Industrialist Sajjan Jindal, who is the chairman of the JSW Group, said on Wednesday that his group was planning to invest Rs 1 trillion over the next five years in all its Karnataka-based businesses.
Jindal, 62, was speaking at the Global Investors Meet in Bengaluru, when he made the announcement. The group has already invested Rs 1 trillion in the state. The additional investment would be in steel, green energy, cement, paints and a new greenfield port, he said.
JSW operates a steel plant in Vijayanagar, Karnataka which is located in the Ballari-Hospete iron ore belt. With a current capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), the manufacturing unit in Vijayanagar is India’s largest single-location integrated steel-making facility.
The steel major had earlier said that it would invest Rs 15,000 crore to expand its capacity to 18 mtpa by FY24 at its Vijaynagar unit. This is expected to help the company achieve its taget of achieving 37 mtpa by FY25. The company also operates steel plants in Maharashtra and Orissa.
At the Global Investors Meet, Jindal pointed to supply-side constraints that businesses were witnessing, which were overpowering demand.
“Minerals like iron ore will not always be needed for the production of steel – hence it is imperative that these assets are monetised at the earliest. Mineral auctions will encourage investments in the manufacturing sector and support Karnataka’s growth trajectory,” he said.
In May, the Supreme Court had lifted the ban imposed on iron ore export from the mines of Ballari, Chitradurga, and Tumakuru districts in Karnataka and allowed miners to sell ore through direct sale.
The move had benefitted steel companies, since it would increase availability of iron ore, experts said. Prior to this, iron-ore miners in Karnataka were allowed to sell output through the e-auction route only, following the 2011 ban on export of iron ore directly from the state.