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Talks on technology, products for steel plants

Mittal Steel will begin discussions next month on the product-mix and the most cost and energy efficient technology for its plants in Orissa and Jharkhand. 
Sanak Mishra, chief executive officer, Mittal Steel India, said a technical team from Arcelor Mittal will provide inputs on the technology and product-mix for the two plants. 
Mittal Steel India has appointed Dastur & Co to make a detailed project report for the Orissa plant. Both plants will produce long and flat products, in the ratio of 60:40. 
Mishra said the inputs from the technical team for the Orissa plant may be used for the Jharkhand plant as both will be similar. 
The construction of the 12 million tonne Orissa plant will commence mid-2008 and the first phase (of six million tonnes) will go on stream by the second half of 2011-12. Mishra said that the Jharkhand plant would also have a similar timeframe. 
Arcelor Mittal is investing $20 billion in the proposed steel projects in India from a total investment of $35 billion it has earmarked for capacity expansion for steel plants across the world. 
Mittal Steel India is in the process of sorting out two of the most important hurdles over land and mines for its mega projects. The company is talking to the Orissa government to identify mines. 
Mishra said the company chose Keonjhar for the plant because there were known mines around the site. 
In Jharkhand, the company has applied to the state government for a prospecting licence for the Karmakura mines. However, this will not meet the company’s iron ore requirements which is estimated at 600 million tonnes over three decades. 
Mittal Steel is banking on Chiria mines leased to Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL). Three of its leases are under dispute between the Jharkhand government and SAIL. 
As for the land, Mittal Steel has appointed Mecon to select the site from among three places shortlisted. 
In Orissa, a socio-economic survey is underway. 

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