Fifteen years after expressing its intent to set up a steel plant in Odisha, world's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal has decided to revisit the state with a mega investment plan.
The company's Indian operations led by ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Odisha government for setting up a 12 million tonne (MT) steel plant in Kendrapada district with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
ArcelorMittal had indicated its intent to set up greenfield steel operations in India in 2005 and 2006 as well when it had inked MoUs with Jharkhand and Odisha for setting up a 12 MT steel plant each in the two states. But lack of clearance on land and lack of assurance on supplies of key raw material iron ore prevented the company from realising its investment plan.
The existing MoU in Odisha, which was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and steel tycoon Lakshmi N. Mittal in Bhubaneshwar, has given a leg up to the bullish plan of the company to have both greenfield and brownfield steel operations in India.
In December 2019, ArcelorMittal, which has formed a joint venture with Japanese steel maker Nippon Steel, completed a Rs 42,000 crore acquisition of Essar Steel India Limited (ESIL) that has given it access to port facilities and a 10 MT steel plant in Gujarat.
Even at the time of Essar's acquisition, ArcelorMittal had indicated that it would continue to pursue more avenues for investment in India that will involve setting up greenfield operations as well as acquisitions.