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SAIL, ArcelorMittal JV may be finalised this month: Min

SAIL, ArcelorMittal JV may be finalised this month: Min
The proposed joint venture (JV) between World's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal and domestic giant SAIL is in final stages and may be finalised this month, Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Tuesday.

SAIL and ArcelorMittal have inked pact to set up a Rs 5,000 crore auto-grade steel plant.

"The ArcelorMittal and SAIL joint venture is in final stages and is progressing fast. The project may be finalised this month," Singh said while addressing media on three years initiatives and achievements of the steel ministry.

He said the JV will produce high-end steel based on latest technology. In March, the steel minister had said that SAIL and ArcelorMittal will resolve differences over setting up of this plant.

ArcelorMittal and SAIL had inked a pact in May 2015 to explore the possibility of setting up an automotive steel manufacturing unit under JV arrangement. The proposed JV will construct world-class facilities that will offer technologically advanced steel products for India s rapidly growing automotive sector.

The hot-rolled input products for the proposed facility will be supplied by SAIL s new hot strip mill in Rourkela, Odisha, thus making the entire value chain indigenous.

The 'Maharatna' firm does not produce automotive steel and the JV will help it expand its product portfolio.

The Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal said India is forecast to become the world s third-largest automobile manufacturing nation by 2026.

In an investor presentation the company had said the proposed steel plant will come up at a major auto cluster in India.

The country has four major auto clusters - Pune-Chakan belt in Maharashtra, on the outskirts of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Sanad in Gujarat and Gurgaon-Neemrana belt that covers two states, Haryana and Rajasthan.

India is heading towards becoming the second largest steel producer in the world, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said.

"Indian steel sector was not what it is today. There was loan stress on it and it was a matter of serious concern for the banking sector and the RBI. We took steps in this direction to improve the situation," the minister told reporters while highlighting his three-year achievements and the road ahead for the steel sector.

"We have set a milestone...we have become the second largest stainless steel producer in the world in 2016 leaving Japan behind. In 2015, India became the third largest producer of crude steel in the world as against its 4th position in 2014. India left behind the US to attain this position," he said.

"If you see what India produced last was 100 MT and Japan 104 MT. Soon we will be second largest steel producer in the world," the minister said.

Further, Singh said, in 2016-17 India became net exporter of steel with 8.2 MT of exports, registering a 102 per cent growth over previous fiscal.

The ministry is aiming to take the exports figures to double digits and India would be the largest steel exporter in the world in the next two to three years, he said.

During the same fiscal, imports were reduced by 37 per cent at 7.42 MT as a result of government initiatives, he said.

India added 16.5 million tonnes of crude steel capacity during past three years, he added.


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