SAIL, Japanese firm to set up steel plant

Kolkata, June 8 (IANS) India's largest steel maker Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) Saturday said it is going ahead with its joint-venture with Japan's Kobe Steel for setting up a 0.5 million tonnes per annum iron nugget plant at West Bengal's Durgapur.

SAIL and Kobe Steel signed a memorandum of agreement (MoU) last year for the proposed Rs.15 billion plant at Durgapur.

This will be the second biggest Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bengal after Mitsubishi Chemicals' MCC PTA project in Haldia.

"We are going ahead with the Kobe joint-venture. We have already formed the joint-venture company. This is the second project of its kind in the world," SAIL chairman C.S. Verma told reporters here.

"Environmental impact assessment studies (for the project) are under progress. Four to five months will be needed for the studies," Verma said.

On the steel major's proposed joint venture with public sector undertaking of Ministry of Railways RITES for setting up wagon manufacturing factory at Kulti in Burdwan district, he said: "There is no further progress. We are studying different options about the project. Let the time come. We will keep all our options open."

He informed till now the company had not taken any firm investment decision and was yet to register the land for the project.

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