Having stumbled earlier on its plans to set up a plant in India due to a struggle against land acquisition, South Korean steel giant POSCO is again turning to the country's growing steel market but this time through a joint venture with RINL in Visakhapatnam, according to sources.
Last week, POSCO officials had a meeting with the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) management with regard to the JV plans, they said.
The South Korean steel major is looking to set up a joint venture with RINL in Visakhapatnam for manufacturing of value-added special grade of steel.
POSCO officials have visited the RINL facility three times since Janauary 2019, the sources said.
POSCO's interest in India is not new. Earlier, the company had proposed to set up a 12 MTPA plant at Jagatsinghpur in Odisha at an estimated cost of Rs 52,000 crore.
An MoU was also signed between Posco and the Odisha government in this regard in 2005 but the plant could never be set up due to various reasons from delay in environmental clearances to protests by the locals, and the pact ultimately expired in 2010 and was not renewed again.
In July this year, senior POSCO officials also met Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar and submitted an investment proposal, sources in the steel ministry said.
The 7.3 million tonnes RINL plant in Visakhapatnam is a shore-based integrated steel plant. It has a land of over approximately 22,000 acre of its own and enjoys access to Gangavaram Port, where raw materials such as coking coal etc arrives.
An expert said, since RINL is located on the eastern coast of India, a JV plant will give access to the South East Asian markets besides catering to the domestic needs of special steel through rail and road.