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Sat 19 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Funding approved for Bahraini plant expansion

The kingdom's Gulf Industrial Investment Company has secured $525.3 million from Arab Banking Corporation to expand its iron ore plant.

Bahrain's Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC) has secured a US $525.3 million (BD198 million) funding facility from Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) for the expansion of its iron ore pelletizing plant.

Japan's Kobe Steel Company has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the expansion, which will increase capacity by six million tonnes a year.

The funding will also be put towards infrastructure work.

GIIC, located in the Hidd Industrial Area in Bahrain, owns and operates the existing iron ore pelletizing plant with a current capacity of around five million tonnes a year.

GIIC is critical to the Middle East region as it is the only local supplier of pellets.

"Arab Banking Corporation was delighted to make this significant contribution to the development of GIIC and the metals industry in Bahrain, and looks forward to future mutual successes based on the bank's close relationship with GIC, GIIC and the company's other shareholders," said Ghazi M Abdul-Jawad, a senior manager at ABC.

The new plant is scheduled to commence production in the third quarter of 2009.

GIIC's target markets include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Continued growth in demand for steel is the catalyst for the company's decision to expand its capacity.

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