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|Tuesday, January 02, 2001, updated at 11:20(GMT+8)|
Anshan Iron and Steel Corporation Group Forges AheadAnshan Iron and Steel Corporation Group, China's steel giant, has successfully finished its technical upgrade to resume the leading role in China's metallurgical industry during the Ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000).
"The completion of the technical upgrade indicates that the group has reached the country's advanced level in major technical equipment and production technology," said President Liu Jie Monday, January 1.
A total of 13.4 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) has been invested in technical upgrading over the past five years.
The group invested 520 million yuan (US$62.6 million) to transform its 12 open-hearth furnaces into six converters. The upgrade helps save 470 million yuan (US$56.6 million) in costs annually and reduces pollution.
By December 25, the group had completed the changeover to continuous casting, bidding farewell to backward mold casting technology. This will have a significant effect on product quality, reduction of costs and increase of profits.
The group has constructed two hot strip mill production lines of top world-class level with a production capacity of 3.5 and 2.5 million tons of sheet steel respectively. It has also built one integrated hot strip pickling line and a cold rolling mill which produces 1.5 million tons of high-quality cold rolled strip annually.
"We have tried a new technique to revitalize traditional metallurgical enterprises. It requires less investment, is faster and turns higher profits," said Liu.
By the end of November, sales income of the group topped 18.8 billion yuan (US$2.27 billion), an increase of 3.77 billion yuan (US$454 million) over the previous year. Profits surged to 363 million yuan (US$43.7 million). A total of 990,000 tons of steel products were exported, earning US$213 million in foreign currency for the group. More than 60 per cent of its products are of world-level quality.
Liu said the group did a good job in saving on investment capital through reactivating the remaining assets and making full use of the group's usable old workshops and equipment.
Most of the upgrades were completed using only half of the investment used by other metallurgical companies making similar upgrades. A total of 7.6 billion yuan (US$915 million) was saved during the upgrading over the past five years.
Except for key technologies and key pieces of equipment that were imported from advanced countries like Japan and Germany, most equipment was produced by the group itself and other domestic companies in order to keep costs down.
Source: China Daily
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