While Gujarat was also considered for this project, the government favoured Andhra Pradesh due to the advantages of east coast, he said, adding that “the JV is yet to be signed” and could happen in the next few days. “I can say that 99% of the formalities are already complete.”
Singh, who was in Hyderabad on Friday to attend the diamond jubilee celebration of India’s largest iron-ore producer NMDC, spoke to journalists on the initiatives of the government to achieve a targeted steel production capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2031. He said that India was poised to emerge as the world’s second-largest steel producer by month-end from the third position now, surpassing Japan.
“ArcelorMittal has the technology to make high-end steel for the automobile industry and is keen to sign a joint venture with SAIL,” said Singh, adding that there were offers from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh to host the facility. “Keeping in view the eastern coast, it was thought that this (Andhra Pradesh) would be a better site for putting up the JV plant.”
The joint venture for high-end steel will have an initial annual manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, involving around ?15,000 crore of investment, the minister said.
On the ArcelorMittal-SAIL joint venture, the minister said that there were “still a lot of details to be worked out.” He added that it would help India emerge as a global car manufacturing hub, accounting for over 28% of the global car production capacity over the next three-four years.
The minister said that the state-owned MOIL is working on lithium-ion based batteries for the electric cars to be manufactured in the country.
Singh said that the government was also considering setting up an electric-arc-furnace-based steel project using scrap in Palvancha in Telangana in the premise of the closed-down sponge iron facility with over 450 acres.
While the sponge iron facility had a capacity of 0.6 million tonnes, the proposed scrap-based steel manufacturing facility will have a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, the minister said.
Saying that the details of the project are still being worked out, Singh said the government was considering various options including public-private-partnership, central-state or private for implementing the project. However, he refused to divulge details on the investments involved and the time frame.
Further, the minister said the steel ministry-appointed task force, which was formed to study the feasibility of two integrated steel facilities promised for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under the State Bifurcation Act, would submit its report shortly.