IMG to look into delays in steel projs including POSCO on Mon

IMG to look into delays in steel projs including POSCO on Mon New Delhi: Concerned over delays in steel projects including those of Posco and ArcelorMittal's proposed plants in Odisha, costing USD 12 billion each, an Inter- Ministerial Group (IMG) on Monday is likely to come out with suggestions to fast-track them.

"The IMG in its meeting, scheduled on Monday would take up the issues impeding steel projects including delays in the grant of environment clearances," said a Steel Ministry official.

"The agenda includes steps for revalidation of environment clearance to POSCO project and grant of mining leases to ArcelorMittal project," the official said.

Other projects to be reviewed by the IMG include Tata Steel's proposed six million tonne steel plant at Kalinganagar in Odisha as well as Bhushan Steel's three million tonne steel plant in the state.
Projects by SAIL and other companies are also likely to be reviewed in the meeting.

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had recommended revalidation of Posco's initial 4 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant environment clearance in as-it-is form at its meeting on June 14, 2012.

However, the revalidation recommendation has been awaiting MoEF approval till date for the proposed plant to come up at Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district.

Hoping to get the required land this year, the South Korean Steel major plans to commission the first phase of the steel plant in the early 2018.

The USD 12 billion (over Rs 50,000 crore) project is hanging fire for about seven years on account of land acquisition and regulatory hurdles.

The IMG, the official said, will also take up the issue of delays in renewal of ArcelorMittal pact with Odisha government for USD 12 billion steel mill in the state.

ArcelorMittal's memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government for 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant in the state expired on December 31, 2011 and is pending for renewal.

Besides, the world's largest steel maker has also filed seven prospecting license applications and one mining lease application with the state government, which is pending.

The steel giant's pact with Odisha government in 2006 for setting up a mega steel project expired in 2011.

PTI