VENTURE: Lakshmi Mittal
The world’s largest steel maker has signed a deal with an Indian company to set up a steel plant in India aimed at the fast-growing automotive sector.
CEO and chairman of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal and SAIL, the state-owned Indian company’s chairman, CS Verma, signed the agreement last Friday (22).
“The MoU is the first step of a process to establish a JV between the two companies,” said a statement by both companies.
“The proposed JV will construct a state-of-the-art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India that will offer technologically advanced steel products to India’s rapidly growing automotive sector,” it said.
Details of the investment and plant size were not disclosed. Steel secretary Rakesh Singh said India was expected to grow as an automobile export hub to cater to the international market.
“This proposed collaboration between ArcelorMittal and SAIL is a positive and welcome step towards fulfilling the objectives of the ‘Make in India’ campaign launched by prime minister Narendra Modi,” Singh said.
“Increasing the availability of indigenously produced automotive steel would reduce India’s reliance on imports and provide the steel and automotive industry with a sustainable competitive advantage.”
Mittal said: “Bringing together our leading automotive technological capabilities with SAIL’s production scale in India, in a similar manner to ArcelorMittal’s partnership with Hunan Valin on our VAMA joint venture in China, is an exciting and powerful combination.”
He added: “The automotive sector is a highly strategic and important market for ArcelorMittal; establishing an automotive-focused production presence in India is a natural progression in executing our global automotive strategy.”