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19. November 2007

China, India to sign MoU in iron & steel sector

New Delhi - As leading steel utilities embark on major capacity expansions and need for coking coal shoots up, both India and China have decided to join hands in extending cooperation in iron and steel sector and are all set to sign a memorandum of understanding for the same next month.

"It is in the interest of the steel and iron sector of both countries that we enhance more cooperation in this sector. We expect to sign an MoU for this purpose with National Development and Reform Cooperation (NDRC) of China next month," a top Steel Ministry official told.

According to the draft MoU, being considered by the Steel Ministry, both the nations would resolve to ensure transfer of technology in steel and ferro-alloys and undertake joint exploration, development and production of coking coal through joint biddings or establishment of joint ventures.

"Sourcing of raw material by steel industries of both the countries from each other, for example supply of iron ore from India and coke from China on a long-term basis or independent supply of coke," it said.

The scope of cooperation in iron and steel sector would include sintering and pelletisation of iron ore, manganese and chrome ore fines for low and high capacity plants, technical assistance, training and exchange of personnel in mining, mineral processing, pellet and steel manufacturing besides other areas, the draft said.

Meanwhile, Secretary, Steel Ministry, R S Pandey, said that China has enough coking coal to last for 80 years and with India's demand rising rapidly with capacity expansions, the need for coking coal was bound to shoot up further.

Besides, the demand of iron ore from Chinese mills is also continuing unabated as that country keeps on increasing its production capacity.

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