China’s Shandong province will cap total production of iron and steel at 50Mt a year by 2015, according to the recently-released pilot programme on restructuring of the iron and steel industrial in the province.

The pilot programme notes that the province will cut its annual iron and steel production by more than 10Mt during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015). It will also make efforts to improve the consolidation of its iron and steel industry and reduced the number of steelmakers from the existing 21 to five or six by 2015. Small and medium-sized steel mills are suggested to extend their production of high value added steel products.

Steel mills in the province should also strengthen R&D to develop high-end steel products, especially steels for off-shore engineering, ships, automobiles and other fields.

Shandong province will continue to support its steelmakers in buying iron mines overseas in a bid to develop a strong resource security system. Meanwhile, it will also develop local iron ore resources in a reasonable way and strengthen the strategic cooperation with overseas iron ores supplies to safeguard a stable supply of ore in the long term.

Large steel mills are suggested to target resources in such areas as Australia, South America and Africa by setting up joint ventures or buying stakes in mining companies. The pilot programme also points out that the province will build two or three iron ores supply bases overseas and the imported iron ores from the overseas bases will account for over 30% of the total to be imported by the province’s steel mills by 2015.

Source: China Metals e-mail