Karnataka attracts multi Billion dollars of industrial investments through Global Investors Meet in Bangalore


A number of Indian companies have reported an ambitious plan that will aim at setting up steel plants in the Karnataka state with huge investments expected to flow in the state. The state was particularly picked by the companies as it remains free of the dissent and rebellions that have rocked other mineral rich states in the country.


ArcelorMittal, the largest steel maker by output in the world, today appended a deal with the state’s government to construct a plant with a capacity of 6 billion tons per annum. In the same vein, JSW Steel Ltd, the second largest steel producer in India by output, also appended an investment deal with the Karnataka government to construct a steel plant at an estimated investment of 151.131 billion Indian Rupees. ArcelorMittal chairman on Thursday said that the company was very pleased with the speed at which the investment project was progressing at Karnataka.


Karnataka is currently host to a two-day, Global Investor Meet conference in its capital, Bangalore, aimed at encouraging investments in the state. Karnataka state has continuously drawn steel makers due to its relatively safe status as it remains unaffected by demonstrations against land acquisitions and insurgencies that have marred states such as Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, hindering investments in them drastically.


Consequently, the severe opposition to major steel and mining projects in these states with insurgencies has resulted in projects such as the Vedanta Resources PLC, POSCO and ArcelorMittal’s projects getting stuck as local communities refuse to give up their land for mines and factories. Other than this, heavily armed insurgents have resorted to blowing up mines, factories, railway tracks, power stations and the murder of paramilitary officials and civilians, often alluding to opposition to industrial projects as their reason.


Other firms that have announced new projects in Karnataka include NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore miner by output, which said it intends to invest INR 92 billion in a plant expected to produce 5 million tonnes per annum. The company’s chairman said that it would seek to go into a JV with a partner but would go alone if need be.


Additionally, the Telecom-to-Petrochemicals multinational, Essar Group said that it too, plans to set up a 6 million tons per annum steel plant in Karnataka with an investment of INR 220 billion and another mid sized domestic company, Bhushan Steel, signed a deal that will see it invest INR 279.3 billion in a steel plant in the state.


June 4, 2010.