Eight year long wait to end in next few months
India will very soon grant the iron ore exploration license to POSCO so that it could work on its plan of establishing a steel plant worth US$ 12 bn in the country which has been delayed from the past eight years. The Supreme Court had handed a decision on the license to the government in May, 2013, which increased the chances for this South Korea based firm to get access to iron ore for its project build up as India’s largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
A senior government official involved in the decision-making procedure, said, “POSCO India should get the license in a month or so. The government is looking at it positively.”
Another official who is directly involved in the license providing matter said, “The government is speeding up the process because the Supreme Court has already ruled against a lower court order declining a prospecting license for POSCO.”
A Prospecting license is valid only for three years and after that the license holder has to apply again for the lease of mines.
Experts say that getting access to the iron ore is very important for POSCO because its decision of establishing a plant in India is largely dependent on availability of iron ore.
IG Lee, spokesman, POSCO India, said, “We are hopeful that the central government will give its approval soon.”
“The government is presently looking after the legal aspect of the process of granting a license”, another source said.
POSCO had signed its first agreement with Odisha in June 2005 for setting up a steel plant on its 4,004 acres of land. It is now waiting for 2,700 acres of land to begin with the project and set up two 4 MnT capacity plants in two phases. As per the government officials, the company will get the land for its first project by the end of July, 2013.