New Delhi: State-run Steel Authority of India Ltd’s (SAIL) board of directors is expected to vet a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on its proposed Rs16,000 crore, 3 million tonnes per annum steel joint venture with South Korea’s POSCO at a meeting this month.
POSCO has already ratified the DPR and if SAIL concurs with its assessment on the feasibility of the project, other modalities such as the stakeholding pattern will be finalised.
“A Detailed Project Report (DPR) is ready for the Rs16,000 crore JV using FINEX technology. Now the SAIL board, which is likely to meet later this month, will take a final call on it,” POSCO India Senior Vice-President Vikas Sharan told PTI.
Asked about POSCO’s stake in the JV, Sharan said the final details are yet to be worked out.
Meanwhile, SAIL sources said the DPR will be put up before the SAIL board shortly.
Steel minister Virbhadra Singh told PTI that his ministry is examining the cost-benefit ratio and a final decision on SAIL and POSCO’s participating interest in the JV will be taken later.
“A study is on to assess the actual benefits of the FINEX technology in terms of cost,” he said.
Asked about reports that POSCO was demanding a majority stake in the proposed joint venture, Singh said the issue of equity participation will be decided later.
Last month, Steel Secretary P K Misra - who visited South Korea in November to iron out some vexatious issues holding up the project - had said a DPR was being prepared to establish the techno-economic feasibility of the project.
In May last year, SAIL and POSCO had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up an integrated plant in Bokaro to produce high-grade steel from low-grade iron ore and non-coking coal by using the South Korean company’s FINEX technology.
The steel-making technology is said to be very advanced and is also capable of processing high-grade iron ore fines, which are presently exported as Indian companies do not have the expertise to utilise them. It is also considered environment-friendly.
Meanwhile, POSCO is waiting for a decision from the environment ministry later this month on whether it can go ahead with a Rs54,000 crore steel project in Orissa, which is billed as the country’s largest foreign direct investment.