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apanese and S Korean steel makers investments urged to invest in auto grade steel plants in India

India has requested Japanese and South Korean steel makers to step up their investments by building new plants in the country to produce high-grade automotive steel, a senior civil servant told Reuters.

India mainly imports the high-tensile steel from Japan and South Korea. However, demand for the auto-grade metal is rising in India as companies such as Hyundai Motor Co ramp up their production to make the country a manufacturing and export hub for small cars.

Steel Secretary Dr Aruna Sharma in an interview, without giving details, told Reuters “The Indian government will encourage Japanese and South Korean companies to start greenfield projects in the country. “Japanese companies can come through joint ventures or independently because India is becoming an auto manufacturing hub so the requirement of auto-grade steel is going to go up.”

Dr Sharma also said state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd and ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, were “fine-tuning” the terms of their agreements for a USD1 billion automotive steel plant in India.

JSW Group has already tied up with Japan’s JFE Holdings to produce 2.3 million tonnes of auto-grade steel.

Consultants IHS Markit have forecast that India will become the world’s third-largest carmaker by 2020, up from fifth-largest currently.
Source : REUTERS
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