| P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)
New Delhi, May 26: The government today said its high-powered Investment Commission is actively engaged in wooing big-time investments from Mitsubishi, which will develop the Haldia port in Bengal.
The commission is also in talks with Lafarge for a mining project in Himachal Pradesh, besides finalising Posco’s $12-billion investment in a steel plant in Orissa.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram said the commission headed by industrialist Ratan Tata “was actively engaged in working” with these global corporations.
While details of Mitsubishi’s projects were unavailable, the government sources said it is planning to extend the Haldia port. The Bengal government officials were, however, in the dark about these plans.
Mitsubishi already has a huge downstream petrochemicals unit located in Haldia whose success story along with hopes of reviving Haldia Petrochemicals has led the Bengal government lobby with the Centre to agree to a chemical units park at the port city.
Posco’s plans call for a $10-billion investment in steel making facilities, which would include captive-power plant, coke-over plant, oxygen plant and a calcination plant along with other facilities.
Another $2-billion investments in support infrastructure like a port and a township was also promised as a part of the deal.
Posco’s plans call for a first-module steel plant of 3 million tonne capacity, which is to be completed by 2009.
While it will be given iron-ore mines with reserves of about 600 million tonnes for captive use at its mill, MMTC is likely to enter into a long-term contract with the Korean giant for export of another 400 MT ore over 30 years. However, the second part of the deal is still being opposed by the Left and certain domestic steel firms.
Chidambaram, who was briefing newspersons after the cabinet meeting here, said coal had been identified as a major infrastructural bottleneck and the government would soon be announcing a slew of liberalisation measures for the sector.