"It is our dream project. The project is gaining momentum. Construction is going on on a war footing. Our first phase is expected to be commissioned by 2014-end," Tata Steel Managing Director HM Nerurkar told PTI here last night.
"We have procured almost all major equipment for the project and plan to procure more equipment soon. We will start our first production at 3 million tonne per annum by 2014, and later we will ramp up the capacity," he said.
Tata's confidence contrasts with steel giants Posco and ArcelorMittal, who are struggling to get their projects started in the state due to problems faced in acquiring land and environment clearance from the Centre.
Tata Steel, the world's seventh-largest steelmaker by output, had signed an MoU with Orissa government in November 2004 for setting up a 6 million tonne per annum integrated steel plant at the Kalinganagar Industrial Complex in Jajpur district.
The company's Rs 34,500-crore project had earlier run into trouble following stiff opposition from the locals; 14 people were killed in police firing on January 2, 2006, while they were opposing construction of the plant's boundary wall.
"The state government and Jajpur district administration are very co-operative and all credit goes to them who have been helping us to set up the project," Nerurkar said, adding, "We had a lot of patience... Never lost hope for this project."