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April start for JSW Salboni power plant

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 16.11.13
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Gupta: Upbeat

Calcutta, Nov. 15: JSW Bengal will begin work on a 660 megawatt (MW) super critical thermal power plant at Salboni by April at an investment of around Rs 6,000 crore.

The company, a part of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel, had signed an agreement in 2007 with the then Left Front government to set up a 10mt per annum integrated steel plant on 4,300 acres in West Midnapore.

However, the original project, worth Rs 35,000 crore, went off-track because of deferred deadlines and several hiccups, including the inability to secure an iron ore linkage.

The company today said the bankers were reluctant on a financial closure for the project without the assured supply of coal, land, water and iron ore. While the rest are in place, the availability of ore is still an issue. It is a concurrent subject where states and the Centre jointly take a decision.

“For the project (steel), we are ready but we cannot go ahead. There was a discussion with the present state government and chief minister Mamata Banerjee suggested we do a big power project. The Bengal government will buy the entire power. So, we have accepted that and we are going ahead. To do that, there are a few changes and amendments needed in the original agreement,” said Biswadip Gupta, joint managing director and chief executive officer of JSW Bengal Steel.

“Within 3-4 months, we should get all the clearances and the process has started. We have applied to the ministry of environment and forests. By April, we hope to start digging. Investments will be around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore,” Gupta added. He was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on steel today.

The environment and forest ministry had initially approved a 300MW power plant. The current proposal to set up a 660MW unit will mean getting an environment clearance all over again.

The coal mines allocated to the Jindals were meant to be used for steel only.

After coming to power, the Trinamul-led Bengal government had threatened to take back the land from the Jindals in view of the lack of progress on the steel project.

Industries minister Partha Chatterjee had termed it as a stated stance of his government.