Odisha looks to tap downstream industries in metal and steel sectors

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on July 03, 2020 Published on July 03, 2020

Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Government of Odisha

Sensing opportunities, the Department of Investment, Government of Odisha, is drawing up plans to woo downstream industries across manufacturing sectors, primarily metal and steel.

The State government is targeting 50 per cent value addition in minerals by 2030. Presently, value addition in minerals in Odisha is only 23 per cent. This includes steel, stainless steel and alumina. For this to happen, metal-making capacity must increase.

This apart, the State is looking at investments across sectors like chemicals and petrochemicals, food processing, textile and garment and IT and ITeS.

ArcelorMittal commits ₹2,000 crore

The move comes even as ArcelorMittal Group announced plans to invest ₹2,000 crore in Odisha. Group Chairman and CEO LN Mittal had met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last month.

Although specifics have not been announced, Mittal is expected to work on the two iron ore mines ― Sagasahi and Thakurani ― in Odisha.

Essar Steel, a company later acquired by ArcelorMittal, had investments in the State that include a pellet plant in Paradip and a beneficiation plant in Keonjhar. The two were connected via a slurry pipeline. ArcelorMittal, post acquisition of Essar Steel, established a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corporation, called ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd (AM/NS India).

Plug & play

According to Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Odisha Government, plans are afoot to set up “plug and play” facilities so that downstream units in the metals and mining sector can set up shop easily.

“We are pitching for downstream industries across sectors and are looking at a cluster approach to push local manufacturing. This will help generate local employment,” he told BusinessLine.

Between 2018 and 2020, the State has seen investments worth of ₹2,42,037 crore across 57 projects.

The biennial Make in Odisha investment conclave is also due this year.

Land requirements

Land requirements for these clusters are being re-assessed.

For instance, at Bhadrak, the State is looking to push for a textile cluster promoted by IOCL. This is a part of the Dhamra Investment Region master plan that has been in the works for some time now.

Similarly, in Paradip, 5,000 acres have been set aside for a polymer complex. IOCL is once again the anchor tenant here.

Baleswar, with proximity to the Subarnarekha port, is being pitched as a petroleum complex.

In Dhenkanal, a pharma park is being mulled and nearly 1,000 acres of land is under consideration for acquisition by the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL), the single point of contact for all industrial investments.

Bhubaneswar, the capital city, is pitched for IT, ITeS, and start-ups.

“We hope to draw at least four to five projects across the target sectors, with reasonable incentives being offered,” Sharma added.

Skill mapping

Post-Covid-19 and following the return of migrant labourers, the Odisha government has embarked on a skill mapping project. This will list out the skill sets that are present, and the need for an upgrade, if necessary. Moreover, it will help the State get its work-force ready for future investors.

TheSstate government says that 5.3 lakh migrants returned home after the pandemic broke out in the country.

“Reskilling and upskilling of migrant labourers will be done. The skill development and technical education department is looking into all aspects,” he said.

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Published on July 03, 2020
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