History of Hesteel - Hebei Iron & Steel China.

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History of Hebei Iron & Steel (Hesteel) History of HBIS

Hesteel Group Company Limited is a Chinese iron and steel manufacturing conglomerate. It was previously known as Hebei Iron and Steel or HBIS.

In 2022, the Hesteel was the 6th largest steelmaker in the world, producing 41 million tonnes (mt) of crude steel.

The timeline below covers the history of the firm.

  • 1918: Xuanhua Iron & Steel Group established ~1918.
  • 1943: Tangsteel founded as Tangshan Iron and Steel Group Co.
  • 1958: Handan Iron & Steel Group established as a state-owned firm.
  • 1970: Wuyang Iron & Steel established as a military steel facility.
  • 2002: Handan investment in 300kt Danieli Sendzimir HDG line.
  • 2006: Tangsteel merger with Xuanhua I&S and Chengde I&S.
  • 2007: Handan takes 35% stake in Minmetals cutting/slitting SSC jv.
  • 2008: Tangsteel investment in new 150kt/yr organic coating line.
  • 2008: New Siemens-VAI hot strip mill commissioned at Chengde.
  • 2008: Hebei Iron & Steel formed from Tangsteel/Hansteel merger.
  • 2010: Xuanhua purchase from Siemens VAI of new wire rod mill.
  • 2011: Signs iron ore development deal with Australia's Richmond Mining.
  • 2012: Hebei Group gets Gov approval for investment in Alderon.
  • 2012: Chengde plant starts production of earthquake-resistant rebar.
  • 2012: Announces purchase of Rio’s Palabora Mining Co in South Africa.
  • 2013: In search with Alderon for 3rd partner for Kami mine project.
  • 2014: Construction plans progress at Kami iron ore project in Canada.
  • 2014: Buys controlling stake in steel trader Duferco.
  • 2015: Plan to raise ~$1.25 bn in private placement to fund acquisitions.
  • 2016: Merger discussions reported with Shougang Steel.
  • 2017: Hesteel Group acquires Palabora Mining Company’s Palabora Copper.
  • 2017: Commences $8 billion revamp including net 2mt/yr capacity reduction.
  • 2017: Signs MoU with US Steel for Euro 1.4 bn acquisition of US Steel Kosice in Slovakia.
  • 2018: Abandons plan to purchase USS Slovakian steel plant.
  • 2018: Announces plan for Euro 150m investment in Serbian Steel mill.
  • 2018: Announces $4.4 billion investment in integrated steel complex in Philippines.
  • 2019: Talks fail on purchase of Tata's Southeast Asian steel businesses.
  • 2020: Signs initial deal to develop the Pampa de Pongo iron ore mine in Peru.
  • 2021: Sign steel scrap recycling joint venture with TMS Group in USA.
  • 2023: Press reports of smog, rising cancer rates, and work safety issues at Smederovo.

  • 1918: Origins of Xuanhua Steel were as the Longyan Iron and Steel Company. This was a joint state-private enterprise which set up an ironworks in Xuanhua based on the iron ore supply from local mines. In those early years, coking coal for the plant had to be transported by rail some 400 km from sites in Shanxi province and the main focus of production [as also in later times] was pig iron.
  • During the 1970s, Wuyang - with a strong reputation as a leading steel rolling mill - succeeded in the production of 4.2 metre wide thick steel plate. This was a notable technical achievement.
  • Result of 2006 merger was the creation of the New Tangsteel Iron and Steel Group.
  • 2008: When formed, Hebei Steel comprised seven steel companies including Tangshan Steel, Xuanhua Steel, Chengde Steel, Handan Steel, Wuyang Steel, Henshui Steel Sheet and Shougang Jingtang Iron and Steel.
  • Shougang Jingtang Iron & Steel was a 10 mt / year joint venture between Shougang and the Tangshan Steel Group.
  • 2011: ASX-listed Richmond Mining and its wholly owned subsidiary in the USA Nevada Iron signed the framework agreement with Hebei Iron & Steel Group to fast-track development of the Buena Vista iron-ore project in Nevada.
  • 2012: Hebei plan is to invest C$194 million ($195 million) for a ~20% stake in Canada's Alderon and a ~25% interest in Alderon's principal mining asset known as the Kami project [iron ore mining].
  • 2012: Xuanhua also announced this year its ability to sell boron steel rod as well as quake-resistant steel bar.
  • 2012: December 2012 announcement concerned planned involvement of Hebei Steel in a group purchase of Rio Tinto’s Palabora Mining Company in South Africa for approx $476 million. Other firms involved in this purchase included the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.
  • 2014: Alderon Iron Ore said it would begin construction at the Kami project in western Labrador, Canada, as soon as a financing plan was finalised. The Kami iron ore project is a 75-25 joint venture between Alderon and Hebei Iron & Steel Group.
  • 2014: This was an acquisition of a 51% stake in Duferco by Hebei Iron and Steel; and is thought to be first example of a state-owned Chinese steel firm taking a majority shareholding in a global metals trader.
  • 2016: Mergers under discussion in mid-2016 were said to involve the merger of Hebei Iron & Steel with the Shougang Group to create the Northern China Steel Group. Parallel discussions were also said to involve the merger of Shanghai Baosteel and Wuhan Iron & Steel to create the Southern China Steel Group.
  • 2017: Palabora Copper operates a 45 000 t/y copper mine and smelter complex in Limpopo, South Africa; with its copper production process also giving rise to by-products such as iron-ore.
  • 2017 modernisation is a 42.4 billion yuan ($8 billion) project that will reduce Hebei's steel capacity by nearly 2 million tonnes and upgrade old technology. Revamp includes upgrade and relocation of Xuansteel which will have a new modernised plant in Laoting.
  • 2018: HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel - a subsidiary of China's Hebei Iron & Steel Group - annouces plans to invest 150 million euro ($174.5 million) in Serbian steel mill Zelezara Smederevo by 2020. The investment will be for the acquisition of new plant and equipment at Zelezara Smederevo including furnace modernisation.
  • 2018: In December 2018 Hebei Iron & Steel Group signed an MOU with Steel Asia Manufacturing Corporation to build an integrated iron and steel plant in Mindanao of southern Philippines. The plant is to have an annual capacity of some 8 million metric tonnes, and span an area of 305 hectares. Construction is likely to take three to five years.
  • 2019: These talks were apparently terminated by Tata Steel, after the steelmaker failed to obtain regulatory approval for the transaction from the Hebei authorities.
  • 2020: HBIS investment in Peru iron ore mine is to be made alongside that of the current licence-holder Zhongrong Xinda. The two Chinese companies plan to set up a joint venture to work on the first stage of the mine, which also contains copper, cobalt and gold reserves. The scope of the cooperation is to include mine and port construction, and mine operations. Qingdao-based Zhongrong Xinda acquired the rights to Pampa de Pongo in 2016 and its subsidiary Jinzhao Mining Peru is the mine operator.
  • 2021: The US-based TMS Group is a world leading specialised scrap trading, processing, and distribution firm. Aim of the HBIS-TMS jv is to develop an efficient scrap steel recycling business (covering collection, processing and distribution of ferrous scrap) in China.
  • 2023: Pollution problems apparently relate to iron ore handling and processing, as well as to blast furnace slag. Government laws on waste management apparently do not apply to the steel plant, as because of exemptions agreed by the National Assembly.

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