BUENOS AIRES ÃÂ¢€” Italy's Gruppo Beltrame, Europe's fifth largest steelmaker, is considering plans to build its first plant outside Europe in Argentina at a cost of about 53 million dollars to manufacture plate for the shipbuilding sector, Río Santiago shipyard (ARS) said in a statement.
The group's manager Antonio Beltrame last week met with Buenos Aires province Production Minister Débora Giorghi and ARS President Julio Urien, and expressed Gruppo Beltrame's interest in building the plant. ARS, a company run by Buenos Aires province, said that one possible location for the plant could be the provincial district of Ensenada, 60 kilometres south of Buenos Aires City, where ARS is located The plant would manufacture between 150,000 and 200,000 tonnes a year of a kind of thick plate that is not produced in Argentina. About 70 percent of the production would go to the domestic market and the rest would be exported. The plant would mean the creation of about 100 direct jobs and 200 indirect ones. Privately-owned Gruppo Beltrame has nine plants in Europe, where it produces 2.3 million tonnes a year and employs 1,950 workers. It also manufactures steel products for the building sector. ARS is coming back to life after a virtual standstill last decade. This year it started building the first of several oil tankers ordered by Venezuela at a total cost that Giorghi put at 300 million dollars. The plate for the ships comes from Venezuela. Urien had met Beltrame during a trip he made months ago to Europe, where he informed the steelmaker about Argentina's shipbuilding capabilities. Separately, in October Urien signed a cooperation accord with Italy's state-run shipyard Cantieri Navali Italiano (Fincantieri) to build, repair and maintain ships. (MercoPress ÃÂ¢€" Guillermo Háskel)