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Business News/ Companies / ArcelorMittal plans to vault into top slot in India with 2 plants

ArcelorMittal plans to vault into top slot in India with 2 plants

ArcelorMittal plans to vault into top slot in India with 2 plants


New Delhi: ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, is looking to double its planned investment in India and build two large plants here, chief executive Lakshmi N. Mittal said.

The company plans to build a plant each in Orissa and Jharkhand, which have vast deposits of iron ore, Mittal said after meeting government officials.

Each plant will have a capacity to produce about 10 million tonnes (mt) of steel annually, he said.

If Mittal’s plan comes to fruition, it could make Arcelor-Mittal the largest steel producer in India. Tata Steel Ltd, now the country’s No.1 steel company, plans to increase its domestic production to about 20mt by 2015. Currently, ArcelorMittal has no manufacturing facility in India.

In July last year, Mittal had said he was interested in building only one plant in either of the two states with an investment of about Rs30,000-40,000 crore.

On Wednesday, he said consultants have been appointed to draft reports for two projects. However, he gave no time frame for starting or completing the work.

Executives from ArcelorMittal have been in touch with state officials in Orissa and Jharkhand over the past year.

ArcelorMittal controls about 10% of global steel production.

Meanwhile, Mittal said his personally-funded energy ventures in India are on course with no delays or cost overruns.

A refinery being built in northern India jointly with Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India’s second biggest state refiner, is on schedule, Mittal said. Construction of the plant is expected to be completed by September 2010.

“We have had four foundation stone laying ceremonies for the refinery project, we want it to take off now," Mittal said. “Going by the speed at which the project is being pursued, there should not be any delay in implementing it, or any increase in the cost."

Hindustan Petroleum’s expansion is part of a $20 billion (Rs80,400 crore) spending plan by Indian refiners to raise capacity by 2010, according to a Bloomberg compilation of expansion projects announced by companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd and Indian Oil Corp.

Mittal’s first venture with an Indian oil company began in July 2005. Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s largest oil explorer, and Mittal set up two companies to acquire oil and gas assets overseas and boost the nation’s energy security.

Bloomberg’s Manash Goswami, Pratik Parija, and Archana Chaudhary contributed to this story.

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Updated: 21 Aug 2007, 09:49 PM IST
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