Four news in briefs from the steel industry

Power cuts in China reduce production

China’s central government’s action to lower the growth in electricity consumption to meet the target of the 11th Five-Year Plan caused a number of steel producers to temporarily lower or stop production.

Ningbo Steel, for example, had to shut one of its two 2500m3 blast furnaces for about three months. In Hebei Province, China’s largest steel producing province, many mills in Wu’an Prefecture reported closures of blast furnaces, converters and rolling mills for 20 to 30 days. Many mills in Tangshan Prefecture said they expected to be required to make around a 30% power cut.

Source: China Metals e-mail

China’s mills see margins fall in July

Falling steel prices and high raw material costs saw the profits made by China’s largest steelworks’ squeezed in July. According to CISA, the 77 steel producers came up with combined profits of RMB 2860M ($427.3M) in July, down 54.2% over the previous month, and output was the lowest since the last quarter of 2009.

28 companies were in the red in July, 14 more than in June, which shows deteriorating conditions. But their stock levels experienced some lowering, which indicates the results of their destocking efforts.

Source: China Metals e-mail

Shougang to build a greenfield steelworks in Tonghua

Shougang recently signed an agreement with Tonghua Steel to build a 2.7Mt/y greenfield steelworks in the Tonghua Economic Develop Area.

The project is believed to be a renovation and upgrading project for Tonghua Steel, which was recently taken over by Shougang.

According to Shougang, the project involves building a 180m2 sintering line, a 1.2Mt/y ore pelletising line, a 3200m3 blast furnace, two 120t converters, one 1Mt/y heavy section mill and one 480kt/y light section mill. The project, with designed investment of about RMB10bn ($1.5bn), is expected to be on stream in 2015.

Source: China Metals e-mail

Sinosteel to build Silicon Steel line

Sinosteel, one of China’s largest steel trading companies, plans to build a 160kt/y non-oriented silicon steel mill in Shaoyang City, Hunan Province. The project, with a designed investment of RMB500M ($75M), is expected to go on stream in late 2011.

Source: China Metals e-mail