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November 24, 2008

Malaysia-Vietnam joint venture starts $9.8bn steel complex
Malaysia's Lion Industries and Vietnam's top shipbuilding group Vinashin have started building their $9.8 billion steel mill complex, the country's biggest steel project, Reuters quoted state-run media as saying Monday.

Construction began on Sunday in the central province of Ninh Thuan, 320 km (200 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the Vietnam News daily said.

Lion has a 74 percent stake in the joint venture and unlisted Vinashin owns the remaining 26 percent, the daily said.

In late September, Lion won approval to invest in the steel mill joint venture with Vinashin.

The mill will be able to turn out 4.5 million tonnes of steel in 2010 when the first stage of construction ends at an expected investment of $2.75 billion, Vietnam News said.

The entire project, slated to be completed by 2025, has an annual capacity of 14.42 million tonnes of crude steel. Vinashin has said it would use the venture's product for its shipyards around the country.

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