Rizhao Steel is majority owned by the Shandong Iron & Steel Group.
In 2019, the Rizhao Steel was the 26th largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~14 million tonnes (mt) of liquid steel.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
2003: Rizhao Steel established in 2003.
2009: 67% ownership stake in Rizhao Steel sold to Shandong Steel.
2010: Du Shuanghua sells remaining 33% Rizhao stake to Shandong.
2010: Incurs $114 mln breach of contract fine to Mount Gibson.
2013: Invests in three new Arvedi ESP plants, each with 2.55 mt/yr capacity.
2014: Orders pickling and galvanizing line from Andritz.
2014: Signs Primetals contract for 2 more ESP lines, each with 1.7 mt capacity.
2019: Contemplates consolidation with threeri other Chinese steel mills.
2020: Commences capacity expansion to 17 mt steelmaking.
2007: Rizhao Steel and Mount Gibson sign 15 year contract under which Rizhao commits to purchase up to 1.5 million tons of iron ore every year from Mount Gibson. See further comment under year 2010 below.
2009: The Acquisition of Rizhao Iron & Steel by Shandong Steel Group was a hostile takeover of one of China's largest non-state steel groups by a state-owned competitor, and heightened concerns at the time about 'creeping renationalisation'. Prior to the acquisition, Rizhao Steel was majority owned by Du Shuanghua, one of China's richest men. Du tried to stop the hostile takeover by selling a 30% equity stake in the business [at low cost] to Kai Yuan Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed business that was controlled by family relatives of Hu Jintao, the Chinese president. This plan did not work as it was apparently regarded as politically too dangerous to Mr Hu.
2010: The sell off of Du's 33% ownership stake was not part of the 2009 plan. Rather, under the original 2009 plan, Rizhao Steel was to merge with Shandong Iron & Steel, with merger followed by restructuring. The restructured business was to have been 67% owned by the Shandong Steel Group, and 33% owned by Du. In this vision, Du was to have remained in charge of a relatively autonomous Rizhao steel subsidiary during the first phase of the transition.
2010: Court arbitrator deems that Rizhao did not fulfill its obligations under the 2007 iron ore supply agreement with Mount Gibson, causing the latter party a loss of $114 million.
2013: ESP lines 1, 2 and 3, each with a strip width of 1600 mm came into operation in 2015. Lines 4 and 5, ordered in 2014, with strip widths of 1,300 mm, were commissioned in 2016. On all five lines (which have a combined capacity of 11 mt), strip is rolled to a minimum thickness of 0.8 mm.
2014: Andritz pickling and galvanizing line (a multi-process line) produced 700,000 tons of galvanized steel annually.
2019: According to press reports, these consolidation discussions involved the Weifang Special Steel Group, Luli Iron & Steel and Juneng Special Steel as well as Rizhao Iron & Steel; with a central topic being relocation of steelmaking plant and equipment to Rizhao (which is a coastal location).
Weifang, Luli an Juneng in 2019 had a combined pig iron capacity of ~6.7 million tonnes / year and crude steel capacity of ~9 million tonnes / year.
2020: Rizhao Steel expansion project commencing in 2020 is to cost RMB 33 billion, and allow Rizhao to attain steelmaking capacity of 17 mt / year. The project is expected to be complete in 2022 and includes construction of two 3,000 m3 blast furnaces and two 300 t converters.