SAIL Mulls Steel Mill

Country’s biggest government sector steel conglomerate Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is eyeing to improve its footprint in Odisha by making major investment in a mega green field integrated steel complex, insiders said.

SAIL is interested to set up an Integrated Steel Complex in Odisha either in mineral-rich Keonjhar district or at Gopalpur in Ganjam District, sources in knowledge of the development said.
A six million-tonne-per-annum (MTPA) steel complex was planned under Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) route. Earlier, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) was given the mandate for such SPV.
With prominent Odisha BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan taking over as Minister of Steel, chances are now bright for a major investment in Odisha by the SAIL, said sources.
It was planned that SAIL would set up four mega green field steel complexes in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given green signal for these green field projects way back in 2015.
Now, with Mr.Pradhan at the helm of the Ministry of Steel, setting up of steel complex projects is likely to be fast tracked, officials feel.
While Tata Steel’s proposed steel complex is yet to come up in Gopalpur, highly placed sources said SAIL is interested to set up its green field project in Odisha, and preferably in Gopalpur.
Gopalpur is a major port and is connected with railway line. So it will be easier for the steel major to go for a steel complex near the coast.
With Gopalpur Port running in full swing, setting up of a steel complex will be beneficial for importing raw materials and exporting finished products thorough sea route, which is cheaper.
SAIL is having its iron ore and manganese mines in the state, which will cater to its raw materials requirement.
Way back on December 30, 1995, former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had laid foundation stone for the 2.5 million tonne-per-annum (MTPA) plant that was to be set up by Tata Steel.
Tata Steel had acquired 4,000 acres of land for the plant in an area between Gopalpur and Chamakhandi, apart from 1,000 acres for a rehabilitation colony in Luharjar village in Berhampur tehsil.
However, setting up of this proposed green field steel complex by Tata Steel has not been materialized due to various reasons.
SAIL undertook modernization and expansion of its five integrated steel plants at Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Bokaro (Jharkhand), Rourkela (Odisha), Durgapur (West Bengal) and Burnpur (West Bengal) and special steel plant at Salem (Tamil Nadu) to enhance its crude steel capacity from 12.8 MTPA to 21.4 MTPA.
Meanwhile, the modernization and expansion work at Rourkela, Burnpur, Durgapur, Bokaro and Salem steel plants has been completed. Further, at Bhilai steel plant, all major facilities have also been completed.
Sources said SAIL authorities are now more interested for green field steel complex in Odisha.

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