New Delhi : South Korean steel major Posco's proposed $12 billion mega-project in Orissa – the biggest foreign direct investment in India – has been given environmental clearance by the central government, an official said Wednesday.
"The ministry of environment and forests has given the environmental clearance for Posco's mega steel project," the official said.
The steel giant signed a memorandum of understanding with the Orissa government in June 2005 to set up a plant at Kujang near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa.
Officials said that the company had been told in clear terms, while granting clearance, that a sum of Rs. 15.25 billion set aside for environmental pollution control measures should be used properly to implement conditions stipulated by the central ministry as well as the state government.
The company expects to get possession of a portion of the project land in two months to start earthwork for the first phase from October.
Posco has identified 4,004 acres of land for its project. While 3,566 acres of this land is owned by the Orissa government and was offered to Posco, the state government later realised that this entire stretch was forestland and an environmental clearance was needed to transfer it.
This delayed the entire process of land acquisition, thereby delaying the project by a few months.