Executive Intelligence Review


China and Bolivia Finalize Financing for Mutun Steel Plant Project

April 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, Bolivian President Evo Morales introduced a law authorizing a 15-year $396 million credit to complete construction of the $466 million Mutun steel plant—the country’s first—to be built by China’s Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Company. China’s Eximbank will provide 85% of the financing for the project, one of South America’s most important infrastructure projects located in southeastern Bolivia near the Brazilian border, and the Bolivian state will provide the rest.

“This is a historic and unforgettable day for us,” Morales said, according to Xinhua, because this investment will allow for industrialization of iron ore, and will have a major positive impact on Bolivia’s economy. He also challenged those who argue that Bolivia is accumulating a huge debt with China: “We are doing well economically, and that’s why we can guarantee big investments for our industrialization.”

Plant construction is expected to take about 30 months, and when complete, will create 4,500 direct and indirect jobs, and produce close to 200,000 tons of steel for an annual revenue of between $170-$200 million. The project will allow for development of the enormous iron ore and manganese deposits at Mutun including the downstream processing of the iron ore, and construction of the steel plant. Bolivia’s dream has always been to use its significant natural resources to leverage its own advanced industrial development, and this is now a real possibility thanks to the deal with China.