Chinese company shows interest in steel mill in Punjab

LAHORE: Ansteel International Trading Company, a Chinese company, expressed keen interest in establishing a steel mill in Punjab during a high-level meeting here at Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Wednesday.
One of China’s leading steel and titanium manufacturers, the Ansteel International Trading Company’s 10-member delegation discussed the future of steelmaking and manufacturing in the region with big-wigs of the PBIT.
Ansteel International has various steel related operations in different countries including Australia, Spain and Italy. They are now interested in opening a steel mill in the Punjab region of Pakistan and hope to do this soon.
Discussions were held regarding the possibility of investment by the company into the steel industry of Punjab and the Chinese delegates were interested in the already developed sites of Chiniot and Kalabagh to setup a steel mill of one million tons capacity because of their vast deposits of iron ore and coal.
The meeting; which was attended by the Minister for Mines & Minerals and Minister for Industries along with PBIT Chairman Abdul Basit and CEO Amena Cheema, was used as headway to further enhance Pakistan-China relations.
Ansteel International was reassured of the safety and security of their investment and workforce, and that the PBIT and other concerned bodies would do everything possible to ensure the success of their investment.
The Punjab government and PBIT in particular would act as facilitator for the company and ensure that all bumps in the investment process are appropriately handled.
The company was promised easy access to raw materials such as water and certain minerals like limestone and coal as well as a steady and reliable supply of laborers and skilled workers that would be trained according to Ansteel’s requirements.
The company would also be given a 30-year lease in a mineral rich area with an easy option to keep extending the lease in 10-year installments. The government would also develop road and rail networks for the company, if needed for easy accessibility and transportation.
According to PBIT, this would be a great project if it comes to fruition. The project would involve the development of rural areas and provide jobs for thousands of locals and in general improve the standard of living. The company would also be required to build a power plant that would provide energy to the mill and the surrounding areas as well. APP