Kurnool: Kurnool district, which has more than 33,000 acres of government land identified for industrialisation, has become an attractive proposition for setting up industries that could generate employment in thousands. Australian and Chinese companies are evincing keen interest in investing in the district.
NSL Consolidate of Australia offering to come to Kurnool is a significant as it has the technology to convert low grade iron ore, which is available locally, into high grade.
The proposed investments would include an integrated steel plant and four beneficiation units at Orvakal, according to officials.
Kurnool District Industries Centre general manager Somesh Kumar said that a high level Australian and Chinese delegation is currently visiting the district to assess the feasibility of the project.
He said that the high-level Chinese delegation has visited the proposed site at Orvakal mandal, 30 km from the district headquarters.
The purpose of the visit it is learnt was to finalise aspects of the pellet and steel plant pre-feasibility and meet with relevant pellet and steel plant stakeholders.
It may be recalled that Australian mining major NSL Consolidate has proposed to the government of Andhra Pradesh to set up an integrated steel plant through its Indian subsidiary NSL Mining India (NMI), along with the Wei Hua Group Co.Ltd and other companies from China, at Orvakal in Kurnool district at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
NMI has mining operations in Kurnool where it has established an iron ore extraction facility, beneficiation and a pellet plant with an investment of Rs 1,800 crore.
NSL specialises in iron ore extraction, particularly low grade iron ore. In addition to the existing beneficiation unit, the company is proposing four more beneficiation units, which would generate a direct employment of 2, 500.
The NSL's beneficiation plant was set up with Chinese collaboration as Chinese technology is suitable for extracting such low grade iron (with high silica content) as is available in Kurnool district, according to official sources.
Wei Hua Group Co Ltd, Shandong Province Metallurgical Engineering Company, Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group Co Ltd, China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Huate Magnetism are the other Chinese companies actively involved with NSL in the joint venture in the area of technology transfer.
Sources close to the development said that one key enabler to the execution of the MoU was the GoAP committing to the development of the Orvakallu Mega Industrial Hub, located in the Kurnool district some 30 km from NSL's existing operations.
This 28,000 acre hub will include access to water, power, rail and road and is also proposed for one of AP's four Greenfield airports outlined in the strategic infrastructure plan for the state.
It is also learnt that the company proposes to utilise this industrial hub as a foundation for the binding agreement with Wei Hue, and continues to leverage the GoAP MOU, with discussions on providing the approvals for the land, power, water and other utilities for the steel project JV already commenced.
Wei Hua Group Co Ltd Wei Hua Group Co Ltd, with revenues in excess of US$1 billion in 2015, has already acquired key components of the proposed steel making plant. These are warehoused in China and ready for deployment, with the remainder to be purchased as required, based on Indian progress.