Steelmakers HBIS, POSCO to invest $600 mln in China auto plates venture

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

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SEOUL, June 25 (Reuters) - Steelmakers HBIS Group of China and South Korea's POSCO (005490.KS) have agreed to invest $600 million to set up a joint venture for the production and sale of automotive steel plates in China, POSCO said on Friday.

With this, POSCO seeks to establish a stable supply chain for automotive steel plates in China, the world's No. 1 auto-producing nation, the Korean steelmaker said.

The steelmakers will each invest $300 million and take a 50% stake in the joint venture, which plans to start construction of a steel plate plant in Tangshan - the heart of China's steel industry - in January next year, POSCO said. The 900,000-ton capacity plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The joint venture will also incorporate the existing Guangdong CGL - a 450,000-ton capacity automotive steel plate maker currently operated by POSCO - as its subsidiary, bringing the venture's total production capacity to 1.35 million tonnes, with the two partners planning to supply materials equally.

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Pravin Char

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