| BHUBANESWAR, India, March 18
BHUBANESWAR, India, March 18 South Korean
steelmaker POSCO has asked the eastern state of
Odisha in India to take back land it acquired for a $12 billion
steel project as it has not been able to start work, two senior
state officials said on Saturday.
The move could be a sign that the world's fourth-biggest
steelmaker is scrapping the proposed 12 million-tonnes-a-year
steel plant in the Indian state.
In a letter to the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure
Development Corporation (IDCO), a state government agency that
arranges to make industrial plots available to companies, POSCO
has offered to surrender the land.
The state government had leased about 2,700 acres of land to
POSCO, which the company has now offered to surrender.
"Posco has asked us to take back the land as it could not
utilize it as per the lease deed condition," IDCO chief general
manager for land management Susanta Kumar Mohanty told Reuters.
State Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the land
acquired for the project will now go into the IDCO land bank.
Posco India officials could not be contacted outside of
normal business hours.
The 2005 project was billed as India's biggest foreign
direct investment at that time, but it has faced a series of
delays due to a regulatory maze and protests from the local
A mining law enacted by the federal government in 2015 made
it mandatory for the company to buy a mining license for captive
mines in an auction. Originally, the Odisha government had
promised to help the company obtain the licence for free.
(Reporting by by Jatindra Dash; Editing by Manoj Kumar and Tom