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May 9, 2008

ArcelorMittal plans to pour $5-10 bn into joint venture

The world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, is looking to invest $5-10 billion in Indonesia's steel industry, Reuters quoted Indonesia's state enterprises minister as saying Thursday.

ArcelorMittal said it had proposed an iron ore and coal mining joint venture with Indonesian mining firm PT Aneka Tambang Tbk ANTM.JK and a joint venture with state-owned steelmaker PT Krakatau Steel to develop a new steel plant in Java.

"Their entire proposal is worth between $5 billion to $10 billion," State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Djalil told reporters after a meeting with ArcelorMittal's executives.

"The growth potential for the steel industry in Indonesia remains huge." ArcelorMittal accounts for about a tenth of world steel output.

Since its creation through the acquisition of Arcelor by Mittal Steel in 2006, ArcelorMittal has announced a frenzy of investments and acquisitions in developing countries such as Senegal, Liberia, India and Russia.

Indonesia is home to some of the world's top mines and is among the top producers of key commodities such as coal, natural gas and palm oil. But it has not seen fresh investment for years due to issues such as graft, red tape and a complicated regulatory environment.

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