Nippon Steel to invest in India and Thailand

Nippon Steel and ArcelorMittal have turned their attention to India and Thailand amid weakening demand in Japan and the energy crisis in Europe.

The ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India joint venture (AM/NS India) has announced two new initiatives to expand operations in India: New construction and capacity expansion of upstream and hot-rolling facilities at the Hazira integrated steel mill in Gujarat. The purchase of port, electric power, and other assets from the Essar Group, an Indian conglomerate.

Expansion in India offsets ArcelorMittal’s troubles in Europe, where it plans to shut down a blast furnace in Bremen and a plant in Hamburg due to high energy prices and weak demand.

It also offers a significant growth opportunity for Nippon Steel, which faces a shrinking domestic market. Steel production in Japan has been on a downtrend since 2014.

The new facilities to be built at the Hazira mill include: two blast furnaces, two sintering facilities, and three coke furnaces for ironmaking; three basic oxygen furnaces and two continuous casting machines for steelmaking; and one hot strip mill.

Infrastructure assets to be acquired from Essar, at a cost of approximately USD 2.4bn (Rs 200bn), include: port facilities in Gujarat, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh and; power generation and transmission facilities serving the Hazira mill.

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