Karnataka offers ArcelorMittal 2 sites for Rs 30,000-cr steel plant

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We will issue all clearances within 90 days of deciding the place: Yeddyurappa.

The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, and the ArcelorMittal Chairman,
The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, and the ArcelorMittal Chairman,

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 7

Karnataka has rolled out a red carpet welcome to the world's largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, which would like to invest Rs 30,000 crore for setting up a six-million-tonne-a-year integrated steel plant in the State.

The State gave in-principle clearance for 38 projects worth Rs 1,38,000 crore recently, including a Rs 32,300-crore project of Korean steel giant Posco, said Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister.

He was speaking to reporters after meeting Mr Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman of ArcelorMittal, here on Thursday.

“The representatives of ArcelorMittal have been shown two locations at Bellary and Bijapur. We will issue all clearances within 90 days after they decide on the location,” said Mr Yeddyurappa.

ArcelorMittal has sought 4,000 acres. The company will also set up a 750-MW captive power plant on this land. The steel plant is expected to create 10,000 direct jobs in the State.

Impressed with the support and co-operation from the Karnataka Government, Mr Mittal said: “There are lots of assurances and there is clear commitment from them. A good progress would be made in a couple of months and then we can decide on signing an MoU.”

ArcelorMittal's plans to set up steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand have run into troubles over land acquisition issues and delays in securing regulatory approvals. The steel giant had planned to invest Rs 1 lakh crore in these projects. However, Mr Mittal ruled out any plans to exit from any of these projects despite the slow progress.

Mr Yeddyurappa invited Mr Mittal to be the chief guest at the inaugural of the Global Investors Meet in Bangalore on June 3 and 4, where the State Government expects to sign MoUs with promoters of 38 projects.

While stating that his Government was keen to attract investments to tier-II and tier-III cities, Mr Yeddyurappa said: “Nearly 60 per cent of the proposed investments would be in North Karnataka.”

The State has identified about 90,000 acres, of which acquisition has been initiated for some 40,000 acres for creation of a land bank, he said.

As part of its plans to improve the infrastructure, Karnataka has called for an expression of interest to set up a port at Tadri, said Mr Murgesh Nirani, the Industry Minister. The State plans to set up a special industrial zone for steel in districts in districts such as Bellary, Koppal, Raichur, Bagalkot and Haveri, he added.

Karnataka produces 9.7 mt of finished steel products a year, whereas the sponge iron and pig iron output is estimated at one mt.

The Rs 20,000-crore steel plant from Surya Vijayanagar Steels and Power and two gas pipeline projects of Relogistics Infrastructure and Gas Authority of India Ltd were among the other projects that were recently granted in-principle approvals.

Related Stories:
Karnataka identifies 3 plant sites for ArcelorMittal
Karnataka Govt clears Rs 1.38-lakh cr investments
NMDC to invite steel majors for Karnataka project

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 8, 2010)
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