Posco to begin work in Orissa by Oct

Written by Economy Bureau | Press Trust of India | New Delhi, Aug 19 | Updated: Aug 20 2007, 06:15am hrs
Setting at rest speculation on the fate of its Rs 52,000-crore steel project, South Korean giant Posco has decided to begin work on constructing a 12-million-tonne plant in Orissa by October.

We will begin construction work of our 12 mt project in Orissas Jagatsinghpur district by October on whatever land we have acquired so far, Posco India chairman and managing director Soung Sik Cho said.

This assumes significance amid reports that the worlds third-largest steel maker was planning to exit the coastal state after two years of intense opposition to the project and the consequent delay in starting it. We believe things have undergone a sea-change during the last few months. People are clearly convinced that they will benefit from the project, he said.

The Naveen Patnaik government in Orissa has been asked by the Centre to take the mega investment process forward. Actually things are now looking much brighter. We have also received the official nod for our captive port project at Jatadhari, Soung pointed out. Posco has decided to begin construction initially on 400 acres of non-forest land.

Now the only issue remains to be resolved is granting of captive iron ore mines to us. But, here also, I believe things are moving in the right direction, Soungh said. Meanwhile, the Centre has set August 23 as deadline for states to take a final call on 170 proposals for special economic zones. The Centre has also warned that proposals may be scrapped if states fail to give their recommendations to the BoA by August 23.