Karim says no deal has been reached with any Russian company
KOLLAM: An appropriate decision to establish a titanium complex for the production of titanium sponge would soon be taken by the government in consultation with the Centre, Industries Minister Elamaram Karim said here on Wednesday.
Inaugurating the silver jubilee of the public sector Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited, Mr. Karim said the decision would protect the interests of both the State and the nation. He said no deal had been reached with any Russian company for establishing the proposed complex.
Talks and other formalities going on in this connection pertained to whether a techo-economic feasibility study with a Russian company that responded to a global tender was required or not. He said that the Russian company had come into the picture through a transparent process.
A technical committee comprising scientists and representatives from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had taken the decision for talks with the Russian company. But even before a decision on the feasibility study could be taken, corruption allegations were being raised.
He said such allegations would only stall major development projects. “The fact is that even though technology is available with three other countries, they are not prepared to cooperate in transferring the technology. The State government is very particular that the titanium complex scheme should become a reality,” Mr. Karim said.
He said the Rs.100-crore development programme being implemented in the KMML would be completed next year. It would enable the company to withstand competition from abroad even if the Centre decided to further reduce customs duty on import of titanium dioxide.
He said the Indian Space Research Organisation-funded titanium sponge pilot plant on the KMML complex would be commissioned in July next year. The plant would have a production capacity of 500 tonnes an annum.
Delivering the presidential address, Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran said the KMML had already become a model in many respects for public sector companies. The cooperation of the local people was a great contributing factor in this connection.
At the function, Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan declared the zero liquid effluent discharge programme of the company.
KMML Managing Director K.S. Sreenivas presented the silver jubilee report. The Principal Secretary (Industries) welcomed the gathering.