By Alfred Kueppers
Metalloinvest owned plant part of long term strategy to expand in the Middle East.
Metalloinvest, the Russian iron and steel firm half owned by Alisher Usmanov, said on Tuesday its new Hamriyah Steel plant in the UAE will achieve full operating capacity by the end of this year.
The plant, which will have capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of rebar annually for the construction industry, launched trial production on Monday.
In a statement, Shukhrat Nishanov, the plant's general director, said: "This event has historic significance. It marks the conclusion of two years of work to build the first Russian metallurgical plant in the UAE."
Metalloinvest built the plant as part of its strategy to expand in the Middle East.
The company, which is Russia's largest iron ore miner and its fifth largest steel producer, also operates the Ural Steel plant and the Oskol Electrometallurgical Plant (OEMK) at home.
Earlier this week, sources told Reuters Metalloinvest was in talks with banks over a possible share float this year.
One of the sources said Metalloinvest could take a decision on the IPO at the end of the first quarter. A second source said a joint London Moscow listing could take place at the end of May at the earliest. (Reuters)