Saturday, November 28, 2009

ArcelorMittal to pursue steel projects in Orissa, Jharkhand

World's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal would continue to pursue its plans to set up integrated steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand despite delays in land acquisition, a senior company official said Friday.

"Our plans to set up 12 million tonnes per annum each steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand are on and we are pursuing the land acquisition issue with the respective state governments," ArcelorMittal's chief executive for India-China region Vijay Kumar Bhatnagar told IANS here.

The Luxembourg-based global steel firm has earmarked an investment of Rs.1,000 billion for setting up steel plants in India in view of the growing demand for steel products in infrastructure, industrial and housing sectors.

"We are continuing with our plans in Orissa and Jharkhand. We have not abandoned them. We are now looking at setting up a six million tonnes per annum integrated steel plant and a 750MW captive power plant in Karnataka at an investment of Rs.30,000 crore (Rs.300 billion/$6.41 billion)," Bhatnagar said.

An ArcelorMittal team, led by its group board member Sudhir Maheshwari and Bhatnagar, met Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa and state Industries Minister Murgesh Nirani to discuss about the proposed project in the northern region of the state.

"We are doing our best to push the projects in both the states (Orissa and Jharkhand). We are in discussions with the respective state governments on the land acquisition issue," Bhatnagar said.

The company's projects in both states have been hanging fire over the last couple of years due to stiff resistance by the local people, especially tribals, in handing over their farmlands to the state governments for locating the steel plants.

Clarifying that the company was not looking for alternative sites in face of delays in acquiring land in Orissa and Jharkhand, Bhatnagar said the proposed steel plant in Karnataka would be a greenfield project and not a substitute for the plants in the western and northern states.

The company has asked for about 4000 acres of land in north Karnataka with captive mines as the proposed steel plant would require over 300 million tonnes of iron ore reserves.
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