Bhubaneswar(PTI): Unfazed by Posco’s move of suspending its plan to set up a Rs 52,000-crore steel plant in Odisha, the state government said a project “with huge investment” is expected as many big companies are showing interest in the land allotted to the Korean steel major.
In March, Posco-India requested the Odisha government to take back its 2,700 acres of land provided at Paradip in Jagatsingpur district for setting up a 12 MTPA steel project.
Consequently, the Odisha government sent a letter to Posco-India informing the land allotted to “it has been cancelled as the land was not utilised even three years after the allotment”.
The government, at present, expects to allot it to suitable players.
In an interview to PTI, Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Odisha said many big companies from various sectors have submitted expression of interest (EoI) for the same land.
However, he did not name any particular firm but according to media reports JSW Group has approached the state government for the land.
When asked whether Posco’s plan to suspend its project is a loss of investment, the officer said Odisha is a mineral-rich and investment-friendly state that gives various fiscal benefits to investors.
“A lot of companies from various sectors, from FMCG to Steel, are showing interest in the land. Many big projects can come on the land which is not very far from Paradip. It is a clear sign of a huge investment,” he informed.
According to reports JSW Steel is interested in setting up a steel plant on the land allotted to Posco in Jagatsinghpur district.
The company has plans to build mega steel project of 10 million tonnes capacity for which it had proposed to set up an integrated steel project with a captive power plant of 900 MW capacity with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
The official said that any decision related to fresh allotment of the land is yet to be taken, and as of now it is not being given to any one. “We are doing its (the land’s) boundary but the preference will be some steel company”.
Citing the reasons for receiving expression of interests, he said the investors know that Odisha provides full support to anyone looking to invest in the state and there are additional benefits that the state government gives.
Listing the benefits, the officer said investors enjoy ease of doing business in the state. Facilities like single- window clearance for projects, incentives, ready-to-use land, already built infrastructure needs like roads, water and power supply make Odisha an investor-friendly state.
According to an Assocham report, ha said, the state’s industrial sector contribution to India’s industrial sector was 3.2 per cent in 2016-17, which was 2.8 per cent in 2011- 12. The overall trend indicates a moderate increase over the years.
Posco had proposed to set up a 12 MTPA plant at Jagatsinghpur. In this respect, an MoU was also signed between Posco and the Odisha government in 2005 but the plant could never be set up due various reasons from delay in environmental clearances to protests by the locals and the pact expired in 2010. It was not renewed again.