Brazilian Steel Sector Plans 29% Growth In Five Years

By BridgeNews The Brazilian steel industry has plans to expand annual production to 40 million tonnes during the next five years, 29% higher than the current level of 31 million tonnes, the Gazeta Mercantil publication reported Aug. 17. Most of the new output will be aimed at the export market, which saw 57% of Brazilian production in 1992 and only 39% in 1999. Export sales, which totaled US$3 billion in 1999, are concentrated in steels with low aggregated value, however the sector expects four projects to be set up by major players to change this. The most well-known of these projects is a plan by local giant Companhia Sidurgica National (CSN) to build a new plant in Itaguai, Rio de Janeiro state. The company is expected to announce details probably later this month. In a separate effort, by the end of 2000 Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao (CST) will present plans to produce a furnace with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes. Other local players with expansion projects on the drawing board include Acominas, which hopes to increase output by 2 million tonnes per year, and Cosipa, which has already started setting up new units and eventually will expand output by 1.5 million tonnes.

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