New Delhi: Ruias-led Essar Steel plans to start the first phase of production from its proposed $1.1 billion steel plant at Minnesota in the US by 2011, company sources said.
The activities being pursued by Essar Steel Minnesota LLC (ESML), part of Essar Steel Holdings Ltd, far enable the project to be on schedule and produce iron ore pellets in 2011, they added.
“Since the ground break, Essar has accomplished several milestones relating to the project such as site survey, soil investigation, commencement of de-watering of mine pits and site grading related activities,” Essar Steel Minnesota President and CEO Madhu Vuppuluri told PTI.
Besides iron ore mining and production, the proposed project will have a 4-million tonne pellet plant, a DRI (direct reduced iron) unit and steel making facilities. In the second phase, a slab-making unit would also come up.
The steel major plans to consume iron pellets and other allied products from its Minnesota unit for the Algoma plant in the US.
So far, the company has invested in the project from its internal accruals, but is now looking at finance options from institutions in Canada, US and Europe.
“Essar does not fear the market risk for its products, which makes ESML project financially viable for banks to provide project finance,” a senior company official said.