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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Odisha says ArcelorMittal withdrawal will not impact industrial climate

Priya Ranjan Sahu, Hindustan Times  Bhubaneswar, July 18, 2013
First Published: 17:52 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:24 IST(18/7/2013)

A day after world’s largest steel maker ArcelorMittal decided to withdraw from its proposed Rs. 40,000 crore project in Odisha, the state government on Thursday said the company took the decision of its own and it would not impact industrial environment in the state.

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“The company requested the government not to renew its MoU, state chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mahapatra told reporters in Bhubaneswar, adding that the government on its part would not urge the company to re-consider its decision.

The MoU was due for renewal since December 2011.

ArcelorMittal had signed an MoU with the Odisha government in 2006 to set up a 12 million tonne per annum project in Keonjhar district, about 400 km north of Bhubaneswar. On Wednesday, the company intimated the state government its decision to withdraw from the project, as it was not able to acquire land and get captive iron ore mine. 

Mahapatra said due to certain reasons including problems of land acquisition the project could not make progress. As the project was not making headway, it was not possible for the state to recommend mining lease, he added.

Mahapatra allayed fear that withdrawal by ArcelorMittal would affect the state. “Other projects are progressing well,” he said.

In the last one decade, Odisha government had signed MoUs with about 90 companies to set up their steel, aluminium, cement and other projects with a total proposed investment of more than Rs. 3.50 lakh crore.  

More than 50 of them are only in steel sector, including the one with Korean steel major Posco, which is to set up a $12 billion plant with a production capacity of 12 million tonne per annum. However, at least 15 of them are still in the pipeline while others are in various stages of operation.  


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