ArcelorMittal eyeing quick OK for Orissa project

Bhubaneswar: With uncertainty over South Korean major Posco`s USD 12-billion steel project in Orissa ending, there could be good news in store for the much-delayed global steel giant ArcelorMittal`s 12 MTPA project in the state.

The Luxembourg-based steel major has been struggling to obtain regulatory approvals and start land acquisition for its Orissa project, which is presently progressing at a snail`s pace.

"We are awaiting environmental clearance for our Orissa project. We are very optimistic and committed to our India projects," an ArcelorMittal spokesperson told PTI over phone.

"Out of the 15 gram sabhas, eight have peacefully concluded hearings on land acquisition. The Orissa Government and Keonjhar district administration is very co-operative," the spokesperson said, adding the company has also applied for mining blocks in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts.

Land acquisition has been a major issue in the mineral rich state, where domestic steel giant Tata Steel and South Korean company Posco have been struggling to get land to start their projects for the last six years.

Tata Steel`s 6 MTPA integrated steel plant at Kalinganagar Industrial Complex in Jajpur district of the state had earlier run into trouble following stiff opposition from locals and 14 people were killed in police firing on January 2, 2006, while they were opposing construction of the plant`s boundary wall.

"You know how land acquisition is a major problem in Orissa, but things on the land acquisition front are progressing well at the proposed project site," the spokesperson said. .