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ArcelorMittal seeks extension till December 2023 to set up plant

Arcelor Mittal India Pvt. Ltd. (AMIPL) has sought till December 2023 for the execution of its steel plant at Kuditini I near Ballari. As a result, many educated and qualified youth hope to secure employment.

AIMPL had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government during the Global Investors’ Meet in 2010 for establishment of a six million ton per annum integrated steel plant and 750 MW power generation plant with an investment of ₹30,000 crore on 4,000 acres of land. The State government had to allot captive mining and provide the required land. Though land was provided, the captive mining, due to changed policies, could not be allotted. Thus, the plant did not come up.

In June 2018, ArcelorMittal, in its letter, said it had taken possession of 2,659 acres of land and was awaiting allotment of 136 more acres.

40 million gallons

In addition, it had received government approval to draw 40 million gallons of water per day from the Tungabhadra and had obtained all the preliminary reports on the hydrological study and a feasibility report, among other things. It had also obtained the terms and reference from Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change for an Environment Impact Assessment study. As for the delay in commencing the execution, the AMIPL said the global supply of steel from 2012 onwards had caused the industry landscape to undergo significant changes with over-supplies evolving from many countries such as China, Russia, CIS countries among others.

These countries have been exporting steel at lower prices resulting in an adverse impact on the Indian steel industry till recently. However, after the Indian government and some other trade blocks took action on dumping of steel, the situation saw improvement from 2016 Q4 onwards. Hence, there has been delay in the execution of the project.

Farmer protests

In the meantime, farmers who had lost their lands resorted to a series of agitation urging the government to either direct the company to set up the steel plant immediately or withdraw from the land.

ArcelorMittal, in between, approached the State government to permit it to change the land use and install a solar plant instead of the steel one, which was turned down.

Endorsing the views of the land losers, V.S. Ugrappa, MP, also took serious note of the delay and assured to take up the issue with the government as it was directly connected with employment generation and development.

According to sources in the government, AMIPL had planned to commence the work of production of two mtpa steel and expand the capacity in a phased manner.

Presently, the matter of extension of time is before the State High-level Committee headed by the Chief Minister and its decision is awaited.

Source: thehindu.com

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