Friday, October 31, 2014

Posco not to quit Odisha project

Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (IANS) South Korean steel major Posco Friday said it would not pull out of its Rs.52,000-crore steel project at Jagatsinghpur in Odisha.

“We are waiting for 10 years. We wouldn’t quit. No, never,” Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Posco India Gee Woong Sung told media persons here.

The Posco CMD met Chief Secretary Gokul Pati at the state secretariat here and discussed various issues, including land transfer, in order to expedite work on its proposed mega steel plant near Paradip.

The meeting was attended by steel and mines secretary G. Srinivasan and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) CMD Vishal Dev.

“The meeting was successful,” said Gee, without divulging much about the hour-long discussion.

The talks between Gee and Pati assumed significance after the central government sought more clarifications from the state government on granting prospecting license to the company to mine the Khandadhara mines in Sundargarh.

Recently, the Union mines ministry had asked the state government to send two separate recommendations on notified and non-notified areas of the Khandadhara mines.

The Posco India CMD also held discussions with the IDCO CMD separately on the land transfer issue.

IDCO is the nodal agency to acquire land for setting up industries in the state.

Although IDCO has acquired 2,752.03 acres in the first phase for the project, it has sanctioned lease for 2,193.52 acres of forest land, which was de-reserved. Already 1,301.58 acres have been handed over to Posco India, said sources in IDCO.

However, the remaining land is yet to be transferred to the company as it has not deposited Rs.54.22 crore towards the lease value of the 2,193.52 acres of land.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government had forwarded a status report of the Posco project to the ministry of external affairs, which is likely to hold an inter-departmental review meeting in the first week of November, said an official in the state industry department.

Posco had signed a MoU with the state government on June 22, 2005 for a $12 billion steel plant and port project. But the proposed project is yet to see the light of day as it faced various hurdles, including land acquisition, raw material linkage and various clearances.

The impediments forced the South Korean company to downsize its project from 12 mtpa to 8 mtpa.

Posco not to quit Odisha project


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