NMDC to go it alone as Severstal backs off from steel JV

NMDC Ltd will go it alone with the proposed 3 million-tonne-a-year steel plant without Russian partner Severstal, NMDC's chairman said today.

NMDC, India's largest iron ore producer, did not say why Severstal was not interested in the project, initial agreements for which were signed in 2010.

Obviously, Severestal has been lukewarm to the proposal amidst controversies associated with several project proposal and cancellation of some projects involving foreign direct investment in India.

"There has not been much of a response (from Severstal)," NMDC chairman CS Verma said. "For the time being we are implementing it as an NMDC-only project."

Severstal spokeswoman Anastasia Mishanina said the company had decided to suspend its project in India due to "complicated business conditions."

Also, NMDC was not keen on giving the Russian company a majority stake.

The scraping of the joint venture proposal comes on the heels of steelmaker ArcelorMittal and South Korea's Posco deciding to abandon two major steel projects in India with total capacity of 18 million tonnes due to delays, including in the acquisition of land and mining leases.