History of Hebei Iron & Steel (Hesteel)
Hesteel Group Company Limited was a Chinese iron and steel manufacturing conglomerate. It was previously known as Hebei Iron and Steel.
In 2018, the Hebei Iron and Steel was the 4th largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~47 million tonnes (mt) of 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: Commences $8 billion revamp including net 2mt/yr capacity reduction.
- 2018: Announces plan for Euro 150m investment in Serbian Steel mill.
- 2019: Talks fail on purchase of Tata's Southeast Asian steel businesses.
- 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 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.
- 2019: These talks were apparently terminated by Tata Steel, after the steelmaker failed to obtain regulatory approval for the transaction from the Hebei authorities.
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