China’s MCC interested to revive steel mill

Company chairman met PM Khan to discuss cooperation and prospects of joint ventures


October 06, 2021
Govt aims to revive PSM operations with help of foreign investors to meet growing local demand for steel. PHOTO: FILE

BEIJING:

Three Chinese companies including Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) have shown interest in reviving Pakistan’s largest steel manufacturing complex – Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

By promoting the local economy and helping to improve social welfare, MCC is dedicated to become a model business with respect to boosting economic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

As a state-owned company in the iron and steel industry, MCC was one of the earliest Chinese enterprises to operate businesses and projects in Pakistan. In 1990, MCC managed the construction of Saindak Copper-Gold Mine based on an engineering, procurement and construction contract. Saindak Copper-Gold Mine made a steady profit for 18 consecutive years and became a major driver of the local economy. It was praised by the governments on both sides of the border and they termed it a model of China-Pakistan economic cooperation.

MCC Chairman Guo Wenqing met Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss cooperation and prospects of joint ventures in energy, industries and various other sectors.

Sources in the Privatisation Commission of Pakistan said earlier that the government was expecting at least $1 billion in foreign investment by the end of the year to revive Pakistan Steel Mills.

Investors from Russia are also showing interest in running the huge industrial facility as part of a consortium.

PSM six-month liability stands at Rs67.1b, Senate told

Pakistan Steel Mills has the capacity to expand and produce 3 million tons of cold and hot-rolled steel annually. There is a plan to create a subsidiary, Steel Corp Limited, in the premises of Pakistan Steel Mills in a bid to offer the mammoth industrial unit to foreign investors.

Instead of selling or privatising the mill, the government aims to revive the operation and production of the unit with the help of foreign investors to meet the growing local demand for steel.

Pakistan’s annual steel demand stands at about 8 million tons whereas local production fluctuates in the range of 3-4 million tons. The country fills the gap by importing steel and iron from Japan and other countries.

Last year, six Russian firms including the Metprom Group, four Ukrainian entities including Ukrainian National Foreign Economic Corporation, one American firm and three Pakistani companies also expressed interest in running the facility.

This article originally appeared on the China Economic Net

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2021.

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