Nagarnar: The National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chhattisgarh government to set up a steel plant with an annual capacity of three million tonnes.
The proposed plant, for which Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan laid the foundation stone at Nagarnar in South Bastar district, will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs14,000 crore.
“The plant would have a single blast furnace route and produce four types of steel products including hot-rolled coils,” NMDC Chairman and Managing Director Rana Som said, adding that it would be the country’s fastest greenfield project.
The company expects to start production from the plant in a span of over three years after the construction work starts.
Som said the NMDC also intends to set up a pig iron plant of 0.8 million tons annual capacity near the steel unit in Chhattisgarh using the HI-smelt technology of global miner Rio Tinto. The approximate investment in the plant would be Rs1,600 crore.
HI-smelt is a technology which uses low-grade iron ore for making pig iron that can be processed into steel. Unlike the conventional blast furnace route, it does not require coking coal.
For speedy execution of the steel project, that would come up in 1,000 acres of land and generate direct and indirect employment for about 25,000 people, the Navratna PSU plans to set up the plant on a turn-key basis.
Som said the iron ore requirement would be met through the company’s own mining operations while coking coal would be imported.
“We plan to reach 50 million tons of iron ore production by 2014 whereas the annual requirement of the steel plant would be just 6.5 million tons,” Som said.
For augmenting its production capacity, the Indian miner today also inked an MoU with the Mineral Development Corporation of the state for developing Block 4 of the Bailadila mines. The block is estimated to have iron ore reserve of about 110 million tons.