LNM, Tata Steel set to fight for Ukrainian iron

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Monday, 23 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: This seems to be a battle of first among equals. The world's second-largest steel group, the LNM group controlled by Lakshmi N Mittal, and the world's lowest-cost steel maker, Tata Steel, may be pitted against each other for control of Ukraine's Kryvy Rih iron ore deposits as well as its integrated process plants.

The LNM Group is projected to produce 42-43m tonnes of liquid steel in ‘04 against Arcelor’s ‘02 output of 44mt. Arcelor is the largest steel group in the world. Tata Steel has an annual production of just 4.5mt, a mere 10% of LNM’s output. The company is working on upgrading its capacity — to 7mt by ‘07 and 15mt by ‘10.

Top industry sources said that on the invitation from the Ukrainian president in January-end, LN Mittal agreed to look into a proposal for the development of the Kryvy Rih iron ore deposit and other areas of the Ukrainian metallurgical business.

Tata Steel has also shown interest in Kryvy Rih and is readying itself to bid for 54.8% in the holding company, Kryvorozhstal Kryvy Rih. Tata Steel officials said that the company is looking at Ukraine as a possible destination but did not want to identify any acquisition targets. Tata Steel is believed to be ready with a $1bn war chest for international acquisitions.

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