Global steel giant ArcelorMittal may trim the size of the first phase of its planned $20 billion investment in India and delay expansion schedules amidst a global slump in steel demand, a company official said on Wednesday.
"What I can say is production is not coming up before 2014," said Vijay Bhatnagar, the chief executive of ArcelorMittal India.
ArcelrMittal, which earlier planned to start production in 2012, said it would also review costs and investment schedule. "The cost will be reassessed. Capacity will remain unchanged," Bhatnagar said.
ArcelorMittal, which had planned 6-million tonnes per annum steel plants in Jharkhand and in Orissa, may now go for 3-mtpa plants in the first phase and reduce the size of land acquisitions.
"Initially we were thinking of putting 6-million tonnes per annum steel plant in phase one. We could cut the size to 3 MTPA in each phase due to the slump in steel demand and other issues, including land acquisition problems in India,'' Bhatnagar said, adding, "Investments could naturally come down in the same proportion."
Adressing reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI steel summit on Wednesday, Bhatnagar, however, clarified that overall plan to reach 12 MTPA capacity at each plant in Orissa and Jharkhand has not been changed.
Bhatnagar said that due to slow land acquisition for the projects and global downturn, the company would overshoot the 2012 deadline to commence production in India.