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Tata Steel to offload stake in Gopalpur SEZ news
Praveen Chandran
09 September 2002

Mumbai: Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd has initiated talks with three US-based infrastructure developers Hoeill, Bechtel and Parsons BrinkShroff to offload its majority stake in the Rs 3,000-crore Gopalpur Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in which the Tatas are co-developers with the Orissa state government. The talks are in an advanced stage and we will be finalising our partners by the end of the year, Tata officials working closely with the project say. They, however, add that the percentage of the stake to be offloaded to the foreign partner has not been finalised yet. Tata Steel is also in talks with the Russian conglomerate Techno Mech and a leading US-based aluminium company to set up titanium and aluminium industries in the Gopalpur SEZ.

The Tatas had appointed Tata Economic Consultancy Services to carry out a study on the types of industries for which the SEZ has been designed. The feasibility study showed that mineral-based industries like aluminium, chromium and titanium will do well in the Gopalpur region. TEC had estimated that setting up an industrial unit based on any particular mineral will entail an investment of around $3 billion.

The Tatas had acquired 3,000 acres of land in the SEZ to set up a mega steel plant. But the officials say the company has now adopted a go-slow approach on the project as the demand for steel is not picking up as expected and currently India has an excess capacity.

Tata Steel had earlier decided against teaming up with the Adani group for its proposed SEZ at Gopalpur, and has instead floated a special purpose vehicle with the Orissa government to develop the SEZ in the Gopalpur region.

Out of the 15 upcoming SEZs in India, Maharashtra is to house five at Dronagiri in Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri. The other SEZs will be located at Nangangeri (Tamil Nadu), Paradeep and Gopalpur (Orissa), Badohi, Kanpur and Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Hassan (Karnataka) and Positra (Gujarat).

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Tata Steel to offload stake in Gopalpur SEZ