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Reports: Lula, Chávez agree to build US$1.8bn steel plant

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez have agreed to build a US$1.8bn, 1.5Mt/y steel plant, international press reported. Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez and Venezuela's national steel company will build the plant over the next three years in the latter's Bolívar state, reports said. In May, the Venezuelan government signed a letter of intent with Andrade Gutierrez to build and launch a US$4bn steelmaker in Bolívar state, Venezuela's executive branch reported at the time. "Maybe it's the same project but with so many announcements from this government and no concrete action, we don't know what to think anymore," a sector executive told BNamericas. The executive branch had announced a 1.55Mt/y plant to complement Venezuelan steelmaker Sidor, which would churn out a variety of steel products that Sidor does not produce. Sidor has liquid steel capacity of 4.2Mt/y. Chávez announced his decision on April 9 to nationalize Sidor after collective contract negotiations collapsed between employees and Ternium (NYSE: TX), which controlled 59.7% of the company.

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