Tata wants greenfield rider to keep Mittal away

Hinting that the world’s largest steel producer Arcelor-Mittal should not get mining leases in Chiria hills, managing director of Tata Steel B Muthuraman has said approval to mine iron ore should only be given to steel Companies with experience in setting up greenfield units. The company recently evinced interest to secure iron ore from the mega deposits at Chiria mines. The others in the fray for mining the 1.4 billion tonne of reserves at the hills in Jharkhand state are Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Arcelor-Mittal.“Though it is for the government to decide on allocation of iron ore mines, I believe it should allocate mining leases to credible steel making Companies that have experience in setting up greenfield plants,” Muthuraman said. The company is looking at assured allocation of over than 1 billion tonne of iron ore for its greenfield and brownfield expansion in the state.

On January 5, Tata Steel joined the tussle to procure rights to ensure uninterrupted supply of raw material from Chiria mines. The company said it has asked the Jharkhand government to ensure raw material supply for the brownfield expansion of its steel plant in the state. The company’s plant, with an annual steel making capacity of 5 MT currently, would be upgraded to 7 MT by June 2008 and 10MT by 2010. Total investment on the expansion would be in the tune of Rs 22,000 crore.

The world’s largest steel producer Arcelor-Mittal has a global production capacity of over 110 MT per annum.

When contacted, vice-president, corporate communications of Arcelor Mittal, Nicola Davidson, told FE, “We are clearly one of the most experienced steel producers in the world with a large depth of experience across many countries and products. Besides, Arcelor-Mittal is also one of the most integrated steel Companies and have considerable experience in iron ore mining.” The Union steel ministry has said it would ask the state government to lend full support to the steel giant as it intends to invest over Rs 80,000 crore to set up two steel making units – one each in Jharkhand and Orissa.

Earlier, the world’s steel producer Arcelor Mittal had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jharkand government to invest over Rs 40,000 crore and set up a 12 million tonne steel plant in three phases. The steel maker is looking at over 600 MT of raw material

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