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Hope for Mittal venture with SAIL

The government has said that it hopes that SAIL and ArcelorMittal will resolve their differences over the setting up of a Rs 5,000-crore auto-grade steel plant before May.

“May-end is the deadline and before that we think some solution should come up... Some problems are solved. Good news should come,” steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said.

The much-awaited joint venture (JV) between steel giant ArcelorMittal and state-run SAIL will focus on producing specialised grade steel products for defence, space and automobiles.

The joint venture will be operational by December 2016, Singh had earlier said.

"An MoU was signed earlier, but there were some issues related to production, etc, which will be sorted out in a month or so. It should be operational by the year-end (December 2016)," he had said.

In May last year, an inter ministerial group had reviewed the progress of the MoU. The proposed JV will construct a cold-rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities.

India is seen as one of the fastest-growing automotive markets in the world with production expected to double between 2014 and 2020 to 7.3 million units from 3.6 million units. In an investor presentation in June 2015, ArcelorMittal had said the proposed plant will come up at a major auto cluster in India.

India has four major auto clusters - the Pune-Chakan belt in Maharashtra, on the outskirts of Chennai, Sanand in Gujarat and the Gurgaon-Neemrana belt spread across Haryana and Rajasthan.

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