Arcelor-Mittal, Orissa join hands for mega steel plant
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Arcelor-Mittal, Orissa join hands for mega steel plant

Thursday, 21 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Bhubaneswar: Mittal Steel Company N.V., part of the world's biggest steelmaker Arcelor Mittal group, signed a deal with the Orissa government to set up a 12-million tonne steel plant in the state.

The deal was signed here between Malaya Mukharjee, a member of the group management board of Arcelor-Mittal, and Laxmi Narayan Gupta, commissioner-cum-secretary of steel and mines department, an official said.

Mittal Steel is controlled by Indian born, London-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Narayan Mittal.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, some of his ministerial colleagues and top officials were present at the signing ceremony.

As per the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the company will establish a 400- billion ($9 billion) steel plant in two phases on 8,000 acres of land near Patna in tribal-dominated district of Keonjhar, some 250 km from here.

In the first phase, to be completed in 48 months, the company would invest 220 billion for a 6-million tonne capacity plant and for a 750 MW captive power plant. It will also build a township in the region.

The second phase will be completed 54 months after the first phase, the memorandum said.

"The proposed project is going to provide direct and indirect employment to 20,000 people, the chief minister said.

The state government has already agreed to provide water to the plant from the Baitarani river and build infrastructure to facilitate the plant.

Ahead of the signing of the deal, nearly 100 activists of the Kalinga Sena staged a protest rally opposing the proposed plant.

"The government is selling our mineral wealth to different companies without taking care of the state's interest," said Sena chief Hemanta Rath.

Police detained the activists when they were trying to enter the state secretariat.

At least 45 steel companies including South Korea's Posco and Tata Steel have signed MoUs with the state government in the last two years.

Barring 15 small plants, none of the mega units have been commissioned because of delay in land acquisition due to opposition from the local residents.
Source: IANS
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