After successfully persuading Hero MotoCorp to opt for Chittoor instead of Dharwad, the Naidu government is now eyeing on National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) in order to shift its 3 MnT pa proposed Steel plant from Ballari to Seemandhra. As per industry sources, the neighboring state is making attempts to influence the Union Government to quit this plan.
In addition, as the ruling Telugu Desam Party is a supporter of BJP at the Centre, Chandrababu Naidu is offering more concessions to NMDC in terms of land & water to change its decision.
On 7 May, 2014, Karnataka government had issued the final notification to acquire 3,000 acres of land for NMDC. Presently, the company is in process of acquiring it through Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board near Ballari, which is believed to cost nearly INR 180 billion to setup. Already, the company has deposited INR 1.59 billion with KIADB as the tentative cost of the land including service charges. It has engaged MECON as consultant to make techno economic feasibility report for the project. The company has also received the vital approvals for water & power supply from the State government. However, it did not succeed to find partner with expertise in steelmaking for Ballari project.
Post meeting with Japanese steel company, Nippon Steel, NMDC signed a MoU with Russia’s Severstal to operate the Ballari steel mill in a JV in late 2010. But, Severstal opted out as NDMC was not interest to let it have a majority stake in the plant.