Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal on Saturday sought steps to provide raw material security and to reserve iron ore mines for companies which have set up steel plants in Odisha.
In a meeting with top state government officials including Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy and Secretaries of Steel and Mines, Industry and Water Resources, Jindal emphasised the need to give preference in iron ore auction to companies which have already invested in Odisha.
"Companies which have invested thousands of crores in steel plants and have created employment in thousands should be given preference in the auction of iron ore. We have requested for giving iron ore mines first for captive consumption and then for merchant mining," Jindal said after the meeting.
JSPL has invested Rs 47,000 crore in Odisha to set up the largest steel plant in the state.
The company has a very small mine, which is near depletion and does not have captive iron ore and coal mines for the plant, he said.
"Our investment in Odisha needs raw material security to become viable," Jindal said.
He said JSPL buys about one million tonnes iron ore every month in Odisha and becomes the largest buyer of the raw material in the state.
JSPL Chairman also demanded a reduction in iron ore price as global steel prices had fallen.
"Steel price has been reduced by about 30 per cent.
But the iron ore price has not been decreased accordingly. There is no reduction in the price of coal by Coal India. The government needs to ensure that people who have invested in the state are taken care of," Jindal said.
For the first time in the world, JSPL has set up a coal gasification plant along with a 2 MTPA direct reduced iron (DRI) facility, based on the coal block allocated to it in Angul.
However, the Supreme Court had quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks allotted to various companies since 1993.
Jindal was hopeful that the company would secure a coal block if the Centre starts auction of blocks for steel companies and coal gasification projects.