Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) and South Korean steel giant POSCO are likely to come out with the detailed project report for jointly setting up a 1.5-million tonne steel plant in Bokaro, Jharkhand, within a month.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference here, Steel Secretary P. K. Mishra said some discussions had been carried out and the companies were in the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) which would establish the techno-economic feasibility of the project.

“It will take roughly a month (to prepare the DPR),'' he said.

Mr. Mishra said all other decisions, including the issue of having an equal stake for both companies, would be taken only after the DPR was prepared.

“Once we see the report and techno-economic feasibility, then the issues like management control and other issues will be discussed,'' he said when asked about reports that POSCO was seeking 51 per cent stake in the company.

Last month, a delegation led by Steel Secretary had gone to South Korea to iron out the issues between the two companies and had met senior officials of the Korean company. In May, both companies had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a 1.5 million tonne integrated plant in Bokaro to produce high-grade steel from low-grade iron ore and non-coking coal by using the world's third largest steel company's FINEX Technology.

On the proposal of sharing 26 per cent profits by the miners with the affected people, provided in the Mining Bill, the Steel Secretary said: “we are saying PSUs should be given a special consideration.''

The new Bill, which seeks to expedite the grant of mining rights in a transparent manner, has been given a final go ahead by a GoM led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Production estimate

On the growing domestic steel demand, Mr. Mishra said the estimated steel production could go up to 75 to 80 million tonnes by 2012 and the government was in the process of revising its estimates.

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