The Board of Directors of Columbus Stainless, Pty. Ltd., the South African Company in which Acerinox, S.A. holds a 64% stake approved yesterday a new investment program of 847 million rand (84.7 million Euro) including new equipments for it’s Middleburg Factory. Among these, the more remarkable is a Sendzimir cold mill for 1,500 mm width coils. The starting up of said equipment will take place gradually until the end of 2004. This investment program, together with that of 202 million rand (20.2 million Euro) implemented on 2002, will allow the achievement of an annual production capacity of 750,000 tons for melting shop and hot rolling, and 400,000 tons for cold rolling. The integrated Plant of Middleburg will become one of the world’s most efficient and competitive.
Taking into consideration the good results obtained up to date, and the prospects for next year all these investments are expected to be financed with the Company’s resources.