After a delay of about two years, the Vietnam government has offered over 900 hectares of land to a joint venture led by Tata Steel for the proposed $5 billion project in the South-East Asian country.

“We have formally accepted the proposal from Hatinh Province where it is proposed to allot us 725 hectares of sea facing land for the steel plant, 150 hectares land for township and 37 hectares land for ancillaries,” said a Tata Steel spokesperson.

“With the acceptance of the proposed land parcels, we have completed all formalities regarding the Investment Licence and expect the same to be issued to us shortly by the Vung Ang Economic Zone,” he added.

Tata Steel, the world’s sixth largest steel maker, is expected to start the construction process for the 4.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) plant in Vietnam as soon as it gets the licence.

The JV, in which Tata Steel holds 65 per cent stake, got delayed after the earlier site identified by the steel firm for the plant was given away to a Taiwanese company.

The other partners in the JV are Vietnam’s Steel Corporation and Vietnam Cement Industries Corporation which have 30 and five per cent stake respectively.

As per the JV agreement signed in 2007, the venture will also get a 30 per cent stake in the Thach Khe iron ore mines.

Tata Steel has plans to set up a cold-rolling mill at the site. It had earlier thought of commissioning it by the end of 2010.

Now, construction for the first phase of the steel project is likely to be finished by 2012.

More In: Companies | Business