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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Acerinox picks Malaysia for first Asian plant

The RM5bil facility is Johor's largest foreign investment

JOHOR BARU: Spanish steel company Acerinox S.A. is investing RM5bil in its new production plant in Tanjung Langsat near Pasir Gudang.

The Johor plant will be the company's first plant in Asia. Its existing plants - all developed with partner Nisshin Steel of Japan - are in Spain, South Africa and the US.

Acerinox's investment is the single largest foreign direct investment (FDI) to be secured by Johor to date.

The integrated plant, on a 140ha site, will be developed in phases. When fully ready in 12 years, it will have the capacity to produce one million tonnes of stainless steel, including 600,000 tonnes of cold-rolled steel sheets, annually.

“This is a major success for Johor to continue to position itself as the premier destination for capital-intensive high-technology industries in Malaysia,” Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said in a statement yesterday.

Since 2005, maintained its position as the most popular destination for FDIs in Malaysia, he said. The state attracted RM9.24bil in FDIs last year.

Under phase one, the partners will spend RM1bil to build a 240,000-tonne-per-year production line of which 182,000 tonnes will be cold-rolled steel.

The line, which will come on stream in 2011, will include a cold-rolling mill, a combined annealing and picking facility, a skinpass and a finishing shop.

Ghani said Aceronix and Nisshin Steel picked Johor because of its strategic location and excellent connectivity to potential markets within Asean as well as Australia and India.

Once completed, the Malaysian plant - together with the existing three facilities - will boost the group’s installed capacity to 4.5 million tonnes per year.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

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