Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corp (Ansteel) and Belgium-based Bekaert have opened a 1.5 billion yuan production plant for steel cord products in Chongqing, Southwestern China, to meet the rising demand for steel cord products used for tire reinforcement.
The plant, a 50-50 joint venture between the Chinese steel maker and the global leader in advanced metal transformation, materials and coatings, is expected to have an annual production capacity of 100,000 ton.
"Chongqing is rapidly transforming into a new automobile metropolis. With the joint venture plant, Ansteel and Bekaert are responding to the rising local demand for steel cord products for tire reinforcement," said Baron Paul Buysse, chairman, Bekaert.
The plant currently employs 130 people and the headcount is likely to touch 1,500 by the end of the year.
According to Chongqing Economic Commission, the total vehicle production in Chongqing reached 1 million last year, and the number is expected to double to 2 million over five years.
In addition, 1.5 out of the 2 million vehicles will be locally manufactured in Chongqing, and at least 25 million tires are needed every year. The new joint venture will help local car manufacturers reduce procurement time and costs.
(China Daily April 10, 2009)