New Delhi: Non-ferrous metals giant Vedanta Resources is planning to enter the Indian steel sector with a 5 million tonne plant at an investment of about Rs24,000 crore in Keonjhar district of Orissa and envisaging its commissioning by 2012-13.
“We are impressed at the growing consumption of steel in India and are keen to enter its steel sector. We are planning to build a 5 million tonne steel plant at Keonjhar district of Orissa. If we find a suitable partner, we should be able to commission it by 2012-13 at an investment of about Rs24,000 crore,” company sources told PTI.
Vedanta, which is the holding company of Sterlite Industries, has proposed to form a company - Sterlite Iron and Steel Company - for the project. Apart from the plant, the project would involve developing iron ore mines. The company would be a joint venture between the Vedanta group and Volcan Investments, Vedanta’s holding company. The project is estimated to generate more than 7,000 jobs.
The project would be a fully integrated one and its produce would range from hot rolled and cold rolled coils to long products. M N Dastur and Company has been entrusted to prepare the feasibility report of the project.
For 5 MT plant, the company would require 500 million tonne of iron ore reserve, for which it is expected to apply for the necessary mining lease.
Meanwhile, Vedanta has began trial run of its Rs3,500 crore alumina plant at Lanjigarh in Orissa but is yet to ensure adequate bauxite linkage for its different projects.
“We envisage being number one producer of aluminium next year in the country,” Vedanta Head Business Development C V Krishnan told reporters at Lanjigarh.
“The alumina refinery project has been completed and the trial production has commenced. Bauxite Mining from Niyamagiri through joint venture between Sterlite and Orissa Mining Corporation will commence after the Supreme Court clearance,” Krishnan said.
India has the potential to be among the top three Aluminium producers in the world, he said.
The company’s other projects in Orissa, include 250,000 tonnes Aluminium Smelter complex nearing completion at Jharsuguda, 2400 MW Independent Power Plant also at Jharsuguda and a world-class research driven University project at Puri.
Total 118 families from seven villages residing near the Niyamgiri hills have been rehabilitated. These villages are Kinari, Borbhata, Kothduar, Sindhbahal, Narayanpur, Kasibadi, Rengopali. The visiting journos were shown the new colony-Niyamagiri Vedanta Nagar.
The company has launched Project Ujala to provide infrastructure facilities for enabling electrification of peripheral villages and improving the quality of life in 18 villages, which includes laying transmission lines, installing sub-stations, high mast lighting in the villages at an investment of Rs300 lakh.
Denying that there was any environmental threat to the Niyamgiri hills if bauxite mining operations began as is being alleged by certain NGOs, Krishnan said forest cover improves after bauxite mining due to reclamation and compensatory afforestation.
Besides, there was no habitation in the proposed bauxite mining lease area at Niyamagiri, and hence, no question of any displacement. Moreover, the water regime would improve as confirmed by Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, Ranchi, Krishnan added.