POSCO hints at closure of Odisha project

Bhubaneswar, Mar 18: South Korean steel major POSCO’s letter to the state government hinted that it would close its proposed project in the state.

According to reports, POSCO has written a letter to the state government saying it would return the land it was allotted to set up a 12-million tonne (mtpa) steel plant in Paradip.

The South Korean steel company had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government in 2005 to set up the steel plant with an estimated investment of Rs 54,000 crore.

As per the agreement, the Odisha government was slated to allot 4004 acres of land to the company. However, it was a herculean task for the government and it was able to acquire only 2700 acres of land out of which the company was handed over only 1700 acres of land.

The company was to set up an 8-metric tonne steel plant in the1700 acres of land. However, the company could not go ahead with its project as it did not get enough iron ore mines to run the plant.

The Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act-2015 of the Odisha government also came as a major blow for the company.

After witnessing difficulties from every corner, POSCO had hinted for closure of the project two years ago. However, the current letter of the company to the state government is being considered as the first official communication marking the scrapping of the project.

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