Union minister for steel Ram Vilas Paswan laid the foundation stone of Bihar’s first steel processing unit here on the outskirts of West Champaran district headquarters of Bettiah on Monday.
To be set up by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in an area of 50 acres allocated by the state government, the plant will be one of SAIL’s 10 such units located across seven states with the total investment of Rs 2000 crore to cater regional needs.
Speaking on the occasion, Paswan termed it as a very important step in the process of industrialisation of Bihar. He said another steel plant is scheduled to come at Mahnar in Vaishali district soon.
Thanking R S Pandey, secretary in the steel ministry, for making it possible to set up the steel plant in West Champaran, Paswan said the plant would also cater to the needs of Uttar Pradesh.
Pointing out that the investment for the Kumarbagh steel plant has been increased from the proposed Rs 200 crore to Rs 300 crore, the minister the unit would start production by August 2008.
Secretary in the ministry of steel R S Pandey, who hails from Lauriya in West Champaran, said the investment for the steel plant is the biggest ever made in Bihar and added that the returns would be as much as 40 per cent.
SAIL chairman S K Roongta, who was present on the occasion, said with the setting up of the steel plant many other allied industries would come up in the area.
Giving details of the Kumarbagh steel processing unit Bokaro Steel managing director VK Srivastava said that it would be developed in two phases. The first phase will have a gestation period of one-and-a-half years with production capacity of 90,000 tonnes per annum, he said adding that hot rolled coil, steel pipes, beletus etc would be produced here.