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India - Stemcor eyes stakes in steel projects

Lesedauer: min

Calcutta -  The UK-based steel trading house Stemcor is eyeing minority stakes in steel and raw material projects in India.

It has small stakes in three Indian firms, including Calcutta-based Electrosteel Castings, in which it has a 5 per cent stake.

The firm also holds 10 per cent in Orissa’s Mesco Steel and 14.67 per cent in Karnataka’s Sathavahana Ispat Ltd.

Stemcor, which has a turnover of around $8 billion, is open to stake buys, but does not want to become a manufacturing outfit.

“Our primary business is trading. The investments are made to consolidate and enhance that,” said William Attenborough, managing director (West and Southeast Asia).

Stemcor works with smaller companies, arranging raw material for them and financing and selling their end-products.

The company is also setting up an iron ore pellet unit at Kalinganagar, Orissa, where steel companies such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel will set up plants.

The 4-million-tonne plant, which will require an investment of Rs 1,400 crore, is expected to start operations by early 2010, said Vineet J. Mehra, executive director of Stemcor India.

Stemcor officials were here to discuss their strategy for India and China.

The company expects India to become a big exporter of steel if all proposed capacities are implemented.

Last year Stemcor exported 350,000 tonnes of finished steel. It also exported 500,000 tonnes of iron ore fines and imported about 600,000 tonnes of met coke and 1.8 million tonnes of coking coal.