NEW DELHI (AP) - ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, is looking to double its planned investment in India and build two large plants here, Chief Executive Lakshmi N. Mittal said Wednesday.
The company plans to build a plant each in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and Jharkhand, which have vast deposits of iron ore, Mittal told reporters after meeting with Indian government officials.
Each plant will have a capacity to produce about 10 million tons of steel annually, he said.
If Mittal's plan comes to fruition, it could make Arcelor-Mittal the largest steel producer in India. Tata Steel Ltd., now India's No. 1 steel company, plans to increase its domestic production to about 20 million tons by 2015.
Currently, ArcelorMittal has no manufacturing facility in India.
In July last year, Mittal had said he was interested in building only one plant in either of the two states with an investment of about 300 billion to 400 billion rupees (US$7.3 billion to US$9.7 billion; euro4.8 billion to euro6.4 billion).
On Wednesday, he said consultants have been appointed to draft reports for two projects. However, he gave no timeframe for starting or completing the work.
Such large projects usually require a large number of approvals because of their social and environmental implications.
Executives from ArcelorMittal have been in touch with state officials in Orissa and Jharkhand over the past year. Mittal said he was meeting with the elected leaders of the two states during his stay here.
ArcelorMittal—currently being formed as Mittal Steel Co. NV takes over Arcelor SA—controls about 10 percent of global steel production.