ArcelorMittal plans solar farm on steel plant land in Karnataka

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World’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal may set up a solar farm on land alloted to it for the proposed 6 MT Karnataka project in view of excess global steel capacity and delays in securing raw materials.

The company had entered into a pact with Karnataka government for setting up a 6 million tonnes (MT) steel plant with a captive 750 MW power plant at an estimated investment of $6.5 billion. “In view of excess capacity of steel world-wide and uncertainty in iron ore availability locally, the company is also exploring the possibility of utilizing the land in Karnataka for the establishment of a solar farm for generating solar energy,” the global steel giant has said in its latest report.

ArcelorMittal India has received possession certificates for 2,659 acres of private land following the acquisition of 1,827 acres and 832 acres in December 2011 and October 2012, respectively, it said.

A balance of 136.33 acres owned by the Karnataka government is being processed for allocation, it said.

Setting up of the solar park will contribute to the mitigation of Karnataka’s power crisis and participation in the National Solar Energy mission of the government of India.

“In this regard, the company has sought the state government’s permission to set up a solar farm of up to 600 MW. “The state government is considering ArcelorMittal’s proposal and the company is hopeful of receiving a favorable response to the proposal,” it said.

The NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal-led company in June 2010 had signed an MoU with the Karnataka government to set up a 6 MTPA greenfield project at Kuditini in Bellary, Karnataka. After failing for over a decade to set up plants at Odisha and Jharkhand, ArcelorMittal had signed the pact with Karnataka government for the plant but the same is yet to take off. While the company is facing raw material security issues in Karnataka, the projects in Jharkhand and Odisha were marred by delays.

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