HBIS Group begins construction of new steel plant in Serbia

Sinter plant will cost about US$120 million and is part of a comprehensive project for energy efficiency and environmental protection

HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel has begun construction of a new sinter plant, which the company says will be one of Europe's most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient industrial plants.

On July 24, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo, and the President of HBIS Serbia Wang Yulan presided over a groundbreaking ceremony.

Wang said that the sinter plant is a part of a comprehensive project for energy efficiency and environment protection conducted by the company as a “key project for promoting energy efficiency, reduction of emissions, and green production.” According to Wang, the project will cost around US$120 million.

Sinter plants agglomerate iron ore fines (dust) with other fine materials at high temperature, to create a product (sinter) that can be used in a blast furnace.

President Vucic said that it will bring security to more than 5,000 employees of the factory. Ambassador Chen added that the success of the steelworks illustrates the good relations between Serbia and China.

"Despite all challenges, HBIS still managed to become the biggest exporting company in Serbia,” he said. HBIS purchased Serbia's formerly state-owned steel mill in 2016, at a time when it was facing closure.

Serbia has been strengthening its relations with China. Having lost out on EU membership as a result of the Kosovo War, Serbia is still on the waiting list of candidate countries, along with Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey.

However, in recent years there has been strong pushback from existing EU countries against adding new members, and candidate countries are hedging their bets, trying to move closer to the EU while at the same time cooperating with China. 

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Date

31 Jul 2019

Channel

Europe

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