Hyderabad: Union steel minister Birender Singh on Tuesday said the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and ArcelorMittal SA will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for forming a joint venture to set up a 1.5 million tonne per annum auto-grade steel plant, in the next few days.

“There is (will be) a JV between SAIL and ArcelorMittal. That JV is almost finalised. And within few days that would be signed. It would be a JV (joint venture) of 1.5 million tonne capacity steel plant which would produce high-end steel which would be used in car manufacturing," Singh told PTI on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 20th Asian Men’s Club League Handball Championship 2017.

SAIL and ArcelorMittal had entered into an MoU in May 2015 to explore the possibility of setting up an auto-grade steel manufacturing facility under a joint venture in India.

“In the times to come, may be after one or two years you would see that India would be producing 27% of total cars produced in the world and ultimately India would be a hub for car manufacturing. It (the JV) can be signed any time. It has almost now, It is only the matter of time," he said.

The proposed joint venture will construct a cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India, touted as one of the fastest growing automotive markets in the world with the production expected to double between 2014 and 2020, from 3.6 million units to 7.3 million units.

In May last year, an inter-ministerial group (IMG) had reviewed the progress of the MoU that aims to set up an estimated Rs5,000-crore joint venture (JV) plant to produce autograde steel in the country.

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