New Delhi: South Korean steel giant Posco has informed the Centre that it will build the first phase of its USD 12 billion steel-to-port project in Orissa within three years of the state government handing over possession of land to the company.
"Posco is in position to commission its first phase of 3 million tonne (MT) plant within 3 years after possession of land," the company has informed the Ministry of Steel.
Posco requires 3,719 acres of land for its 12 MT project. According to the Steel Ministry, it has already acquired about 569 acres of land for the proposed mill in Jagatsinghpur district.
"The major bottlenecks are the issues of land acquisition and allocation of captive iron ore mines," a Steel Ministry official said, adding that the company has received all the statutory clearances from the Centre.
When contacted, a senior Posco official told media that the company was hopeful of land acquisition getting momentum after October.
"The Orissa government through its arm Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO) has already acquired 2,500 acres and we expect it would be expedited after Dusshera," the official said.
On 568.91 acres of government land in its possession, the official said it is scattered over a vast area whereas the company needs land at a single location, the official added.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest in May had granted conditional clearance to the project with USD 12 billion (about Rs 54,000 crore) investment, billed as the country's largest foreign direct investment.
The land acquisition for the mega steel project was suspended in June this year in the face of stiff opposition from agitating villagers even as the Orissa government launched ground activities for the project near Paradip.
However, the process of acquisition was resumed in July.
Posco, which initially required 4,004 acres of land reduced it to 3,719 acres after Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that private land of Dhinkia village would be kept out of the project area.
The company had inked a pact with Orissa government on June 22, 2005 for the project.
The plant will be built on finex technology which uses low grade ore or fines in steel making.
First Published: Sunday, September 25, 2011, 14:56