New Delhi: Arcelor Mittal has made a headway for its proposed $10-billion steel project in Jharkhand as the state government has offered over 1,000 acres of land for its plant.
The development comes at a time when the world’s largest steel producer is facing resistance in the acquisition of private land from local villagers in the state.
“We have been offered by the government of Jharkhand a little over 1,000 acres (of government land) for our proposed integrated steel plant,” ArcelorMittal India CEO Vijay Bhatnagar told PTI.
The company has been asked to deposit Rs12.5 crore, which is 80% of the land value, with the state government, he added.
In all, ArcelorMittal would require 11,300 acres for its proposed steel plant and township in Torpa-Kamdara blocks of Khunti and Gumla districts. Of the total land requisitioned by the company, 1,900 acres is owned by the government.
Asked if the company plans to cut down its first phase of production to three million tonnes as it would require less land, Bhatnagar said this will not be possible as surveys and DPR have been undertaken on the basis of the envisaged output of six million tonnes in each of the two phases.
Hit by the global economic slowdown and delays in securing raw material resources and land, ArecelorMittal sees its $20 billion India projects overshoot the 2012 deadline by nearly two years.
“We can see (the projects) being delayed by at least two years because of the global financial crisis and delays in securing mining rights, land and other regulatory approvals,” Bhatnagar said.
The company was earlier planning to start each of its 12 million tonnes integrated steel plants in Jharkhand and Orissa by the first half of 2009 and complete the same by 2012.
For its Jharkhand project, ArcelorMittal had inked a memorandum of understanding with the state government in 2005, while for Orissa it had done it a year later.