The country’s steel production capacity is expected to be only 115 million tonnes by 2011-12 against the targeted 124 million tonnes due to delays in commencement of two private projects in Orissa, Steel Secretary Atul Chaturvedi said here on Tuesday.

“The country is expected to have an annual production capacity of 115 million tonnes and not 124 million tonnes envisaged earlier, essentially on account of delays in Tata Steel’s and Essar Steel’s Orissa projects,” Mr. Chaturvedi told reporters here.

Private steel producers Tata Steel and Essar Steel have proposed to set up projects of six million tonne each in phases in Orissa. The proposed ventures are facing delays due to problems in acquiring land and regulatory hurdles.

Similarly, South Korean giant Posco has also failed to begin work on its Rs 54,000-crore proposed plant in Orissa due to some inordinate delays.

Posco is now looking to set up a plant in Jharkhand in joint venture with State-owned SAIL, which would be in addition to its proposed plant in Orissa.

“Posco has not spoken to us. It has spoken to SAIL and I believe they have also visited a site in Bokaro for a JV plant,” Mr. Chaturvedi said, when asked if the South Korean company is looking to set up a plant jointly with SAIL.

Faced with bottlenecks for its proposed Jharkhand and Orissa plants, world’s biggest steel producer ArcelorMittal had earlier rued the regulatory delays and problems in acquiring land in India.

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