Steel makers to invest 725 billion in West Bengal

Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Raghunathpur, Purulia: It is raining steel projects in West Bengal as it has received two fresh proposals. The state in the past week alone has received proposals worth 725 billion to set up steel plants, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said here Tuesday.

Laying the foundation stone of a five million-tonne integrated steel plant of Jai Balaji Industries Ltd here, about 350 km from Kolkata, Bhattacharya said the state government has received two more proposals from Adhunik Steel and Shyam Steel.

"Adhunik Steel would invest 45 billion for a 1.1 million-tonne steel plant while Shyam Steel will invest 20 billion for a 1.1 million-tonne steel plant, besides a cement plant," said Bhattacharya.

"Adhinik Steel's plant would generate about 7,000 direct jobs while Shyam Steel's will generate 5,000," said Bhattacharya.

After the Jindal group inked a deal for a 350 billion mega-project in West Midnapore's Salboni on Oct 5, West Bengal's steel sector saw two proposed investments to the tune of 310 billion.

Videocon Natural Resources Ltd, floated by the Videocon group, agreed to team up with a US company to set up a three million-tonne steel plant along with a 1,200 MW power plant in the state, entailing investments of 150 billion.

Jai Balaji Industries Ltd also announced its project for which the chief minister laid the foundation stone Tuesday.

The Jai Balaji group, a leading producer of steel in West Bengal, will be investing 160 billion to build the steel plant, a captive power complex of 1,215 MW and a 3-million tonne cement plant.

The chief minister also said a small township is coming up near Raghunathpur.

"A real estate company has submitted a proposal to build a 2,500 unit township near Raghunathpur. We have suggested to the developer to build flats for the economically weaker section as well as for middle and upper segments," he added.

Speaking on employment opportunities in the backward and Maoist-violence affected Purulia district, he said the state government has taken up the responsibility of training about 15,000 students with technical skills so that they are absorbed in the upcoming projects.

Jai Balaji Group has six of its nine steel-related manufacturing units in West Bengal.

The Jai Balaji project will be implemented in phases with the first phase of 2 million tonnes to be commissioned by 2010. The investment will create direct employment opportunities for nearly 10,000 people besides indirect employment for 50,000 people.
Source: IANS
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