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Ninh Thuan seeks new investor for US$9.8-bil steel project   2010-09-30 - VietNamNet/SGT

The central province of Ninh Thuan has said it is seeking a new investor to replace Lion-Vinashin joint venture to continue a US$9.8-billion steel mill project in Ninh Phuoc District, according to a document issued by the provincial government.

The document says the joint venture between Maju Stabil Shd of Malaysia’s Lion Group and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, or Vinashin, got an investment certificate in November 2008, but has not made a move on the Ca Na still project due to problems with financial capability and experience.

“By this time, the province has good reason to take back the investment certificate from Lion-Vinashin joint venture at any time, and we are finding another investor, particularly from foreign countries with enough experience and financial capacity, to continue the project,” said Nguyen Kim Hung, director of Ninh Thuan’s Department of Industry and Trade.

Hung told the Daily on the phone on Tuesday that if a new investor agreed to replace Lion-Vinashin venture, the provincial government would ask the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for approval to transfer the investment certificate to the new investor.

Hung said the province wanted Posco Group from South Korea to be the new developer of the project, but Posco had not responded. “Some other large investors have also come to express their interest but no deal has been finalized,” he added.

The province has also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to introduce other competent, experienced and prestigious investors to get involved in the project.

Earlier, the Government agreed to include Ca Na steel project into the nation’s master plan for steel development. Given that, Ninh Thuan set aside 1,650 hectares of land in Ninh Phuoc District for the project.

The director of the industry department of Ninh Thuan also said the province was still working on site clearance for some 1,000 hectares of land to make room for the new investor.

Ca Na steel project has total production capacity of 4.5 million tons of steel a year, and comprises other important components such as a 700MW thermo-power plant, a 15 million tons/year seaport, a lime oven, an oxygen production factory and some other works.

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