Ranchi: Union minister for steel Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday announced that efforts are underway to set up a steel plant in Jharkhand’s Chatra district.
Pradhan, who is also the minister for natural gas and petroleum, made the announcement after inaugurating Jharkhand’s first piped natural gas (PNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) services in Ranchi.
Speaking to media persons after the inauguration, Pradhan said, “We are building a steel plant in Chatra. The CNG supply, which is being set up, will be used to mitigate the fuel needs of the plant.”
While Pradhan did not elaborate, sources in the state government said talks are underway to set up a steel plant of 6-million-ton capacity in Chatra’s Unna village, which is 8km away from the Chatra – Hazaribag road. The plant will be built under a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will be set up between the Union government and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and its production capacity will be equivalent to Bokaro Steel Plant, a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
“The total land requirement for the envisaged project is over 3,000 acres. Jharkhand government already has a land banks of 1,700-acre size in the area. Most of the project’s necessary paperwork is complete. Things are moving smoothly,” a senior official in state industries ministry said, on the condition of anonymity. The official added that the proposed plant’s mine linkage will be done in Jharkhand after the existing leaseholds of a few operational iron-ore blocks in the state expires next year.
The move to set up new steel plant here comes amid a slump in the steel sector in India, which has affected production in Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant and in Bokaro Steel Plant. Several ancillary units, powering these units, are also in a bad shape. Pradhan, who visited Jharkhand last week, took a tour of Tata Steel and BSL and chaired a high level meeting with the state’s officials, including CM Raghubar Das.