12:29 PM, Sep 29, 2017 — ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steelmaker, said it plans to invest $1 billion in Mexico over three years to expand its business in the Latin American country.
The funds will go toward developing steel production capabilities, sustaining the competitiveness of its mining operations and modernizing existing facilities, the company said late Thursday. The announcement follows the designation of special economic zones in southern Mexico, the country’s most economically disadvantaged region. The investment will support the creation of about 800 new jobs and play an important role in bolstering economic activity in the region, ArcelorMittal said.
The program investment will help ArcelorMittal Mexico meet the anticipated increase in demand from domestic customers, and to help use ArcelorMittal Mexico’s productive capacity of 5.3 million tonnes.
The main investment will be the construction of a new hot strip mill over three years, which will enable ArcelorMittal Mexico to produce about 2.5 million tonnes of flat-rolled steel for domestic non-auto industry customers. Further investments will be made to upgrade facilities at Lazaro Cardenas and at the group’s Mexican mining operations.
“In order to make investment decisions of the scale we have announced today we need both a favorable investment environment and confidence in long-term domestic growth prospects,” said Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive of ArcelorMittal.
The special economic zones will create “a positive regulatory investment framework aimed at facilitating economic and infrastructure development in the south of the country,” Mittal said. “Our investment program is aligned with the Mexican government’s objectives and will enable us to benefit from the anticipated increased demand for higher-added value steel products from domestic Mexican customers.”
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