ArcelorMittal, govt serious on India steel projects: Steel Min

"ArcelorMittal group is serious to set up their unit in India and so is the government," Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel Dali Singh said on the sidelines of a convention here.

The global steel giant has plans to build 2 mega steel plants of 12-million tonne per annum (MTPA) each in Jharkhand and Orissa and one 6-MTPA plant in Karnataka at a total estimated investment of Rs 1,30,000 crore (about USD 25 billion).

In fact, they have already applied for allocation of iron-ore mines in Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand, Singh said, when asked whether any progress was made with regard to ArcelorMittal's proposed steel mills.

Recently, the company began drilling operations in Seregarha coal block in Latehar district of Jharkhand for its proposed 12 MTPA capacity plant in the state, for which a pact was signed with the state government over five years back.

Besides this, it is also awaiting permission from the state government to begin drilling at the Karampada iron ore mine in West Singhbhum district, where it is conducting prospecting exercise.

The mine is estimated to have 200 million tonne iron ore.
However, marred by regulatory delays and problems in land acquisition, the company has put its Orissa plans on the back burner, while in September, 2010, it shifted its plant site in Jharkhand from Khunti-Gumla to Bokaro.

On the other hand, land acquisition for ArcelorMittal's Karnataka plant, being processed by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), is going on smoothly. KIADB recently said that most of the land has been acquired for the project.

The company requires about 4,500 acres of land to set up the plant in the state.

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