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Park’s visit may resolve POSCO troubles in India

NEW DELHI (Yonhap News) ― South Korean steel giant POSCO is expected to see its long-delayed project to build an integrated plant in India move speedily forward in the wake of President Park Geun-hye’s state visit to the country, the presidential office said Thursday.

In 2005, POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding with the eastern Indian state of Odisha to construct a $12 billion steel plant with an annual production capacity of up to 12 million tons.

But the project has been stalled due to a series of regulatory and other delays.

In the run-up to Park’s state visit to New Delhi, however, India’s government has granted the project an environmental permit, allowing POSCO to secure 2,700 acres of land for the project. The state government has also made a commitment with regard to iron ore exploration rights, the office said.

India’s central government is also expected to express its commitment to provide the project with active administrative support, the office said, adding that if the project goes smoothly forward, steel production could begin as early as eight years later in 2022.

The project will mark the biggest-ever foreign direct investment in India. It will directly hire 18,000 people and help create a total of 870,000 jobs, and annual sales of the plant are expected to amount to $3 billion, the office said.