Hope to complete Karnataka land acquisition by March: Arcelor

Having acquired most of the land for its $6.5 billion plant in Karnataka, world's top steel maker ArcelorMittal hopes to complete the acquisition of the remaining 136 acres by March.

NRI billionaire L N Mittal-led ArcelorMittal has 2,659- acre private land already in possession. It had acquired 1,827 acres and 832 acres in December 2011 and December 2012.

"This leaves a balance of 136.33 acres land owned by the Karnataka government which is being processed for allocation is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014," ArcelorMittal said in its latest annual report for 2013.

In the 2012 annual report, the company had said that balance (136.33 acres) was being processed for allocation by the state without giving any timeframe.

It also hopes to start fencing the entire area by March.

"The company is also in the process of finalising the subcontractor agreements related to fencing and safeguarding the entire land in Karnataka, which are expected to start during first quarter of 2014," it said.

ArcelorMittal plans to put up a 6 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant with a 750 MW captive power plant in Karanataka with a projected investment of USD 6.5 billion.

The draft feasibility report for the proposed steel plant has been completed and hydrological and environmental impact assessment studies have been initiated.

"The Karnataka government has also approved the project's use of water from Tungabhadra River. The company has applied for mining leases, although following a recent Supreme Court order relating to illegal mining activities in the state...The allocation of new mining leases in Karantaka have been put on hold," it said.

Last July, ArcelorMittal decided to scrap its proposed steel project in Odisha due to delay in getting nods for land, mining, construction and so on.

However, it is working on setting up the proposed 3 MTPA steel plant in the first phase in Jharkhand. "Adequate land is sought under the State Government Consent Award scheme," it said.

Under this scheme, the state government would facilitate the legal transfer of land for a project after an investor has secured the landowner's consent to the sale of the land.

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