POSCO

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Bhubaneswar, May 16 (UNI) South Korean Steel major Posco India and TATA Steel will start construction work of their project by next month, Union Secretary for Steel R S Pandey said here today.

Mr Pande, who reviewed the progress of eight mega steel projects in the state, said that Posco India would start its construction work after the Supreme Court gives its verdict.

Similarly, Arcelor Mittal would begin its project after its land acquisition was completed by October end. He said the process had already started and it would be expedited.

The companies would start production in next couple of years. Mr Pandey said Orissa was producing five million tonnes of steel per annum against its potential to produce 70 to 80 million tonnes.

A large number of investors were also interested to invest in steel sector. He said the demand for steel was growing faster than the production growth rate. The Union Secretary said that while the growth rate in import for steel had increased by 45 per cent the export had declined by 6 per cent last year.

Mr Pandey stressed the need to produce steel faster to meet the growing demand of steel.

He said the issues like infrastructure, land and allocation of mine were standing on the way. The state and central government and the companies were concerned about it and trying their best to sort it out, he said.

Mr Pande said there was a plethora of problems in the allocation of mines and it needed to be sorted out at the earliest. He hoped that the the state would produce 45 to 50 million tons of steel by 2011-12.

The Tata Steel, Posco-India, Arcelor Mittal, SR Steel Limited Jindal Steel, Bhushan Steel, Bhushan Steel and Power, Rourkela Steel Plant besides a number of smaller players would produce steel to achieve the production growth rate.

Mr Pandey said he reviewed the progress of mineral-based industries in Keonjhar district where Arcel Mittal is planning to set up its project.

He said the road was in a bad condition and needed repair at the earliest. The repairing of the road had already started on 12 km stretch and a proposal was on to repair and maintain a certain portion of the road under PPP mode.

UNI BD DP LL DB2130

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