ArcelorMittal pullout will not impact other projects: Chief secy

Bhubaneswar: A day after ArcelorMittal scrapped its plan for setting up of Rs 50,000 crore steel plant in Keonjhar district citing inordinate delays in land acquisition and securing iron ore linkages, the Odisha Government on Thursday said that the project withdrawal would not impact other ongoing projects in the State.
“ArcelorMittal’s pullout from the proposed steel plant at Patna in Keonjhar district will not impact other industrial projects which are operational or in pipeline in the State,” chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra said.
“Since ArcelorMittal has officially intimated the State Government not to renew the memorandum of understanding (MoU), chapter between government & ArcelorMittal is closed for the time being,” added Mohapatra.
“State Government could not have recommended mining lease for ArcelorMittal as policy links project progress to mining lease,” he stated adding there were issues related to land acquisition.
In 2006, the steel maker had signed an MoU with the Odisha government to set up a 12-million tonne steel plant in four phases at Keonjhar, entailing an investment of USD 12 billion (Rs 50,000cr). It had also plans for a captive power plant in the area.
The MoU was due for renewal since December, 2011, officials said.
The company in its statement had said since the announcement of the project, it had completed a feasibility report, an environmental impact assessment study and other relevant technical reports besides holding eight gram sabhas (public hearings).
"However, unfortunately the project has faced significant external delays. ArcelorMittal has not been able to acquire the requisite land for the steel plant, nor has it been able to ensure captive iron ore security, which is a necessary requirement for the project," it had stated while giving reasons for scrapping the project.