January 30, 2008 / 12:44 PM / 12 years ago

ArcelorMittal aims for full steel output in Bosnia 2008

SARAJEVO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Bosnia’s largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal Zenica said on Wednesday it hopes to resume full production this year and achieve its prewar output level of two million tonnes annually.

The unit of ArcelorMittal ISPA.AS, the world’s biggest steel maker, produced 570,000 tonnes of finished products and 533,000 tonnes of liquid steel in 2007, some 5.0 percent and 8.0 percent up respectively from 2006, it said in a statement.

The company, in which ArcelorMittal has a 92 percent stake, has an annual production capacity of 800,000 tonnes following the installation of a 100-tonne electric arc furnace.

Its exports fell by 5.0 percent to 360,000 tonnes of finished goods in 2007, the company said, adding that exports amounted to a total of 363 million Bosnian marka ($274 million).

Zenica exports forgings, bars and rods to the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the European Union.

The former socialist-era giant produced some 1.8 million tonnes a year of steel and products before it collapsed during the Bosnian 1992-95 war.

Last year the company launched a project to restart integral production and expand its portfolio with slabs and new long products so as to gain a place among mid-sized European steel makers.

“Works on the project are in full swing and on schedule,” it said.

ArcelorMittal also owns the majority stake in the Ljubija ore mines in northwestern Bosnia, which supply the Zenica plant with iron ore. (Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Ellie Tzortzi and Peter Blackburn)

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