New Delhi: JSW Steel has put on hold plans to set up a 10 million tonnes steel plant in West Bengal as it has not been able to secure long-term iron ore supplies for the Rs 35,000 crore project.
"It is stalled right now, it's on hold. Unless we are going to fix the iron ore matter, unless we have the visibility of iron ore, we can not move ahead. It's on hold," JSW Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal told reporters.
JSW is working with the Centre and state government to secure iron ore mining lease, he said, adding, long-term visibility of iron ore is required to begin construction of the plant. When asked about any timeline for the project, he said: "Nothing (is) in my control. The project is stalled at the moment."
The West Bengal project of JSW, first announced in 2007, has been getting delayed for various reasons. This included a land acquisition row with the state government after Mamata Banerjee-led government took charge in 2011. The issue has now been resolved and land acquisition has been completed.
However, the company has not been willing to move further on any new project, including the ones in West Bengal, without securing either long term iron ore supply agreement or a captive iron ore mine due to its experience in Karnataka.
In Karnataka, the company runs a 10 million tonnes (MT) steel plant but it neither has any captive mine nor any long term iron ore supply agreement and the company has to source the ore from open market.
For more than one and half years now, JSW has been running the Karnataka plant at a reduced capacity due to iron ore crunch in the state.