SMS Meer’s recent joint venture with Samsung Engineering for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package at the $1.2m Hidd Steel Mill in Bahrain is the first project of many in the Middle East that the two companies will work on together, according to Joachim Schonbeck, president and chief executive officer of the company.

Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration for Kuwait’s Gulf United Steel Holding Company’s (Foulath’s) new $700m pelletising plant in Bahrain, Schonbeck said that both companies were looking forward to working together.

“We were looking for a turnkey contractor and Samsung were looking for an equipment supplier,” Schonbeck said. “We both fitted the bill.”

“We hope that we can work together on a number of projects in the [Middle East] region,” he added “Customers seem to like the arrangement.”

According to a source, one of the contracts the two companies will definitely be bidding on is the estimated $1bn EPC contract for Emirates Steel Industries’ planned phase III expansion of its mini-mill project in Abu Dhabi.

Samsung Engineering will work with SMS Meer and sister company SMS Comcast to construct the 1 million tonnes-a-year melt shop and heavy section rolling mill.

Construction is expected to take up to two years to complete, with commercial output expected by mid-2012.

The Hidd Steel Mill is a joint venture between Foulath and Japan’s Yamato Kogyo.