Bhubneshwar: The world's third largest steelmaker Posco has downsized the capacity of the proposed 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) steel plant near Paradip in the Odisha state to 8 MTPA, which had been delayed by over six years due to protests by locals over land acquisition, Y W Yoon, chairman and managing director of Posco India Pvt Ltd, said.
"We will start the project work as soon as the state government hands over 2,700 acres of land for setting up of 8 mtpa steel plant," Yoon said after meeting with state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubneshwar Wednesday.
The South Korean steel giant had so far been given possession of only 500 acres of land for the plant though the state government is claiming to have acquired about 2,000 acres, he said.
Referring to the company's revised investment plan for the Odisha steel plant, he said: "Our investment plan remains unchanged. However, we will review the cost as the construction proceeds."
Posco had initially planned an investment of $12 billion to establish the steel unit, which was seen as the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country so far.
Earlier, in March, The National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental license of Posco's steel plant. The proposed steel unit was granted a conditional clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forest last year.
Posco had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government for 12 MTPA steel plant on June 22, 2005. The MoU expired on June 22, 2010.