Jindal to revive West Bengal project with Rs 2,700 crore

Jindal to revive West Bengal project with Rs 2,700 crore

Jindal to revive West Bengal project with Rs 2,700 crore
Eight years after it had shelved its flagship project in Salboni in West Bengal, Sajjan Jindal’s Jindal Steel Works (JSW) has announced its plan to revive it by lining up an investment worth Rs 2,700 crore.

The project in West Midnapore district, set to be complete in a year, is expected to boost the ailing industrial scenario of the state. JSW will initially set up a 2.4 metric tonne cement grinding unit, followed by a 300 megawatt captive power plant at Salboni, Jindal said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by a city-based commerce body.

Although the company had initially planned a steel plant at the site, Jindal said the project would have to wait due to unavailability of iron ore and the “global oversupply in steel”.

“I was very keen to set up the steel plant but unfortunately I couldn’t do it. But I’ve decided to start with a cement plant,” said Jindal, adding that JSW will invest Rs 700 crore in the plant for which clinker will be imported from Thailand.

Company officials said Jindal met state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday with the proposal to lay the foundation stone of the cement plant in January 2016.

JSW had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the previous Left Front government in 2007 for the integrated steel, cement and power plant spread over 4,300 acres, involving a total investment of Rs 35,000 crore. The foundation stone of the steel plant was laid on November 2, 2008, the day Maoists instrumented a landmine blast. The project met several roadblocks and in 2014, JSW decided to put it on hold due to “uncertainties over raw material linkages”.

The company also decided to return 294 acres to farmers as it decided that it only needed 150 acres for the cement plant and another 100 acres for power plant.  “We'll start the process for the power plant after three months,” said Jindal, who  also called Bengal “one of the best places” to set up an industry.

“The government is giving full support to industry. Once the new Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act is in place, we’ll look at the steel plant. Under the Act, we can get iron ore from other states and the royalty is also much higher for respective states,” he said.
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