Brazil: Chinese steel maker Baosteel wants to invest in Bahia state

7 January 2008

Salvador, Brazil, 7 Jan – The Baosteel Group Corporation, China’s largest steel manufacturer, is interested in acquiring mining reserves in the Brazilian state of Bahia and investing in facilities in the state, a state government spokesman told Macauhub Monday.

“Companhia Baiana de Pesquisa Mineral (CBPM) presented to Baosteel officials, visiting Bahia, a number of sites with mining potential to be auctioned off and spoke about projects already underway in the state,” said Antônio Celso Alves Pereira Filho, superintendent for Commerce and Services of the Secretariat for Commerce and Mining (SICM), which took part in the meeting.

The Boasteel representatives noted that there were significant deposits close to the operation they have in the state of Espírito Santo.

The Chinese company in the neighboring state of is a joint venture with Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), in its first investment in a steel plant outside of China.

The superintendent of SICM told Macauhub that the Chinese group, represented by global vice-president, Zhang Dianbo, and by the company’s vice president in Brazil, João Zhao, said he was optimistic about the project for the West-East railroad, work on which is due to start in 2009.

The railroad will link the city of Barreiras, in the state of Bahia, between the cities of Ilhéus and Itacaré. Later, the federal government plans to extend the railroad to Sorriso, in the state of Mato Grosso.

Baosteel also showed interest in the government’s project to build a new port in Bahia as the three biggest ports in the state – Salvador, Aratu and Ilhéus – are operating close to their maximum capacities.

The Bahian government announced it would launch a tender for the state’s mining deposits in April 2008. (macauhub)