India looks to Japanese, Korean steel mills as SAIL-ArcelorMittal JV deal delays
03 June 2019
The steel ministry has initiated talks with Japanese and South Korean steel makers with a view to forming a joint venture with state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) as a planned joint venture with ArcelorMittal gets delayed.
The steel ministry is reported to be in talks with Nippon Steel, Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing and Posco for a joint venture with SAIL after ArcelorMittal's plan to acquire Essar Steel along with partner Nippon has been held up in court battles.
According to SAIL chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary, ArcelorMittal along with partner Nippon Steel is keen on acquiring insolvent Essar Steel and is now solely aimed at that.
“When we talk to them they are open but then they are too busy in the process of acquiring Essar," Chaudhary told reporters in New Delhi, adding that he is still waiting for a reply to a letter written to Arcelor in February. The pact with Arcelor is still valid and a partnership with others won’t affect this venture, he said.
SAIL had approved a plan to build an automotive steel plant in India with Arcelor in 2017, but the proposed venture has been plagued by delays as both mills finetune terms of the deal.
The ministry is keen to stitch together ventures with foreign mills to make automotive steel as India is a big importer of high grade steel. Higher output of these products will also aid several Japanese and South Korean automobile companies that manufacture in India.