Essar May Spend $4.7 Billion to Build Steel Plant in Karnataka, Ruia Says

Essar Steel Ltd., India’s fourth- biggest producer, plans to invest 220 billion rupees ($4.7 billion) to build a steel plant in the southern state of Karnataka, Chairman Shashi Ruia said.

The plant will have annual capacity of 6 million metric tons, Ruia said today at a global investor conference in the state capital of Bangalore. The mill, to be located in Bagalkot district, will be commissioned in the year ending March 31, 2015, spokesman Manish Kedia said today.

Essar plans to add steel capacity as India spends 1.74 trillion rupees to set up road, port and power infrastructure by March. Steel demand is expected to grow at 9 percent this fiscal year as higher income pushes up demand for housing, cars and appliances, G. K. Basak, executive secretary of the steel ministry’s joint plant committee, said on April 6.

Essar aims to double production capacity to 14 million tons this calendar year, Chief Executive Officer Malay Mukherjee said on Feb. 16.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jay Shankar in Bangalore at jshankar1@bloomberg.net; Abhishek Shanker in Mumbai at ashanker1@bloomberg.net

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