NMDC, Severstal sign protocol for setting up steel joint venture

State-run miner National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Russian steel major Severstal today signed a protocol on the implementation of their proposed joint venture. The agreement, signed in Moscow, envisages the setting up of a steel plant in Karnataka, with an initial capacity of three million tones a year.

A high level delegation from India, comprising the minister for steel Beni Prasad Verma, secretary in the steel ministry P K  Mishra, and NMDC's chairman and managing director Rana Som, apart from other senior officials, visited Moscow to take the project forward.

The minister also held talks with the Russian minister for industry Viktor Khristenko during the visit.

The protocol entered into today also ensures raw material security for the JV, with NMDC and Severstal agreeing to fully meet the joint venture's captive requirements of both iron ore and coking coal so that it achieves full backward integration.

NMDC and Severstal also agreed to fully meet raw material requirements of iron ore and coking coal, respectively, from their existing assets until captive assets are fully developed, NMDC said in a statement.

''Our joint venture project in India with NMDC provides a good fit with Severstal's vertically integrated, growth-focused business model'', Alexey Mordashov, chief executive of Severstal, said.