10 March 2002

Sidermet calan

Germans sign pipe joint venture
By Corina Mica

Calan - German-based Pipe Products GmbH, part of the Saudi Amiantit group, a producer of ductile iron pipes, last week formed a joint venture with Sidermet Calan, in Hunedoara county.
The emergent company, Amidip, has an 18.3 million USD share capital, with the German investor controlling 65.6 per cent. Sidermet offered an in-kind participation, whose value reached 6.3 million USD, and controls 34.4 per cent. Pipe Products' participation includes a cash contribution of 6.2 million USD and an in-kind contribution with a value of 5.8 million USD.
The in-kind contribution from the German part consists of new equipment needed to finalize the investment.
This news comes after the new company failed to be formed three times during last year, mainly due to a transfer of equipment. Main competitors on the European market are French-based Pont-a-musson and Germany's Thyssen.
Amidip will produce for the big cities' water networks, and depending on the quality and performance that the pipes would have, production could also be extended to gas networks and the chemical industry.
Its factory currently employs over 580 people and with the new joint venture an extra 150 jobs will be created, Amidip officials said. The company produces and sells metallurgical coke, gray cast iron and derivatives. Sidermet Calan was one of the companies that were part of the PSAL I program, with the World Bank.
The company posted a turnover of around three million USD last year, with losses of 6.6 million USD. Its debts amount to 44.7 million USD.-(bbw.ro)

Lebanon Time-Line

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Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.