ROME, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The head of Italian equipment and engineering company Danieli on Thursday said the company had signed a collaboration deal with China's HBIS, one of the world's largest producers of steel.
Details of the accord were based on comments that appeared in several northern Italian media outlets from Gianpietro Benedetti, Danieli's president and chief executive officer. Officials from Danieli confirmed the reports when contacted by Xinhua.
The agreement is based on technical collaboration, with Danieli helping to develop plants in China to produce high-quality steel with minimal environmental impact.
Benedetti said the partnership was worth the risks involved because of the potential of the Chinese market.
"We will be partners with a steelmaker that produces more than 40 million tons, more than double the amount produced in all of Italy," Benedetti said.
Benedetti said the deal gives Danieli a 1.5-percent stake in the Chinese plant, which is likely to list its shares on stock exchanges soon. The project itself will be a joint venture split evenly between Danieli and HBIS, Benedetti said.
Benedetti noted that overall, the Chinese market uses 850 million tons of steel each year, around half of the world's total production, and 30 times larger than Danieli's home market in Italy.
Danieli, which was founded in 1914, is based in the northeastern Italian town of Buttrio, but it has operations across the world, including Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.