Jindals planning mega investments in TN

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Chennai, Nov 26: The Jindal Group, a dynamic integrated entity with interests in steel, power and industrial gases has chalked out an ambitious plan to expand the capacity in its steel plant and start a power plant in Tamil Nadu, involving a total investment of Rs 7,500 crore.

Addressing a press conference here, JSW Steels Vice Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal said the company proposed to double the capacity of its Salem-based steel plant from the present one million tonnes at a total investment of Rs 3,000 crore.

The total investment of Rs 7,500 crore depended on Tamil Nadu Government's permission for mining in Salem and Tiruvannamalai Districts in the state and approval for setting up a 1,000 MW power plant.

The company's steel plant at Mechari in Salem would become the largest integrated steel facility in the South India once the capacity was expanded from the present one million tonnes to two million tonne. The expansion would be taken up involving an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.

Mr Jindal would be meeting Chief Minister M Karunanidhi this evening to seek permission for mining in Salem and Tiruvannamalai District, where 640 hectare and 340 hectare of lands had been identified respectively.

If the state government allowed mining, the company would set up a beneficial plant at a cost of Rs 400 crore for the segregation of the low grade or iron ore which remained unexplored in these districts.

The company would also seek approval from the Chief Minister for building a 1,000 MW coal-based power plant, to be set up preferably near the Ennore Port in North Chennai with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.

Mr Jindal said the company's proposed 1000 MW power plant with an investment of Rs 4000 crore, depended on the state government's interest in the project. "If the state government is keen on the power plant, we will also be keen on setting it", Mr Jindal said adding the plant could be expanded to 2000 MW at a later stage.

The proposed power plant is part of company's plant to set up power plants to generate 15,000 MW by the year 2015.

The company had already set up plants in Maharastra, Rajasthan and Karnataka and proposed to set up plants in Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkand and West Bengal, he said.

He said the company would take a decision on the projects in Tamil Nadu at the board meeting in January next after the state government gave its consent.

The company also decided to foray into the cement sector by establishing a two million tonne capacity plant in Andhra Pradesh and three million tonne unit in Karnataka, with an investment of Rs 1350 crore.

The slag and ash generated from the group's steel and power plants would be the raw materials for the cement plants, he said.

Besides, the company also proposed to set up a 1.6 million tonne capacity Alumnium plant at Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, involving an investment of Rs 4000 crore.

Lands to the extent of 13,000 acre had been acquired and the work would start in six months, Mr Jindal added.


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