University of Queensland students meet His Excellency Mr Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on his arrival at UQ
University of Queensland students meet His Excellency Mr Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on his arrival at UQ
9 April 2011

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: Research leading to more sustainable steel production could result from a new agreement signed today by one of the world’s top three steel producers and four Australian universities.

Shanghai-based Baosteel Group has partnered with The University of Queensland (UQ), University of New South Wales, Monash University, and the University of Wollongong to establish the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre.

The Joint R&D Centre will be headquartered at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.

The centre will seek to create fundamental knowledge and exploitable technologies with commercial relevance to steel industry, and will focus on metallurgy and new materials, energy utilisation, environmental sustainability and other new technologies.

Baosteel will provide up to AUD25 million over five years for research and development projects at the centre.

The Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Mr Jia Qinglin, attended the Centre’s launch and unveiled a plaque at UQ.

Baosteel Group chairman Mr Lejiang Xu led a delegation of Baosteel executives to Australia for the signing of the agreement and attended the centre’s launch at UQ today.

“Baosteel and Australia have enjoyed good collaborative relationships for quite a long time,” Mr Xu said.

“The establishment of the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre will broaden the areas of collaboration, and elevate the existing collaboration to new heights.

“The Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre is the first R&D Centre that Baosteel has set up overseas, so we regard it as a milestone.

“The Centre will provide Baosteel with technological support through high quality research projects, and it will explore a sustainable development route for the high carbon steel industry.

“All the partners will work closely in a complementary way. We seek to realise research development and achieve a mutual win-win situation.”

UQ’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Paul Greenfield, said Chinese companies had invested billions of dollars in Australian ore mining and supply chains, and he welcomed Baosteel’s extension of its investments into high-quality Australian research.

“Partnership with a giant manufacturer and consumer of Australian resources will enable UQ researchers to target practical solutions to global manufacturing and sustainability problems,” Professor Greenfield said.

“Collaboration with three other Australian universities will add value to the R&D centre’s projects, and give altitude to the international reputation of Australian university research.”

Further information: UQ School of Chemical Engineering: Professor Victor Rudolph ph+61 7 3365 4171,; Dr Guo-Xiong (Geoff) Wang ph +61 7 3365 3928; Faculty communications officer Madelene Flanagan ph +61 7 3365 8525,; or Fiona Cameron 07 3846 7086 or Jan King 0413 601 248.

Baosteel contacts:

Baosteel Group Corporation, headquartered in Shanghai, is currently the most competitive iron and steel complex in China. With business revenues of RMB 195.3 billion (AUD28.6 billion), total profits of RMB 14.9 billion (AUD2.18 billion), total assets of RMB 402 billion (AUD58.89 billion), net assets of RMB 243 billion (AUD35.59 billion), and a total of 106,914 employees, the corporation ranked 276th among the Fortune 500 companies in 2010, and has been ranked in the Fortune 500 for seven consecutive years. In 2009, it was the only Chinese enterprise awarded the title of "World's Most Admired Company". During 2010, the company’s steel production totalled 44.5 million tons, ranking it No. 3 in the world. The company was the global partner of the Shanghai Expo and the general supplier of steel for that event.

The company is committed to sustainable development and corporate responsibility. It was the first metallurgical company in China to gain the ISO14001 Environmental Quality Certification. It is one of the first three Chinese companies to sign the Global compact. In 2006, it joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and became the council's second member from China. Baosteel is also on the Executive Board of the World Steel Association.