State owned NMDC on Tuesday said that it will invest Rs 3,000 crore to set up a 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) pipeline in Chhattisgarh to supply iron ore to its domestic steel customers.

“We will set a 424—km pipeline between our Bailadila mines and Vizag at an investment of Rs 3,000 crore and will have an annual production capacity 12 MTPA,” NMDC Chairman and Managing Director Rana Som told reporters.

The company said it plans to place orders for the pipeline by October this year and commission it in the next two years.

“The pipeline will help us in evacuating our increasing production of iron ore to our domestic customers like RINL and Essar Steel,” he said.

Som said the company saw evacuation of iron ore coming down after its existing 274—km—long iron ore supply pipeline was damaged —— allegedly by Maoists —— in 2009. The pipeline is yet to be repaired.

The company is investing Rs 3,400 crore to augment its annual iron ore production to about 41 million tonnes from the present level of around 22 million tonnes.

“Of which, we have already invested Rs 2,000 crore and will commission Bailadila—11/D mines by the end of this financial year and the other will be commissioned after this,” Mr. Som said.

The company said it expects to achieve sales of around Rs 2,400 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal.

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