Six industries log out of Odisha, Posco plant plan on hold

Bhubaneswar: At least six major industries have pulled back their projects from Odisha while South Korean steel player Posco has temporarily put its plan of setting up a 12-mtpa greenfield steel plant near Paradip on hold, the state government today said.

“Posco has put its Odisha project on hold temporarily,” Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said while replying to a written question in the assembly.

The minister’s statement on Posco takes on significance as it came barely three days after Union Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo informed Parliament that the Centre has not received any communication from South Korean steel giant Posco on “disinterest” in pursuing its proposed plant.

Mishra’s reply was in response to a question from Congress member Kailash Chandra Kulesika, who wanted to know whether Posco has withdrawn its project.

To another question from Congress member Asshuman Mohanty, the minister said: “Posco India Private has deposited Rs 41,61,71,739 with the state-owned IDCO for procurement of land, out of which Rs 40,17,61,606 has been sent and exhausted for land acquisition.”

Mishra, however, clarified that the government has no information on the expenditure incurred by Posco in Odisha.

Posco last month had informed the National Green Tribunal that its steel project in Odisha “cannot proceed” any further at this stage due to regulatory hurdles.

The steel maker told the green panel that it is yet to receive land and forest clearance for setting up the plant.

The project is billed as the largest FDI in India.