Ruias-led Essar Steel today said it will formalise its partnership with Kobe of Japan into a joint venture agreement for producing auto grade steel at the Hazira plant in Gujarat.
"We are looking at adding it (JV capacity) to (the company's plant at) Hazira, we have time frame of one year for converting MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to joint venture with Kobe, Essar Steel CEO Malay Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of Global Steel Summit 2011.
Mukherjee said the company is also looking at reviving one million tonne per annum plant at Zimbabwe.
"We are the preferred bidder for ZISCO (Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company)and now we are in the process of working on sale and purchase agreement for the one million tonne plant.In the first phase we are looking at how to get the plant operational," he said.
Zimbabwe government has already given its nod to Essar Steel for acquiring a majority stake in the country's biggest steel company. Essar Steel would also set up a power plant at the site of the steel mill to meet its power needs.
Mukherjee said the project for increasing the Essar steel capacity to 10 million tonnes from 6 million tonnes is going on as planned and is expected to be completed by March, 2012.
The company has so far spent around Rs 15,700 crore out of its cumulative investment commitment of Rs 21,700 crore on the Hazira expansion projects.
"We have already commissioned blast furnace. Iron ore pelletising plant or beneficiation plant in Orissa is in the first phase of completion," he said.
Mukherjee said the company is getting full supplies of iron ore from the state owned NMDC.
On the impact of raw material supplies from Australia due to floods Down Under, he said, it has not impacted the company as the supplies were coming from its own coal mines in the US.