Videocon forays into steel manufacturing in Bengal

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Kolkata, Oct 4: Making its foray into steel manufacturing, V N Dhoot's Videocon Group today signed an agreement with the West Bengal government for setting up of a three-million ton integrated plant in the state.

The consumer electronics major will also set up a 1,200 MW captive power plant as a back-up support to its steel factory, designed for high value products to cater to automobile, ship building and engineering industries.

Both the projects would come up at Barabani in Bardhaman district at a total investment of Rs.15,000 crore.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was present at the signing ceremony, said the projects, to be commissioned in four years time, were expected to provide direct and indirect employment to about 10,000 people.

A total of 3,500 acres of land, earmarked for the steel and power plants, was in the process of acquisition, he said.

Observing that the proposed high value steel plant would open up further possibilities for industries in the downstream, Mr. Bhattacharjee said the Videocon Group, coming in a big way in the state, was also constructing an IT tower in the city's Salt Lake area providing job opportunities to 30,000 professionals. The Group, already present in the state with its consumer electronics factories was also in the process of setting up food processing parks and a bio-tech park with the support of IIT, Kharagpur and Barkley University, he said.

"Our Government is trying its best for industrialisation with a special thrust on manufacturing, knowledge-based and food processing industries," the Chief Minister said.

In the recent times, the state had received several proposals for setting up of steel plants with a total investment of more than Rs. 90,000 crore promising about 100,000 job opportunities, he said.

Promising that the rehabilitation package for project-affected people would be unmatched, Videocon Group Chairman V N Dhoot said his company was also hopeful about signing agreement with the state government for setting up of a semi-conductor laboratory with technological support from IIT, Kharagpur.

Describing the Vediocon venture as very important in the state's industrialisation drive, Industries Minister Nirupam Sen said the investment decision by several industrial groups, including the Jindals, Bhushan and Jai Balaji in the steel sector had already drawn national attention.

Most of these proejcts were being set up in backward regions, he said.

Mr.Sen said in the recent times the state had also received investment proposals for two ship building projects, two automobile plants and one two-wheeler manfacturing project.


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