3 Mar 2010 13:30

MMK to bring coke output to pre-crisis levels through launch of fourth battery in April

CHELYABINSK. March 3 (Interfax) - OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) produced around 5 million tonnes of coke in 2009, the company said in a statement.

In 2010, MMK plans to bring its production to pre-crisis levels following the launch of its fourth coking oven battery at the start of April. Production will come to around 6 million tonnes.

"Despite well-known economic difficulties, in the framework of production reconstruction, construction of an 11-bis battery with capacity of 1.14 million tonnes of coke per year has started. Capital repairs of the third coking battery are also underway. Following the capital repairs, battery N4 will be fired up for full operations," the statement said, quoting the head of MMK's coking production, Oleg Shashkov.

MMK is one of Russia's biggest steel producers. Viktor Rashnikov, its board chairman, is its main beneficiary, controlling 86.6% of the shares.