`Posco wants change in draft MoU before renewal`

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 18:25

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the renewal of its MoU
with the Orissa government for the 12-MTPA greenfield steel
plant in Orissa, Posco-India has sought certain modifications.

"Posco-India has accepted some of the suggestions made by
the state government, but it wants certain modifications,"
state Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty told
reporters here today.

Though the MoU with the South Korean steel major lapsed on
June 21, 2010, it was yet to be renewed because of certain
reasons including the iron ore swapping clause.

Sources in the know said that Posco-India was not ready to
accept the state government`s proposal to exclude the swapping
of iron ore clause in the original MoU.

Under the lapsed Mou, iron ore high in alumina content
not exceeding 30 per cent of the total annual requirement for
the Paradip plant could be swapped with equal quantity of low
alumina content iron ore or with better content imported for
blending to produce better quality steel and conserve energy.

The provision of swapping of iron ore in the MoU had been
opposed by many, including Jairam Ramesh, when he was the
environment minister.

While according final forest clearance to the Posco
project on May 2, Ramesh as the minister for environment and
forest had said: "The MoU had provision for export of iron
ore which made me deeply uncomfortable with this project.
I would expect that the revised MoU between the state and
Posco would be negotiated in such a manner that exports of raw
material are completely avoided".

The government was examining Posco India`s application for
modification and certain in-principle decision would be taken,
the minister said.

"We have almost finalised the draft of the MoU through
consultation with Posco-India. Have patience, we will renew
the MoU with Posco soon," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 18:25

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