South Korean steelmaker, Posco opened its first steel mill in India, a galvanising plant located in Maharashtra State, central west India.

The US$ 240M investment for a 450kt/y output will produce hot galvanised steel plates for use in the automobile and consumer durables industries, and zinc galvanised-alloy steel products for local and overseas.

The plant is located close to the Pune industrial areas where a number of global and Indian automotive companies including GM, Volkswagen, Tata Motors, Mahindra, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Skoda, Premier Auto and Bajaj Auto have their assembly units. It is also just 97km from the Dighi port on the west coast where Posco has constructed a warehouse with a capacity to handle 360kt of coil a year.

The area surrounding the port has also been designated as a hub under the multi-billion dollar Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project. Company officials said that Posco also plans to invest US$ 1.5bn to expand capacity at its facilities in Maharashtra. This will include processing of austenitic and cold rolled stainless steel at its facilities at Vile-Bhagad and Palasgaon industrial area in Raigad district. Posco plans to open a 300kt/y electrical steel facility by October 2013 and a 1.8Mt/y cold-rolled mill in June 2014.

Posco has been attempting to build a 12Mt/y integrated plant at Paradip, Odisha (Orissa) State on the NE coast for over six years but land issues have dogged the project throughout its history.