Brazilian Steel Maker Announces $9B Expansion

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA planning three 4.5-million-metric-ton slab plants over the next four years.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA plans to invest $9 billion over the next four years to expand production in Brazil, Chief Executive Benjamin Steinbruch told the Estado news agency on Tuesday.
 
The steelmaker, also known as CSN, plans to build a 4.5-million-metric-ton slab plant in northeastern Brazil, Steinbruch told the news agency, adding that the exact location of the new site has not yet been chosen.
 
The steelmaker also has plans to build two 4.5-million-metric-ton steel slab plants in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. The Rio de Janeiro plant will be built at Itaguai at a cost of $3.1 billion, and the Minas Gerais plant will be constructed near CSN's Casa de Pedra iron ore mine in Congonhas for $2.9 billion.
 
Production at the Itaguai slab plant is expected to start by September 2009. The Congonhas plant will start output about a year later.
 
Steinbruch said Chinese steel giant Baosteel would not be a partner in the Itaguai mill because it recently signed a deal with mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, or CVRD, to build a steel slab plant in Espirito Santo state.
 
''Our idea today is to move forward alone in our projects,'' Steinbruch told Estado.
 
Previously, Baosteel and CSN had negotiated a partnership, with Baosteel taking a 25 percent stake in the Itaguai project.
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