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Putin Asks Lisin About Steel, Ports

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Novolipetsk Steel chairman Vladimir Lisin on Friday and asked him about steel and port projects that the company is investing in, the government said in a statement.

Lisin, whom Forbes ranks as Russia's richest man, told Putin that Novolipetsk would spend $1.5 billion building a new blast furnace at Lipetsk, according to a transcript posted on the government's web site.

The company, also known as NLMK, is building a mini steel mill in Kaluga that will process scrap from across the Moscow region and produce steel for construction, said Lisin, the steelmaker's controlling shareholder.

The two projects will help NLMK boost steel output by as much as 40 percent, Lisin said, according to the report.

Lisin, who also has interests in transportation, this year built a grain terminal in the southern port of Tuapse, he told Putin. At another port in St. Petersburg, container and automobile terminals were built, he said.

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