Odisha Sun Times Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 10:
After all but writing off the ambitious coal to liquid (CTL) project proposed to be set up by his company at Angul in Odisha a few days ago, Chairman and managing director (CMD), Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Naveen Jindal today hinted that the company may yet revive the project if coal is made available.
Talking to media persons after meeting chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati here this afternoon, Jindal said; “At the moment, there is no clarity on coal linkage for the project. Something concrete can be said only after there is some clarity on the issue.”
To a question on the cancellation of its coal blocks in the state, he said the state government cannot be blamed for this.
“It was the Supreme Court which cancelled all allotments made as per the policy followed by successive, democratically elected governments over the last 20 years,” he said.
Jindal said he apprised the chief secretary of the progress made in the 2.5 million tonne steel plant in Angul and the raw material problem faced by the company.
“To tide over the problem, we are now considering importing iron ore. But it would be most unfortunate if a steel plant being set up in Odisha has to run with imported iron ore,” he said.
He said a delegation of the Indian Steel Association (ISA) would soon meet the chief secretary and discuss ways to ensure supply of raw material to steel makers which have set up or are in the process of setting up steel plants in the state.
Talking about the problems being faced by the steel producing companies in India, the JSPL CMD said while the price of iron ore has substantially gone up in the country, the price of steel in the international market has come down.
“China has been exporting steel at a much lower rate. If the crisis of iron ore continues, Indian steel makers would go bust since they cannot compete with other countries due to the high cost of the raw materials,” Jindal noted.
“The need of the hour is to increase iron ore production so that the government gets additional royalty of thousand crores of rupees for the development of the state while the steel industries in the state also stay afloat,” Jindal said.