New Delhi: The world’s largest steel maker ArcelorMittal, which plans to set up two 12-million-tonnes-per-annum plants in India, will begin investing $20 billion starting 2009, a company official has said.
“The company expects to break ground on one of the Indian projects before the end of 2009,” CNN quoted ArcelorMittal’s London-based head of investor relations Julien Onillon as saying last week.
The two identical projects are to come up in the states of Jharkhand and Orissa and would add 24 million tonnes annual steel production capacity.
The company executive also did not rule out a rise in cost of implementing the projects, which were announced as early as 2005 (Jharkhand) and 2006 (Orissa).
“India is a very exciting growth story for us,” Onillon said, adding that “India’s per capital consumption of steel is only 40kg, compared with a figure of 500kg for Europe and 270kg for China.”
According to the report published on the CNN website, Onillion does not expect the company to face any problems over its proposed investment in India.
Last month, the company announced a new leadership for India with Vijay Bhatnagar as country CEO for India and Sanak Mishra as CEO, greenfield operations.
The first Indian project was likely to be developed in two phases, each of 6 million tonnes and is subject to market conditions.
“We don’t want to destabilize the market, so it could be in three phases,” he noted.