ASEAN region will continue to remain focal of new and integrated steel projects, stated a SEAISI report. Trade pacts including AFTA and RCEP are attractive steel investments into the region.
Economic growth in ASEAN is expected to support demand for steel in the region. Investor-friendly government policies and less strict environmental norms are promoting a shift of steel projects into the region from China and the Rest of the World. Also, trade partnerships including AFTA, ACFTA and RCEP are making it easier for Chinese investors to set up projects and export steel from the ASEAN region back to mainland China.
Supply reform and the decarbonization policy of the Chinese government could also bring more Chinese investment into ASEAN.
SEAISI’s latest update on major upcoming integrated steelmaking projects in ASEAN is listed below.
- * Construction work for Hoa Phat Dung Quat 2 is scheduled to start in early 2022. The integrated mill project for 5.6mn mt HRC production is located in Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province.
- * Eastern Steel’s capacity expansion to 5mn mt from its existing annual capacity of 0.7mn mt
- * Alliance Steel’s capacity expansion to 10mn mt from its existing capacity of 3.5mn mt
- * WenAn Steel’s 10mn mt steel mill in Bintulu, East Malaysia, which is expected to commence by 2024.
- * Oriental Shield (Megasteel) which is expected to start in Q3 2021. The company is exploring backward integration of its blast furnace operations.
- * Dexin Steel, located in Indonesia’s Morowali Industrial Park aims to reach 20mn mt steel capacity from its existing annual capacity of 3.5mn mt. Its ongoing expansion project will expand capacity to 6mn mt in 2022.
Most steelmakers in the region have to depend on export markets for sales. SEAISI cautions that steel demand in ASEAN has remained flat for four years, even before COVID-19. Also, the supply-demand gap for steel in the region is shrinking, thereby limiting profitability.