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Sulb agrees loan deal for steel plant in Bahrain

United Steel Company (Sulb) has agreed a US$373 million loan deal with BNP Paribas and Societe Generale for the construction of a steel production complex in the Hidd industrial region in Bahrain

?We?re especially pleased to have concluded this agreement in light of the current economic and political environment in the region and globally,? said Sulb chairman and managing director Khalid Al Qadeeri.

The loan will enable Sulb to complete the construction of the plant within Foulath?s existing 1.3 million sqm steel production complex.

It will comprise a direct reduction iron ore (DRI) plant with a nameplate capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year (MTPY) and design capacity of 1.8 mtpy, a melt shop with a capacity of 800,000 tpy and design capacity of 1.2 million tpy, and a heavy section rolling mill with nameplate capacity of 600,000 tpy and design capacity of 1 million typ that will produce medium to large H-beams.

Construction has already begun and is expected to be completed by 2014. It is being built by two global consortiums, the first being Japanese firm Kobelco and US-based Midrex and the second being Germany?s SMS Meer and SMS Concast and Samsung.

Once fully operational the plant is expected to replace around 14 per cent of current imports of medium and heavy steel sections from regional markets.

Sulb is a joint venture between Bahrain-based Foulath (51 per cent) and Japanese steelmaker Yamato Koygo (49 per cent).