TORONTO The Serbian
government plans to seek a partner in the coming week to
purchase elezara Smederevo (ZS), U.S. Steel Corp.s
former operations in the country.
Serbian President Boris Tadic
said during a visit to the mill that an ideal partner would
have coke production capacity and galvanizing capabilities, the
latter to better position ZS to serve the automotive industry,
according to a translation of a report from Serbias
Tanjug national news agency posted on Tadics website.
Tadic appeared to suggest that
supporting ZS was taking a toll on government resources. "There
are moments when the state must stand behind the company.
. . . But there are limits," he was quoted as
Government support had allowed
the steelmaker to continue operating and to sign several big
contracts with customers in Italy and Turkey, ZS director Ivan
Milosevic said in the report. "We succeeded thanks to the
state," he added.
Ukrainian flat and long products
producer JSC Donetsk Iron & Steel Works (DMZ) was said to
be in talks about a prospective purchase of ZS, a Serbian
government spokesman previously told AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin. A DMZ delegation visited
the plant in late February, and the Ukrainian company had been
expected to reach a decision on a purchase by early this
The talks between the Serbian
government and DMZ were said to have been more serious than
those with Luxembourg-based United Group SA, which the
spokesman said had also expressed an interest in ZS.
Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel,
citing "unacceptable losses," sold ZS to the countrys
government in late January for the equivalent of $1. The
Serbian government subsequently announced plans to seek a new
ZS has an annual capacity of 2.2
million tonnes of crude steel, which is cast into slab and
rolled into hot- and cold-rolled coils, although full capacity
has never been achieved, according to the companys