POSCO says India project on time despite Jan riots | india | Hindustan Times
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POSCO says India project on time despite Jan riots

The project in eastern India would be completed on time despite a two-month delay due to violent protests against another proposed plant in the area.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 17:18 IST

South Korean steel major POSCO said on Tuesday its steel project in eastern India would be completed on time despite a two-month delay due to violent protests against another proposed plant in the area.

Twelve tribal people were shot and killed by police on January 2 during a protest against a government move to acquire land for another steel plant in Orissa state, run by India's largest private steel producer, Tata Steel Ltd.

"There is a two-month delay because of the Kalinganagar incident," Tae Hyun Jeong, deputy managing director of POSCO Company Ltd.'s India project, told reporters on the sidelines of a steel conference in New Delhi.

"However, the project will be completed as scheduled by December 2010, as we had made provision for a bump period."

The South Korean company will invest a total of $12 billion in the project -- the largest single foreign investment in India.

Jeong added the government had already demarcated nearly 80 per cent of the land needed for POSCO to start the project. Another 20 per cent is to be acquired from private owners and these were likely to be completed soon, he added.

POSCO expected to get a licence for prospecting minerals from the state government in May, and Jeong said it expected to meet its iron ore needs from within the state.

"I don't think we need to buy iron ore from anywhere else. For 12 million tonnes steel output, we need 19 million tonnes of ore. And the captive mines we will have are sufficient," he said.

POSCO also plans to invest in an 82-kilometre-long (50-mile) railway line from the state's Paradip port to feed the project.

"We want to make Orissa the industrial hub of India. We will have 98 percent of the workforce from the local area," he said.

Jeong said the project would provide jobs to 48,000 people and employment to 467,000 workers during the construction.