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Serbia Looks at Belarus for Steelmill Revival, Vucic Say

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia hopes Belarus will save its unprofitable steel plant in Smederevo and “a solution” may be negotiated soon, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.

The government “has discussed Zelezara Smederevo” with Belarus Deputy Premier Pyotr Prokopovich and “we are hoping that we will be able to resolve that problem in the very near future,” Vucic told reporters in Belgrade today after meeting his Belarus counterpart. He did not disclose any other detail.

Serbia has tried to find a buyer for Zelezara since January 2012 when U.S. Steel Corp. sold it back to the state for $1.

Zelezara restarted one of its two furnaces on April 22, after nine months and even at a projected loss of 20 million euros ($25.7 million) in 2013. The plant costs 145 million euros per month when idle, Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said in March 1 interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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