China Steel Corp resumes operations in Vietnam

Taiwanese steelmaker China Steel Corp (CSC) has resumed operations at its 1.2-million-tpy cold rolling steel joint venture in Vietnam following a temporary shutdown due to anti-China protests in the country.

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“China Steel Sumikin Vietnam Joint Stock Company [is] re-operating on May 16,” the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday May 16.

It noted the temporary stoppage had “no significant impact” on its financial and business operation since the Vietnamese plant came on stream at the end of last year and was still on its learning curve.

Operations were shut down on Wednesday May 14 for security reasons, as some protesters targeting Chinese-owned manufacturing companies also attacked enterprises from Taiwan and other countries.

Taiwan’s industrial conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) also halted activities at Formosa Ha Tin Steel, a new integrated steelworks that is under construction in Vietnam and is scheduled to come on stream next year with initial capacity of 1 million tpy of billet.

Situation serious
One Vietnamese steel trading source who is close to Taiwanese steelmakers told Steel First that the local government was trying to control the situation.

“Many companies were damaged – not only from China, but also Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea,” he said on Friday May 16.

According to the Vietnamese government’s official news website, VGP, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said late on Thursday May 15 that the situation was “serious” as he asked the authorities to ensure the security for people and companies in the country.

Local authorities have been requested to protect and help companies to resume their businesses and production soon, especially in the case of foreign-owned ones, VGP said.

China Steel Sumikin Vietnam is 51% owned by CSC while Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp (NSSMC) owns a 40% stake.

Besides the 1.2-million-tpy CRC mill, it also has 300,000 tpy of galvanizing capacity, 200,000 tpy of electrical steel, and a 200,000-tpy pickling and oiling line.

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