September 9, 2008

Russian Company Plans to Build Steelworks in Belarus – Premier

Excerpt from report by Belarusian privately-owned news agency Belapan

Minsk, 9 September: Russia's Severstal Steel Works wants to build a new steelworks in Belarus, the press office of the Belarusian Council of Ministers has said with reference to Belarusian Prime Minister Syarhey Sidorski.

Following his meeting with a delegation of Russia's Vologda Region, Sidorski said the Belarusian government plans to invite bids for the construction project worth more than 2bn dollars.

The project is yet to be approved by the Belarusian president [Alyaksandr Lukashenka].

The Russian steel giant expressed interest a month ago, Sidorski said.He added that Severstal would soon increase its supplies to Belarus. "The Belarusian economy is growing and companies are consuming a significant amount of metals," he said. "In 2007, Belarus bought 36m-dollar worth of metal products from Severstal."

The talks also focused on the development in Belarus of steel warehouses as part of cooperation with Severstal. Sidorski said that leading Belarusian manufacturers such as MAZ, BelAZ, the Minsk Tractor Works and the Homselmash farm machinery plant bought steel directly from Severstal.

"Small and medium-sized enterprises should also be able to buy the products at competitive prices," Sidorski said. "We discussed today Severstal's proposal for establishing warehouses where material will be shaped. This will make metal products for Belarusian enterprises cheaper, increase the profitability of the services and cut production costs."

[Passage omitted: background on Severstal]

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in English 0902 09 Sep 08.

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