Talks to stitch up the fine points of the proposed 3 million tonne per annum steel plant at Bokaro between Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and South Korean steel giant Posco have entered the last lap. The two firms have finalised the detailed project report for the Rs 16,000-crore project now awaiting approval of the board of directors of SAIL , who are expected to meet later this month.
SAIL and Posco had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the plant in the vicinity of the former’s existing plant in Bokaro. The plant will use Posco’s advanced Fined technology that has patents riding on it.
“The DPR has been done by us (SAIL and Posco) and Mecon and it has covered all the aspects including backward linkages (raw materials), type of steel that would be produced, employment generation and profitability,” said Vikas Sharan, senior vice-president, Posco India. “It will be presented to the board of directors of SAIL later this month for an approval. All formalities from our side are over and we hope to start work in a month’s time or so.”
Finex technology, reputed as the most advanced in steelmaking, uses iron ore fines and thermal coal and entails lower investments as it does not require sinter and coke plants. It involves only 60% of the area required in a blast furnace and is considered environment-friendly.
Steel minister Virbhadra Singh told HT that the ministry is still studying the actual benefits of the technology in terms of costs. “We want a modern steel plant but it should not be at a very steep cost. The benefit should also be for the end consumer.”
Posco also awaits the fate of its steel plant in Orissa, which is expected to get environment clearance by month end.