ASTANA (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, plans to invest nearly $900 million by 2015 to upgrade its Temirtau plant in Kazakhstan, a company official said on Tuesday.
Viktor Adyakin, senior production director for ArcelorMittal Temirtau, said the investment would include installation of a continuous billet caster with annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes.
This would equip the plant’s rolling mills with sufficient product to supply Kazakhstan’s entire domestic demand for long products used mainly in the construction sector, Adyakin said.
ArcelorMittal operates what was once among the Soviet Union’s largest steel plants in the central Kazakh city of Temirtau. The plant, surrounded by coal and iron ore reserves, has annual capacity to produce 6 million tonnes of crude steel.
Crude steel production is expected to rise by 20 percent to 4 million tonnes this year, while output of finished products is forecast to increase by 15 percent to 3.5 million tonnes, the company said in February.
ArcelorMittal plans to run the Temirtau plant at full capacity by 2015 after completion of a modernisation programme that also includes an upgrade to its No. 2 blast furnace.
The company said in February it planned to invest more than $500 million in 2011 alone.
Global crude steel production touched a new record in 2010, rising 15 percent from the previous year, driven by growth in emerging markets and improving manufacturing in the developed world, data from the World Steel Association shows.
(Writing by Robin Paxton; Editing by Alison Birrane)