Posco welcomes conditional nod for Orissa project

Monday, January 31, 2011

BHUBANESWAR - South Korean steel major Posco Monday welcomed the conditional approval of the environment ministry to its $12 billion project in Orissa, and said it was committed to create “sustainable livelihood opportunities” for those affected.

“We welcome and accept with humility and gratitude the decision of the honourable minister of environment and forests,” Posco-India managing director G.W. Sung said in a statement.

“We fully appreciate the concerns of different stakeholders on sustainability of environment as well as livelihood of affected people,” Sung said.

“We are committed to take sustainable green initiatives and effective measures for conserving the land and marine environment of the area. We are also committed to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the project affected people through implementing R&R (resettlement and rehabilitation) package sincerely,” the statement added.

Posco is an integrated steel, mining and port project and separate clearances had to be given to all three. It also comprises a captive power plant to provide electricity to the steel plant.

The project is coming up in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, about 100 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.

The environment ministry has imposed 28 additional conditions as part of the environmental clearance for the steel-cum-captive power plant and 32 conditions are imposed while according environmental clearance to the captive minor port in the state.

As a responsible corporate citizen of India, we will continue to work for the welfare of the local community and, plough back a part of earnings for corporate social responsibility (CSR) after the operations commence, Sung said.

Thousands of villagers have been opposing the project, saying it will displace them from their homelands and ruin their betel leaf farms.

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