Home Economy ArcelorMittal to set up base in Kolkata

ArcelorMittal to set up base in Kolkata


Kolkata : Laxmi Niwas Mittal, the president and chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the largest steel company in the world, wants to set up a base of engineers in the eastern metropolis.

“We are planning to set up an engineering office here. Hundreds of engineers will work. We have to do something in Kolkata,” Mittal told The Telegraph newspaper here.

The steel tycoon, who grew up in Kolkata, said: “It is very sad and unfortunate that I have not been able to make investments in West Bengal as yet. I keep telling my guys to explore opportunities here.”

Mittal, who has come here along with his wife Usha to attend a family wedding, also indicated the possibility of setting up downstream steel units in the state.

“I don’t rule out the investment opportunity. We were going to send our team to study. Once we have our office, a base, they will scout for what opportunity is there to set up a processing unit.

“We want to do something. So, let us see. There could be old, closed-down coalmines. We may look into them. I will speak to the chief minister and find out if the government has any idea,” he said.

The steel magnate, who has diversified into oil and gas, said he would ask his team to explore opportunities in the proposed chemical hub being set up in the state.

“I was talking to (union) Petroleum Minister Murli Deora the other day. He was telling me about it. I will see. We will ask our joint venture team to study. We are also doing a refinery at Visakhapatnam. We have to see if there is any extension to that,” he said.

Mittal, whose personal fortune is estimated at $51 billion, celebrated his homecoming Friday after three-and-a-half years by driving from the airport to his family home in Alipore. He said he was amazed by the changing face of the city.

“The city looks cleaner. Lots of flyovers have come up. The roads have improved. When I got off from the airport Friday evening, I felt like coming back to my place. I told my driver that I would drive. I drove from the airport to Alipore. I could not resist. When you come to a town and feel like driving – (it) talks about the quality of life,” he said.

Mittal called on West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday evening and discussed investment proposals in the state that is now witnessing an industrial resurgence.

“West Bengal is an attractive investment destination,” the steel king told reporters after his maiden meeting with Bhattacharjee at state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.

“Several ideas were discussed but there was nothing concrete. We exchanged our views. We had discussions on various global subjects too,” said Mittal, who remained closeted with the reformist communist chief minister for about one hour.

“Changes under Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are impressive. I am coming after some years and am quite impressed to see wide and clear roads. It is a much cleaner town now,” said Mittal, whose family owns 44 percent of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company.

The industrialist, who is considered the fifth richest person in the world by Forbes magazine, and one of the 100 most influential people as mentioned by Time magazine, also went to his alma mater St Xavier’s College and spent some time with Principal P.C. Mathew and a few alumni members.

“I went to St Xavier’s College, sat in my class which is Room No.13. I was very emotional. When I went to the college, I never thought I would come back there after 39 years. I never visited it again,” the topper of commerce class of 1969 said.