New Delhi: ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said it would scrap its planned 12 million-tonne-a-year steel plant in Odisha as it has not been able to acquire the requisite land and a captive iron ore mine.

The withdrawal comes a day after South Korea’s POSCO said it was ditching a project to build a 6-million tonne-a-year plant in Karnataka and focus on its own project for a 12-million-tonne-a-year plant in Odisha.

“Over the last seven years we have invested considerable resources into this project; however, the delays relating to land acquisition and allocation of captive iron ore blocks means this project is no longer viable," ArcelorMittal India and China chief executive Vijay Bhatnagar said.

The company will continue with its two other Indian projects in the mineral-rich states of Jharkhand and Karnataka.

The Jharkhand plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 12 million tonnes, while the one in Karnataka is expected to have capacity of 6 million tonnes. spokesman Ritesh Sinha declined to say if the company has set a deadline for the two projects.

Although ArcelorMittal is pulling out of Odisha, its rival POSCO is expected to get an iron ore exploration licence for its planned $12 billion plant in the state, two government officials told Reuters last week. REUTERS

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