Steel giants Arcelor and POSCO gear up for new ventures in Karnataka

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (ANI): The world's leading steelmakers ArcelorMittal and POSCO have plans to invest 14 billion dollars in India, despite a several delays in their existing and proposed projects in the country.

Karnataka Chief Minister B. S Yeddyurappa said this after meeting with steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal here on Thursday.

"ArcelorMittal would ink an accord in June to spend 300 billion rupees for a steel plant with a capacity of six million tonnes per annum in Karnataka," he said.

"ArcelorMittal has come forward to set up a mega steel plant in Karnataka with an investment of rupees 30,000 crore with a direct employment potential for 10,000 people," Yeddyurappa added.

"He wants to start within three months and we have promised him all facilities within three months. We will work out, work it out," Yeddyurappa said.

Further he mentioned that the South Korean steel giant POSCO would bring in 323 billion rupees into his state.

An India-based spokesman of POSCO had said that the Karnataka plant would have an annual capacity of six million tonnes and it would be in addition to earlier commitments.

Both companies have faced delays of more than two years to erect a total of 37 million tonnes capacity in eastern India on delays in allocation of mining leases and protests by local farmers and tribals objecting to the acquisition of their lands.

Mittal expressed satisfaction over his talks with the Chief Minister and said that they might sign a memorandum of understanding at the earliest.

"There is a lot of assurance from the Karnataka government and I can see clearly commitment for provide all support for this steel plant in Karnataka," he said.

The rising demand in India and China in contrast to the slow recovery in demand in key US and European markets are forcing global steelmakers to focus on the two Asian markets.

ArcelorMittal had in November approached Karnataka to set up a steel plant, which it said would be in addition to its plans for units in Orissa and Jharkhand.

The plants, which will have a combined annual capacity of nearly 25 million tonnes and would cost up to 25 billion dollars, would likely begin production from 2014, two years later than originally envisaged. (ANI)

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