POSCO-HBIS Group JV kicks off construction in China

The logo of POSCO is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

BEIJING, Jan 7 (Reuters) - An auto sheet joint venture between Chinese steel producer HBIS Group and South Korea's POSCO (005490.KS) with an investment of 4.125 billion yuan ($647 million) started construction in China's steel hub Hebei on Friday.

The venture, split equally between the two steel giants, involves two production lines in the northern Hebei province and an existing line in Guangdong, according to a statement by HBIS Group.

Steel plates produced at the plant will be supplied to major automakers including Toyota (7203.T), Honda (7267.T), Nissan , Hyundai (005380.KS), BMW, Volkswagen and others, the statement said.

China, the world's top steel producer, is also the biggest auto maker and consumer.

Total capacity is expected to reach 1.35 million tonnes every year when the project is put into production in 2023, HBIS said. The two companies had reached an agreement on the investment value last June. read more

"After the project is completed, it will become the largest single-scale high-end auto sheet supplier in China," HBIS Chairman Yu Yong said.

($1 = 6.3778 yuan)

Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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