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$109m loan for Lao Cai iron, steel factory

Update: June, 14/2011 - 09:28

HA NOI — VietinBank will grant the Viet Nam-China Mineral Resources and Metallurgy Co a loan worth over VND2.24 trillion (US$109 million) to develop a cast iron and steel factory in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, pursuant to a contract inked yesterday between the two sides in Ha Noi.

The first phase will see the factory hit an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes of steel ingots by the end of next year, and after the second phrase from 2012-15, that will rise to 1 million tonnes.

The $307 million factory will use iron ore from the local Quy Xa mine, Viet Nam's second largest iron ore mine with a reserve of 122 million tonnes.

Once operational, it is expected to contribute VND700 billion ($34 million) to the provincial budget each year while creating thousands of local jobs.

Five new steel plants would open this year, according to the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA). The new plants would have a combined annual production capacity of up to 1.7 million tonnes of construction steel and around 250,000 tonnes of pig iron.

The opening of the new plants in Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Da Nang would also remove the reliance on imports, according to the association. —VNS

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