26 November 2007

Investment in Tamil Nadu

The below report does not specify the location of the intended mining operation in Tiruvannamalai District. Taking into consideration the scarring of the land, contamination of the water supply and disturbance of the eco-system, one would wish that the operation does not take place in Tiruvannamalai District or anywhere else. From the report it certainly sounds like objections are expected.

Indian Press News Report
Monday, 26 November, 2007

The Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW group, with interests in steel, power and industrial gases, has chalked out an ambitious plan to expand its steel plant capacity and also start a power plant in Tamil Nadu at a total outlay of Rs.7,500 crore.

Addressing a press conference in Chennai, JSW Steel Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Sajjan Jindal, said the Company proposed to double the capacity of its Salem-based Southern Iron and Steel Company (Siscol) from the present one million tonne at a total investment of Rs.3,000 crore*. Siscol, which produces round and long products for construction and engineering applications, was recently merged with JSW Steel. The company was acquired by JSW Steel in 2004.

The Company's plant at Mecheri in Salem would become the largest integrated steel facility in South India once the capacity was expanded. The expansion would be taken up involving an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.

However, the total investment of Rs.7,500 crore depended on Tamil Nadu Government's permission to grant iron-ore mining rights in Salem and Tiruvannamalai Districts in the State and approval for setting up a 1,000 MW power plant. The Company had announced its intention to invest Rs.700 crore in this project and start mining operations after two years recently.

Sajjan Jindal plans to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi later on Monday evening to finalise mining rights in the Districts where 640 hectares* and 340 hectares of land had been identified respectively. If the state government allowed mining, the Company would set up a Rs.400-crore plant for segregating low-grade iron ore that remained unexplored in these Districts.

The Company would also seek approval from the Chief Minister for building a 1,000 MW coal-based power plant, to be set up preferably near the Ennore Port in North Chennai with an investment of Rs.4,000 crore.

* A hectare is 2.471 acres
* One Crore Rupees is U.S.$ 251,290
* Rs.3,000 Crore = U.S.754 Million

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