At a joint press conference with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, JSW group chairman Sajjan Jindal said that the group had initially planned a steel plant at Salboni in West Medinipur but raw material availability and the downturn in the steel sector had prompted it to look for other projects.
"We will invest in Salboni in the right projects," he said. Last January, Chief Minister Banerjee had laid the foundation stone for a 2.4 million cement plant.
The capacity of the plant would be increased to 4.8 million tonnes. An additional investment of Rs 700 crore would be made.
In addition JSW is planning to set up a paints factory having a capacity of 2,00,000 kilo litre. The investment in the project would be Rs 1,500 crore.
A downstream unit for cold rolled and galvanised entailing an investment of Rs 1,000 crore is also on the cards, apart from a captive power plant of 18MW.
When the project was conceived in 2007 during the Left Front government, the investment envisaged was to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore for a 10 million steel plant and a 1600MW power plant. Accordingly, the group was allocated land at Salboni where it has 4,300 acres, of which private land purchased by the company adds up to 294 acres.
However, first the project got delayed due to want of clearances from the Mamata Banerjee government and then the steel cycle turned. Finally, the three coal blocks allocated for the project were deallocated when the Supreme Court cancelled 214 coal block allocation in 2014.
During the course of the delay, when Salboni was getting restive, Jindal had offered to return the land to the people free of cost. But there were no takers for the land. JSW is now planning an agro-business park in that area, as part of corporate social responsibility.