December 2015 is the new target date for Tata Steel to commission a 55kt per annum ferrochrome plant in Gopalpur, Odisha. Two previous dates – March and July 2015 – have been and gone and the company blamed delays on the installation of power transmitters.

Arun Misha, vice president of the Tata Steel’s Gopalpur project, said that 75% of the work on-site has been completed and that it will take a further five months for the work to be completed.

The ferrochrome plant is the mainstay of an industrial park in the Gopalpur area and there are plans for a small 2.4 tpa ferro alloys unit on the same 2,970-acre site, which would make the area the largest ferrochrome-producing centre in Asia.

Before work starts on the second production unit, Tata needs to obtain environmental clearance from the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE)

The two ferrochrome plants would occupy 400 acres of the site and provision has been made for a multi-product Special Economic Zone, which has reached an advanced stage of development.

The site had originally been acquired by Tata Steel in 1996 with a view to developing a ‘mega steel plant’, but the project was shelved in favour of an industrial park. Plans for a 0.4Mt rebar mill and desalination plant have also been proposed by the steelmaker.