The Andhra Pradesh government has invited South Korean steel giant Posco for a visit to the state and confirm its proposal of setting up a greenfield plant at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district.
Industries and Commerce department Special Chief Secretary R. Karikal Valaven said that the visit could also be used for further negotiations on the required support under the state industrial policy.
Valaven wrote to Sung Lae Chun, Posco India CMD and thanked him on behalf of the government for their interest in setting up a greenfield steel plant.
The senior bureaucrat reminded that Posco India officials visited Krishnapatnam on December 18, 2020, including Chun personally visiting on February 10.
“I believe that your visit to Krishnapatnam and the interaction with Krishnapatnam Port authorities was useful in this regard. At this juncture, I wish to remind you that even during your meeting with the government of AP officials, we expressed our keen interest to have Posco set up its integrated steel plant at Krishnapatnam,” added Valaven.
Promising complete support, he highlighted that AP has been a frontrunner in providing unparalleled support to industry and the state’s industrial policy being considered one of the best in the country.
According to the senior officer, Krishnapatnam is poised to be the next industrial growth centre of the southern state by virtue of its proximity to urban centres such as Chennai and Bengaluru.
Valaven said the port town strategically lies on the Chennai – Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), which is being developed with the support of the Central government.
“Also, you are aware that developing an integrated steel plant right beside a world class port offers multiple logistical advantages considering high volume imports and exports arising out of the steel plant operations,” he said.
The senior bureaucrat said that the port is capable of handling capesize and panamax vessels as it is one of the largest automated ports in South Asia with a deep draft.
“The Andhra government envisages that the steel plant at Krishnapatnam would be an anchor industry in driving the economic activity in the region and the state would support Posco to the best of its efforts,” he said.
Valaven assured that the incentives of the 2020 – 23 industrial policy are available, including any specific requests in line with the volume of investment and employment opportunities and subsidiary industrial growth, along with consideration for further fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.
“The definitive terms can be discussed when your delegation visits Andhra Pradesh and I am sure that we will find a common ground on this front. I assure you all support and cooperation in taking forward your project,” he added, anticipating a visit from the South Korean officials.
This move by the AP government assumes significance as it aims to end the speculation kindled by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders and others that the state government has allegedly entered into a dark agreement with Posco to replace Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) which the Central government has decided to privatize.