Fri, 15 Feb 2008
JAKARTA (JP): Australian steel producer PT BlueScope Steel Indonesia is investing $113 million to expand its plant in response to rising local demand for steel.

Attended by Industri Minister Fahmi Idris, the ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion was held Tuesday in Cilegon, Banten.

"The company plans to triple its factory capacity," director general of metal, machinery, textile and industry Anshari Bukhari said as quoted by Antara.

Managing director and CEO of BlueScope Steel Ltd. Paul O'Malley, said after 1.5 years of construction, the plant's capacity to produce colored and zinc- and aluminum-coated steel would jump from 100,000 tons to 300,000 tons per year.

The expansion project is focused on meeting demand from Indonesia's housing construction sector, the company said.

BlueScope will maintain its focus on the local market. Demand remains high as consumers now prefer to use steel rather than wood to build their houses. Amid tight supply, the country has experienced skyrocketing wood prices for the past five years.

BlueScope Indonesia says it is currently the only local steel manufacturer that produces colored steel and steel with zinc and aluminum coating.

lueScope Indonesia purchases aproximately 90 percent of its raw materials domestically. This includes cold-rolled coils from state-owned PT Krakatau Steel. The remaining raw materials are imported from Australia. (uwi



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