World's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal on Monday said it has signed a strategic agreement with Algerian firm Sider that includes selling part of its stake in two steel firms there to the state-owned company and to invest USD 763 million in projects.
"ArcelorMittal and Sider, Algerian state-owned company, signed a strategic agreement on October 5 that includes an investment plan of USD 763 million for the steel complex at Annaba and the mines in Ouenza and Boukhadra," the company said in a statement.
It added: "The plan will see ArcelorMittal reduce its shareholding in both ArcelorMittal Annaba and ArcelorMittal Tebessa to 49 per cent, with the State of Algeria holding the remaining share of 51 per cent."
On September 29, ArcelorMittal had announced that it has finalised the agreement with Sider.
The investment plan includes a project to more than double the steel plant's annual production capacity from 1 million tonne to 2.2 million tonne by 2017.
The company said the investment will be funded by equity contributions from shareholders and bank financing.
The agreement was signed by Sudhir Maheshwari, chairman of ArcelorMittal Holding AG and Hasnaoui, chairman of Sider. The signing ceremony was attended by Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal and Algerian Minister of Industry Benyounes.
According to the world's largest steelmaker, a new rolling mill for rebar and wire rod with a production capacity of 1 million tonnes will be constructed and the investment plan will ensure a long term future for steel making in Annaba and mining in Tebessa.
The plan includes modernisation of the production units and construction of a new electric steel plant.
"The investment will allow ArcelorMittal Annaba to better respond to increasing domestic demand for steel products in Algeria and to positively contribute to the (local) government's drive to promote self-sufficiency in steel.