State-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) proposes to set up a three-million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel plant in Odisha for producing high-end flat products on the land the state had earmarked for South Korean steel major Posco’s now abandoned mega steel plant.
Chairman of the state-run firm Anil Kumar Chaudhary said he would soon write to Odisha chief minister Naveen Pattanaik seeking to get around 2,000-2,500 acres of land to set up the steel plant. As per the industry estimate, a three-mtpa steel plant would entail around Rs 20,000 crore investment.”All big steel firms like JSW, Tata and RINL have coast-based plant, but we don’t have any. A coast-based steel plant would help us a lot,” Chaudhary said, adding that the company intends to jack up its capacity to 50 mtpa by 2030-31.
The Odisha government had acquired around 2,700 acres of land at Jagatsinghpur, which is barely 10 km away from Paradip port for Posco’s proposed plant. Out of the acquired land, the state government had handed over 1,700 acres land to Posco. The South Korean major, however, abandoned the 12-mtpa project for want of raw material linkages.
The Odisha government has already decided to give some part of the acquired land to JSW Steel. The Sajjan Jindal-led firm reportedly intends to set up a 10-mtpa steel plant there. None of SAIL’s five integrated steel plants are located near the coast. Hence, its cost of transportation is higher than its peers. Meanwhile, Chaudhary said SAIL has written to ArcelorMittal to expedite the process for signing a definitive agreement for setting up the proposed joint venture for manufacturing high-end automotive steel. “Only yesterday, I wrote a letter to ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi N Mittal asking he should set his things right and we should start working on this very closely so that at least in next one month we are able to complete it…They want to go ahead, their stand is clear, our stand is clear. We want to complete the JV pact at the earliest,” Chaudhary told reporters at an event to mark the PSU’s 60 years of production.
“We have communicated to ArcelorMittal that the time has come that we should expedite things and we should be able to close all the agreements in a time-bound manner,” he said.