a bright steel centre.

Plettenberg produces bright steel in the diameter range from 8 to 80mm.

The new centre with the core components peeling machine and straightener is designed for a diameter range from 10 to 54mm.

Laiwu Steel profit down 27%

Laiwu Steel Co, a listed unit of Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd, posted RMB198M ($31.0M) net profit for the first half 2011. However, this was down 27.09% from the first half 2010.

Laiwu Steel produced 2.37Mt of iron and 3.33Mt of steel in the first half 2011. The steelmaker had earlier set its annual steel production target at 6.65Mt.

Revenue rose 21.14% to RMB22. 819bn ($3.57bn) for H1, while its full-year target is RMB40.6bn ($6.36bn). Source: China Metals e-mail

Distribution expansion

UK group Clugston Distribution Services, has invested in eight new curtain sided lorry trailers.

Four are 4.2m high, two are 4.5m high, with the remaining two being specialist ‘Euroliners’, introduced to support the company’s growing business in the steel sector.

The investment will also lead to eight new jobs being created.

The trailers compliment the specialist steel trailers operated by Clugston from its Scunthorpe and Driffield, UK distribution centres.