Ground Broken on Vietnam’s Largest Foreign Direct Investment Project

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July 7 – Work has begun on what will be Vietnam's largest steel plant, part of a US$7.9 billion complex that will include a deep-sea port, Thanh Nien reported Monday.

The complex, located in central Ha Tinh province and run by Taiwan-based Formosa Heavy Industries Corp., will be Vietnam’s largest steel production facility when it is completed, with an expected annual capacity of 7.5 million tons.

The plant is expected to take four years to complete and cost an estimated US$7.87 billion. The project is the largest foreign direct investment Vietnam has seen and when completed, will employ around 10,000 locals.

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday that when the complex is finished in three years it is expected to be one of the region's largest and will help strengthen the country's economy.

The plant’s capacity will be doubled in the second phase of the steel mill, placing it among the 15 biggest steel plants in the world.

Materials for the mill will initially be imported from the world’s major iron ore suppliers, including Brazil’s CVRD and Australia’s Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The plant will eventually source iron ore from Ha Tinh Province’s Thach Khe Mine, the Vietnamese government said.

The Thach Khe mine, some 400 kilometers south of Hanoi, has an estimated reserve of 540 million tons of iron ore.