The world’s third-largest steelmaker, the South Korean company POSCO, last week opened a $709 million plant in western India, its third there. Meanwhile, another of its steel plants, hailed as “the mother of all steel plants,” was to be built at an estimated project cost of $12 billion and billed as India’s largest-ever foreign direct investment, has been mired in problems for 11 years now.
The newly inaugurated facility will produce 1.8 million tons of automotive steel plate annually for General Motors and Indian automakers such as Maruti, Tata and other automakers. The plant is in line with POSCO’s emphasis on 7 select strategic industries for sales growth. The concentrated sectors include strategic industries such as automotive, marine and energy to grow.
POSCO began the construction of the third plant in the province of Maharashtra in November 2011. The facility has been producing auto plates since June. Last week’s ceremony marked the completion of the entire project. In attendance was POSCO Chairman Kwon Oh-joon and a host of officials from the Indian government and auto majors.
POSCO’s first plant was opened in 2012, capable of producing 450,000 tons of galvanized steel plate annually. The second opened the next year and has an annual capacity of 300,000 tons of electrical steel sheet. Both are located in Maharashtra.
Later this year POSCO is scheduled to start the construction of a 110,000 ton-per-year steel processing plant in the Gujarat province. These are just some of POSCO’s significant investments in India lately.
The South Korean steel giant seems to have successfully negotiated the hurdles in another pending project in the province Jharkhand where, along with the Indian state-run Steel Authority of India Ltd., it will set up a 3-million-ton integrated plant.
From all available indications, POSCO seems to be set in India, except of course, the Odisha steel plant which is still trying to escape the red tape and protests by local citizens. We here at MetalMiner previously reported about the obstacles the Odisha project must surmount.
The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.