NMDC to set up 3 mtpa steel plant in Karnataka, India

8 July 2015

Public sector mining giant NMDC Ltd will set up a greenfield 3-million tonne per annum steel mill in Karnataka jointly with the state government at an estimated investment of Rs 18,000 crore. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement this project will be set up very soon between the company and the state government, minister for steel and mines Narendra Singh Tomar said.

“The central government is taking steps to increase the national steel production to 300 million tonnes per annum by 2025. To achieve this goal, it has been proposed to set up four new steel mills in the public sector through NMDC, SAIL and RINL in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Karnataka,” Tomar told reporters here on Tuesday after chairing the meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Steel.

NMDC will initially install 3 million tonnes per annum and scale it up to six million tonnes per annum in the second phase, he said.

He said the Centre is facilitating the signing of memorandum between respective state governments and public sector companies. Already, MoUs have been signed between SAIL and governments of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. NMDC will soon sign the MoU with Karnataka and RINL will do the same with the government of Odisha, he said.

“I am going to meet Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah later this evening at Belagavi to discuss and take forward the proposal of signing the MoU between the state government and NMDC for setting up the steel mill in Karnataka,” Tomar said.

He said he has already discussed with the chief minister on allotting captive iron ore mines to public sector KIOCL, which has been struggling to operate its pellet plant without captive mines. “I am confident that the state government will allot captive mines to KIOCL very soon.”

If NMDC sets up a new steel mill in Karnataka, it will be the second public sector steel plant after the SAIL-controlled steel mill at Bhadravati in Shivamogga district. KIOCL operates only a pellet plant in the state.

The proposed four steel mills in the country will add an estimated 20-24 million tonne to the national steel capacity, pegged at around 101 million tonnes per annum. However, the steel production is stagnated at 80-85 million tonnes per annum.

Tomar said the government has also taken steps to increase exploration of minerals in the country through Geological Survey of India and Mineral Exploration Corporation of India. GSI will spend around Rs 166 crore on new exploration during the current financial year, as against Rs 96 crore in the past year, he said.

The state governments have been directed to speed up the process of setting up district mineral fund in all the states. It is expected that an estimated Rs 10,000 crore would be available to spend on the restoration of environment and rehabilitation of individuals affected by mining across the country during the next one year, Tomar added.