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Czech Republic: Steel Giant Expands Eastward

By Sue Tapply

Brno, 23 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - While demand for steel is falling in Western Europe, Austrian steel giant Voest-Alpine (VA) has set its sights on opening a high-quality steel production plant in Vyskov near Brno.

These plans are in addition to a possible investment in Nova Hut, a steel plant to the north-east of Brno, near Ostrava.

The head of the VA Krems office, Wolfgang Spreitzer, told an RFE/RL correspondent that the Vyskov project should be up and running later this year.

The plan is to invest 100 million schillings ($9 million) in Vyskov and to start light profile steel production in September.

Speaking to the press, Spreitzer also said it's possible there will be further expansion beyond the plans already in hand.

VA Steel's plans for expansion reflect an increasing demand for steel products in eastern Europe, countering the dwindling requirement in western Europe.