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August 31, 2007

    

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Aisha Steel Mills-Cold Rolled Steel Sheet Mill in Pakistan

 

Metal One Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; president: Moriji Kanada) attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Aisha Steel Mills Limited at the provincial governor's residence in Karachi, Pakistan, on August 30, 2007.

This project will establish Pakistan's first privately owned cold rolled steel sheet mill, and because it is being promoted with the Pakistani government's generous support, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was initially scheduled to attend as the guest of honor but had to leave Karachi suddenly on urgent business prior to the ceremony. Dr. Ishrat ul-Ibad, the governor of Sindh, stood in for the prime minister and unveiled the monument. Ambassador Seiji Kojima, representing Japan, and Governor ul-Ibad, representing Pakistan, offered congratulatory remarks, and the ceremony, attended by approximately 300 prominent guests from various fields, went off smoothly.

Moriji Kanada met separately with Prime Minister Aziz that morning, explaining that Metal One would make every effort to develop this project so that it would serve as a model for successful Japan-Pakistan cooperation and contribute to the country's advancement. While the two met, President Kanada took the opportunity to pass on a letter from Mikio Sasaki, chairman of Mitsubishi Corporation, Metal One's parent company, who has maintained close ties with the prime minister for some time.

An overview of the new company is provided below. Construction will begin within the year on a 50-acre piece of land that has already been acquired. Commercial production is set to start in June 2009.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous nation in the world with roughly 170 million people, and along with a sustained 6-7% growth in GNP over the past several years, demand for steel products in that country has skyrocketed yearly. Of this, annual demand for cold rolled steel sheets is approximately 500,000 tonnes, compared with domestic production of only around 140,000 tonnes, and Aisha Steel Mills will be primarily making up for the shortage in the country's sophisticated cold rolled steel items for the automotive and electrical appliance industries.

Outline of Aisha Steel Mills Limited

1. Name: Aisha Steel Mills Limited
2. Location: Bin Qasim, Karachi, Pakistan (80 km east of downtown Karachi)
3. Capitalization: 1.792 billion rupees (approx. 3.44 billion)
4. Investors: Metal One Corporation, 466 million rupees (approx. 890 million), 26% equity share
Universal Metal Corporation, 878 million rupees (approx. 1.69 billion), 49% equity share
Arif Habib Securities Ltd., 448 million rupees (approx. 860 million), 25% equity share
5. Total cost: 5.972 billion rupees (approx. 11.5 billion)
6. Facilities: Acid washer, cold rolling mill (Steel Plantech Co. in Japan), batch-type annealing furnaces (Ebner Industrieofenbau GmbH in Austria), electrolytic cleaning line, recoiling line (Tanisaka Iron Works, Ltd., and Hoya Corporation in Japan)
7. Production capacity: 220,000 tonnes per year (based on 0.35 mm sheets)
 
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