JFE Steel Corporation and Guangzhou Iron and Steel Enterprises Holdings Ltd. established Guangzhou JFE Steel Sheet Company Ltd. (GJSS), a joint venture to produce and market hot-dip galvanized steel sheets primarily for the automobile and electric appliance industries in China in December 2003, and completed the construction of the No.1 Continuous Galvanizing Line (CGL) with a capacity of 400,000 tons per year in March 2006. Since then, GJSS has steadily ramped up the operation of CGL.
As we announced in an earlier press release on March 6, 2007, in order to meet the demand for high quality automotive and electric appliance steel sheets, which is expected to continue to rise, JFE Steel and Guangzhou Iron and Steel reached an agreement to expand the business of GJSS and build additional production facilities including: (1) Cold Rolling Mill, (2) Continuous Annealing Line, and (3) No.2 CGL. As GJSS obtained approval for the expansion from the National Development and Reform Commission on June 22, the two companies today executed a Joint Venture Agreement and conducted a signing ceremony in Guangzhou. GJSS plans to commence production in 2010.