‘Nothing decided’ yet about stake in Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, JFE says

Japan’s JFE Steel has once again denied it has made any final decision to invest in Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, a major integrated steel mill that is being built in Vietnam by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group (FPG).

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“Although we are considering participating in the project, nothing has been decided in the present,” a company spokesman told Steel First late on Friday July 24.

In a report published that same day, Japanese business newspaper Nikkei said JFE Steel would pay around ¥30 billion ($242 million) to take a 5% stake in the project.

JFE Steel had previously denied a news report which stated it would acquire a 25% share in the Vietnamese mill.

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, the biggest greenfield project in Southeast Asia, will start commissioning its rolling operations by the end of 2015 and is expected to fire up its first blast furnace in March 2016, company officials told Steel First in the end of May.

The mill will have a crude steel capacity of 7 million tpy by 2017, and will produce slab, billet, hot rolled coil, rebar and wire rod.

In April, JFE Steel’s parent company, JFE Holdings, unveiled plans to spend as much as ¥200 billion ($1.61 billion) in overseas investments over the next three years, with most of the capital targeted to Asia.

China Steel Corp (CSC), Taiwan’s biggest steelmaker, has decided to pay $939 million to raise its stake in Formosa Ha Tinh Steel to 25% from 5%.