Abid Sharifov, the Azerbaijani Vice Premier, said on 31 January that Baku Steel Company (BSC) should resolve the insufficiency in raw metal by own forces to continue the production, Trend reports. A problem was not posed by the Government and the Company itself should think over the outlet from this situation, he said. Talk on destruction of an inactive plant for obtaining the raw metal is absurd, Mr. Sharifov said. He particularly proposed to purchase raw metal abroad. During the Soviet period Azerbaijan used to purchase metal from Baltic countries and Ukraine. The raw metal can be purchased from these countries, he said.
Since the beginning of 2007, Baku Steel Company has temporality terminated its activities due to the exhaustion of raw metal materials reserves used in the production. Annual demand for crude is over 1,000 tons. Presently work is being carried out to collect raw metal materials. Activities will be restored once the necessary raw materials have been obtained.
Production capacity of BSC comprises 350,000 tons a year. In 2006 the output of BSC made up 300,000 tons. Recently the company increased the prices of its product due to rise in fuel prices and with respect to stimulate the collection of raw metal. If earlier the company purchased the raw metal at $80-100 per tone, now the price is $115 per tone without Value Added Tax (VAT).