Having awarded six iron ore mines to SAIL, the Odisha government has asked the steel maker for raising the capacity of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to 10 mtpa by March, 2017 before considering more mines for the PSU.

The demand for raising the plant capacity was made at a recent meeting between the Odisha Chief Secretary J.K. Mohapatra and Union Steel Secretary G. Mohan Kumar in Bhubaneswar. SAIL officials were also present.

“It was impressed upon the SAIL authorities by the state Chief Secretary to enhance RSP’s capacity to 10 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) within the 12th Five Year Plan itself,” according to the minutes of the meeting.

SAIL officials could not be reached for comment.

RSP has the capacity to produce 2 mtpa hot metal now and after the ongoing expansion, with a capital outlay of Rs. 12,000 crore, the capacity of the plant would go up to 4.5 mtpa.

Odisha has already granted six mining leases to SAIL and only two of them are in “working condition”. The State-run steel maker is likely to take steps for making the remaining functional.

“Since SAIL has already been granted with six mining leases, actual assessment of the reserve position in these leases vis-à-vis requirement for proposed expansion of RSP should be done before application for further mineral concessions are considered,” the minutes read.

Meanwhile, the state government also raised the pending issues of rehabilitation and resettlement relating to the RSP and said that these issues should be addressed on a priority basis since frequent disturbances being faced by the district administration.

Close to achieving 24 million tonne capacity from 14 mtpa now, SAIL has recently unveiled plans to take it to 50 million tonnes by 2025.

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