Navin Jindal on Bolivia visit to firm up $2.1-bn investment plan

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 6 2011, 07:07am hrs
Steel magnate Navin Jindal is on a week-long visit to Bolivia to give a push to his plans of investing $ 2.1 billion in the next few years in mining and setting up an integrated 1.7 MTPA steel plant, a 6 MTPA sponge iron plant, a 10 MTPA iron ore pellet plant and a 450 mw power plant in the South American nation.

With development rights for 20 billion tonne of El Mutun Iron Ore Reserves in Bolivia, Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) plans to invest more in the country.

An Indian diplomat told FE from Puerto Suarez, Bolivia, that Indian engineers here are passionate about making steel and are determined to overcome technical and logistical challenges and are also training the local people and interacting with them in Spanish with lot of enthuisasm.

Company officials told FE that, This will be the largest investment by an Indian company in South America and also the largest investment by a foreign company in a single project in Bolivia. The project is expected to generate employment for thousands of people while also catalysing economic growth for the Republic of Bolivia.

They added, The company has already secured land to start the project and expects to start exporting iron ore shortly. With the commercial dispatch of iron ore likely to commence soon in Bolivia, the company will start construction soon on the DRI, pelletisation and steel projects. These are expected to become operational in the next 3-4 years.

The direct-reduction plant will be the largest single-module facility in the world, and the Naveen Ultra Mega Mod DRI will produce both hot direct-reduction iron and hot briquetted iron for a newly proposed greenfield meltshop. Jindal Steel will provide its own iron ore and iron pellets from its El Mutun iron ore reserves. This is Jindals third DRI plant built in the last two years. The company built a 1.8-million-metric-tonne coal gasification plant in Orissa and a 1.5-million-metric-tonne gas-based HBI plant at Sohar Industrial Port area of Sohar, Oman. JSPL is reaching out to the global market with a range of investment strategies. The company continues to capitalise on opportunities in high growth markets, expanding its core areas and diversifying into new businesses.