By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
SteelAsia, the Philippines’ leading steel company and the largest manufacturer of steel bars (rebar) in Southeast Asia, has closed deals with two of Russia’s leading steel industry players for a steady supply of billets and technology and skills transfer.
SteelAsia and Evrazhave signed a $250 million, long-term supply agreement for a guaranteed monthly supply of 50,000 tons of semi-finished steel or billets for SteelAsia’s rolling mills in Davao City and Meycauayan, Bulacan. Billets are the input material for many long steel products, including rebars.
The SteelAsia supply contract was among the various deals worth $875 million signed during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum for President Duterte’s short visit in Moscow.
SteelAsia has also worked out a cooperation arrangement with Kurganstalmost JSC for the latter to provide engineering services as well as training and technology transfer to SteelAsia. Kurganstalmostis Russia’s leading producer of steel structures.
According to Benjamin O. Yao, SteelAsia’s Chairman and CEO, “We have found that Russian companies are very reliable business partners.”
Yao said that the long term billet supply contract assures the company of a stable supply of raw material, insulating the country from rebar shortage, while the technology and skills transfer are in preparation for SteelAsia’s diversification into steel structures.
”Our expansion plans are all geared towards supporting the country’s focus on massive infrastructure build up,” he said. Since 1998, SteelAsia has procured about 3.24 million tons of billets worth $1.23 billion from Russia. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the company has purchased 240,000 tons of billets worth $93 million.
SteelAsia also transacts with several Russian steel companies, including NLMK and Evraz (Russia’s two largest steel makers), OEMK/Ural Steel/Metalloinvest, JSC Amurmetal, Amurstaal, KMK, and Mechel.
Evraz has operations in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan and South Africa. Its crude steel output last year topped 13.5 million tons.
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