State-owned SAIL is mulling over setting up a steel project, at an estimated cost of Rs. 60,000 crore, in Jharkhand.

The plant, which is expected to be built on the space belonging to a closed fertilizer mill in Sindri, Dhanbad district, would help the company raise its annual steel production to 60 million tonnes by 2020.

The steelmaker recently applied to the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers for setting up the 12 million- tonne per annum plant, government officials told PTI.

“The integrated steel project would come up in two phases,” one of the officials said.

As per the proposal, the PSU would also set up a 1.15 million-tonne coal or gas-based urea plant at the site. The loss-making fertilizer mill in Sindri had been lying shut since March 2002.

The plan to utilise the land bank of closed fertilizer and cement mills for setting up steel mills is in line with a strategy outlined by Steel Secretary Atul Chaturvedi.

Former Fertilizer Secretary Chaturvedi said that in order to avoid problems relating to land acquisition, public as well as private sector firms should seek land belonging to closed mills, especially ones located in the mineral-rich States of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chattisgarh.

Meanwhile, the government set up a high-level committee of State industry ministers to prepare guidelines on the creation of industrial sites, comprising waste and fallow land.

SAIL is currently in talks with South Korean steelmaker POSCO to jointly set up two steel plants, entailing an estimated investment of Rs. 15,000 crore in the country.

It has also been approached by global firms like ArcelorMittal and Kobe Steel for possible business ventures.

Keywords: SAILPOSCOJharkhand

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