A technical team from Rajhi Steel of Saudi Arabia will visit Visakhapatnam within a month to hold discussions with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited to explore setting up a three million tonne steel plant and exploring revival of the existing steel plant at Riyadh.

This is expected as a follow-up of a preliminary team which visited Saudi Arabia. “The draft non-disclosure agreement has been finalised and is ready for signing,” RINL Director (Projects) N.S. Rao said on Wednesday. Asked to comment on the status of the proposal, he told reporters who met him that RINL was very keen on diversifying and overseas investment. “The Saudi project, if it materialises will be mutually beneficial. We will offer our technical know-how and marketing support for the expansion of Riyadh plant as well as revive the existing unit,” he said. RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is in advance stage of commissioning 6.3 million tonne-expansion project with a total investment of Rs.12,500 crore. The entire outlay was mobilised through internal accruals. Now the navratna company is under disinvestment. Road shows will be held by the merchant bankers to seek domestic and overseas investments to the tune of Rs.2,500 crore – 10 per cent of government's equity. The debt equity ratio will be at 1:1 to seek funding for further expansion of VSP. Mr. Rao said RINL was studying the offers received in response to expression of interest for setting up a joint venture cement plant in November 2011. For the Rs.2,000-crore three million tonne slag and flyash-based cement plant, RINL was considering seeking suitable site at the AP Special Economic Zone, Atchutapuram. Another possibility was to locate the clinker plant at Jaggayyapeta, where RINL had limestone mines, he disclosed.

He said they had recently signed memorandum of understanding with National Mineral Development Corporation for laying a slurry pipeline from Bastar to Visakhapatnam at an estimated investment of Rs.2,200 crore. The proposed pipeline would also be useful to NMDC in transporting materials for its two million tonne integrated steel plant coming up near Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh. The pipeline will have a total length of 436 km and the project will be completed within two years from date of signing the final agreement.