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Lakshmi Mittal all set to be world's top steel maker

The LNM Group is poised to become world's largest steel producer after investing millions of dollars in a new plant in China and Poland.

world Updated: Jan 17, 2004 19:56 IST

The LNM Group, owned by India-born steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, is poised to become the world's largest steel producer after investing millions of dollars in a new plant in China and Poland.

Mittal's group, which now occupies the number two spot with annual output of 35 million tonnes, will overtake Luxembourg's Arcelor when it completes its 1 billion dollar acquisition of Poland's biggest steelworks next month.

Polskie Huty Stali will add 6 million tonnes to LNM's production while Arcelor is cutting 10 per cent of its annual 44 million tonnes output, reports said on Saturday.

Mittal, who has invested heavily in post-communist eastern Europe with substantial state aid, including almost 500 million pounds in Poland, has said a handful of global players with annual output of up to 100 million tonnes will dominate steel within ten years.

The group said on Friday it would set up a cold rolling and coating plant in Yingkou, north-east China, with a capacity of up to 400,000 tonnes a year. The 100 million dollar investment will be spread over two years.

LNM, which imports 2 million tonnes of steel into China, has said that a third of the global output of 900 million tonnes this year will be consumed in China. Arcelor is investing 800 million dollars in China with local firm Bao and Nippon of Japan.

"China has been the most dynamic driver of the steel industry's growth over the past year and will remain so over the next decade. As the world's most global steel company it is natural for us to seek to build a presence in this region," Mittal said.

First Published: Jan 17, 2004 19:56 IST