ANKARA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- With competitive prices and improved quality, China's steel giant Sinosteel Corporation is exploring the market potential in Turkey's steel industry as an equipment provider and contractor.
The Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co., Ltd. (Sinosteel MECC), a subsidiary of Sinosteel, had completed construction of 16 steel-producing or related projects in Turkey in the past decade, with a contracted value of 200 million U.S. dollars, Pan Xiaoyong, Sinosteel MECC representative in Turkey told Xinhua.
The company had another 11 projects under way, with a total investment of 300 million U.S. dollars, said Pan.
Sinosteel MECC provided Turkish steel mills with mining and steel-producing equipment at prices considerably lower than those offered by western companies, which helped the company to win market opportunities, said Pan.
"Sometimes our prices are even as low as half of the western companies' prices while our products also have sound quality, if not the best," he said. "That gives us an advantage in the competition and we are improving our quality, too."
Ahmet Taskim, who is in charge of the Toscelik slab casting and hot-continuous-rolling project contracted by Turkish steel producer Tosyali Holding to Sinosteel MECC in 2007, said he was satisfied with products and services provided by the Chinese partner and that he had started to discuss further cooperation with Sinosteel MECC.
"We not only reduced our investment cost through cooperating with Sino steel MECC but also saved a lot of time, so that we can launch the production just as the economy began to recover," said Taskim.
Turkey's steel industry has been hard hit by shrinking demands amid the recession, with the country's crude steel output down 17.3 percent year-on-year to 11.8 million tons in the first half of this year, the London-based research company Business Monitor International said in a September report.
However, the industry was forecast to see a rapid recovery from2010 as there had been signs for a rebound, with the second-quarter crude steel output down 14.1 percent year-on-year but up 15 percent from the previous quarter to 6.29 million tons, according to the report.
Constructed in south Turkey's Osmaniye Province with an estimated annual steel output of 1.1 million tons, the project was the biggest of its kind undertaken by a Chinese contractor overseas and would come into operation by the end of 2009, said Pan.
Steel products of the project would target Turkish and Middle Eastern markets and meet demands in city planning and natural gas transmission, said Taskim.
"It's the first time I work together with the Chinese," Arif Bolat, a technician at the Toscelik project, told Xinhua. "They have great initiative in work and we've built good partnership."
Besides equipment imported from China, Sinosteel MECC also had more than 500 Chinese technicians and workers at the Toscelik project who were responsible for equipment installing, said Pan.
Sinosteel MECC entered the Turkish market in 1999 and most of its projects were located in Turkey's Biga, Eregli, Iskenderun and Osmaniye.