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Orissa optimistic of ArcelorMittal project

india Updated: Jun 04, 2010 19:52 IST

The Orissa government today said ArcelorMittal is not going back on its proposed Rs 40,000 crore project in the state, a day after world's largest steel maker expressed optimism over implementation of its steel project in Karnataka prior to its plans in Orissa.

"We have a written assurance from ArcelorMittal expressing its commitment to implement the Rs 40,000 crore project in Orissa," state Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty told reporters here.

Though the company might be planning Karnataka project on priority basis, there was no word from it regarding scrapping the Orissa project, he said.

Mohanty's statement came after the steel major signed MoU with the Karnataka government for setting up a Rs 30,000 crore plant yesterday.

ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal had claimed that the company hoped faster progress of Karnataka project than its two earlier projects in Orissa and Jharkhand.

Mittal has entered into an initial agreement with Karnataka to set up an estimated six million tonnes steel plant in iron ore rich Bellary district.

Referring to projects in Orissa and Jharkhand, Mittal has said, "In other states we have a lot of other issues in connection with not only land, but also forest approvals, environment clearances and protest. So the progress is slow".

"So, there are a lot of milestones to be achieved before we can say we are happy with the progress (made in other states)," he said.

In Karnataka, the company has already been allocated land and Mittal claimed to have been assured by the state government about speedy progress of other requirements.

On Orissa's specific assurance to ArcelorMittal, which signed an MoU with the state government on December 21, 2006, steel and mines secretary Manoj Ahuja said the company was yet to submit its detailed project report.

Ahuja had reviewed the progress of steel projects in the state on May 28. The global steel major had also made satisfactory investment in land acquisition for its Orissa project, he said.

Though the company has already applied for forest land clearance and raw material linkage, the progress was slow, Ahuja added.