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SAIL-ArcelorMittal steel plant to come up at auto cluster

The proposed steel plant to be set up under a joint Venture (JV) between ArcelorMittal and state-run SAIL will come up at a major auto cluster in India. The NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal-led firm said last month that it has tied-up with SAIL to set up an automotive steel plant at an estimated Rs 5,000 crore investment.

"MoU signed with SAIL on May 22 to study feasibility of creating JV for constructing cold rolled (CR) and hot-dip galvanised (HDG) automotive steel production facility in one of the major auto clusters in India," ArcelorMittal said in an investor presentation. India has four major auto clusters -- Pune-Chakan belt in Maharashtra, in the outskirts of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Sanad in Gujarat and the Gurgaon-Neemrana belt spread across Haryana and Rajasthan. In the presentation, the firm said India is projected to become the fourth largest automobile manufacturing nation by 2020, growing from 3.5 million units to over 7 million units.

"India is expected to grow as a hub for automobile export manufacturing facilities to cater to the international market and establishing an automotive focused production presence in India is a natural progression in executing our global automotive strategy," it added. The whole process -- which includes preparing a detailed project report, formalising the JV structure, assessing options for plant locations, project costs, etc -- could take up to two years.

According to a source, the plant size could be up to 1.5 million tonne (MT) and the investment may be in the range of $850 million (about Rs 5,000 crore). 
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