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Posco chief calls on Modi, discusses investment plans

January 20, 2015 17:35 IST

POSCO CEO meets Prime Minister Narendra ModiSouth Korean steel company Posco's chief executive officer Kwon Oh-Joon on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He is believed to have discussed new investment plans in Gujarat and Maharashtra besides its much-delayed $12-billion Odisha project.

"Posco officials, who called on the Prime Minister on Tuesday, talked with him about the company's investment plans.

"And that include big projects for Maharashtra and Gujarat," an official privy to the development told PTI.

"They also shared ideas about the Odisha project and discussed the overall developments," the official added.

The Korean company's proposed 12-million tonne per annum project at Jagatsinghpur district in Odisha is stalled for about a decade.

Posco India CMD Gee Woong Sung and Korean Ambassador Joon-Gyu Lee also met the Prime Minister.

The official said so far there has been no new development on Odisha project and the state government is still to renew the pact for setting up the plant.

Assuring the steel giant of allocating a mine to meet its raw material requirement, the Odisha government has sent a proposal to seek the Centre's approval for grant of prospecting licence to Posco for iron ore over a notified area of 2082.50 hectares.

However, the Mines Ordinance, promulgated recently provides for allocation of all mines through auction.

Caught between Odisha's assurance and Centre's ordinance for auction, Posco's wait for getting mines to feed its initial 8 MTPA plant is likely to be long.

A Posco official, however said, "We have to study the Ordinance. We will take proper action only after that."

Odisha Steel and Mines Minister said on Monday that ‘the nation will be sending a very wrong signal to the international investor community by completely ignoring these international commitments for supporting the raw material requirement of the project.’

However, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said after the passing of the Ordinance, all mines would be allocated through auction route only and there would not be any allocation through the dispensation route.

Even as the company signed MoU with the state government for setting up a 12 MTPA capacity steel plant over 4,000 acre of land, it later decided to reduce land requirement to 2,800 acre and capacity to initial 8 MTPA.

The project, which would involve the largest-ever foreign direct investment in India, received environmental clearance in January this year.

Image: POSCO chief executive officer Kwon Oh-Joon meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photograph: Kind courtesy, PIB

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