Zeljezara Niksic was put on loan last December

South Korean steelmaker POSCO has expressed interest in negotiating potential cooperation with Montenegro’s state-owned energy company Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG). It concerns the steel branch of Zeljezara Niksic, SeeNews reports.

During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milojko Spaic held talks with POSCO Group Vice President Jiwang Li. The meeting discussed possible investments in the Niksic steel plant and potential cooperation with EPCG.

In December 2023, EPCG opened a public tender for investors to lease the facilities of EPCG Zeljezara Niksic. This step is aimed at maintaining steel production at the troubled plant. The application deadline is January 25.

In January 2024, the Montenegrin Ministry of Energy reported that it had held talks with representatives of the Austrian steel supplier Safin Group, which expressed interest in the production assets of EPCG Zeljezara Niksic. In addition, according to local media reports, Luxembourg-based Duferco and Swiss Trasteel have expressed interest in the lease.

EPCG acquired Zeljezara Niksic from Turkiye’s Toscelik in December 2022 for €20 million ($22 million). The company, located in Niksic, has two 60-ton electric arc furnaces with an annual capacity of approximately 300 kt of steel.

Last September, POSCO was considering opening a steel plant in India, which would allow the company to meet the growing demand for automotive steel. The last time the South Korean steelmaker planned to build a plant in the country was 18 years ago, but the project was rejected due to strong competition.