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Tata Steel eyes limestone import from Vietnam

Press Trust Of India  |  Kolkata 

Tata Steel, which recently lost a bid to acquire Vietnam's Vinausteel and SSE Steel, is exploring the possibilities of importing limestone from that country for its steel plants.
"We are looking at the possibilities of importing quality limestone from Vietnam, which will help bring down the freight cost of the raw material as the country is close to India," a Tata group official said here today.
The official, however, said the proposal was at an initial stage and no decision had been taken.
Currently, imports limestone, which is used in the steel-making process, from West Asia.
The company is also looking at acquiring iron ore and coal mines overseas to feed its growing demand for raw materials to expand its steel-making capacity. has limestone mines in Madhya Pradesh.
Tata Steel's Singapore subsidiary, NatSteel, which had bid to acquire 100 per cent in SSE Steel and 70 per cent in Vinausteel, lost to Prudential Vietnam Securities Investment Fund Management Company.
SSE Steel has a capacity of 250,000 tonnes of bar and wire rods and Vinausteel produces 180,000 tonnes of reinforcing bars.
Earlier, Tata Steel, Asia's first integrated private sector steel company and the world's sixth largest, had signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam Steel Corporation (VSC), the biggest steel company in Vietnam, for a proposed steel complex with an estimated capacity of 4.5 million tonnes a year.
The MoU was signed between VSC President Dau Van Hung and MD B Muthuraman in Hanoi on May 29.
already has a joint venture with VSC in rolling mills through Natsteel.
The private steel company, with the objective of strengthening this relationship, is partnering with VSC in establishing a steel complex in Ha Tinh province, which will be phased over 10 years.
The project will take the growth of the Vietnam's steel industry to a higher trajectory and bring in significant economic impact in terms of optimisation of local resources, creation of employment, development of technology and earning of foreign exchange.
Tata Steel, in cooperation with VSC, will undertake a feasibility study for the steel project.

On the successful completion of the study and the financial closure, will have a stake of minimum 65 per cent and VSC will have a stake of 35 per cent in the steel complex.

Moreover, will also have a stake of 30 per cent in Thach Khe Iron Ore Joint Stock Company, which will undertake mining in the Thach Khe iron ore mine.

First Published: Thu, July 05 2007. 00:00 IST