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The ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AM/NS India) joint venture (JV) between steelmakers ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel, has started the Rs600bn ($7.2bn) Hazira flat steel plant expansion project in Gujarat, India.

The expansion project aims to increase the crude steel capacity from the current nine million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 15Mtpa.

Expected to create 60,000 jobs, the project will involve upstream and downstream steelmaking expansion.

The project is also expected to help the country to reduce steel imports, which are used in various sectors such as defence, infrastructure and automotive.

Over the next decade, AM/NS India aims to lead the decarbonisation of the steel industry through initiatives such as exploring the use of low-carbon technologies and integrating renewables into its energy supply chain.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “This project will create job opportunities in Gujarat and across India, apart from inspiring the manufacturing of high-grade steel while playing a critical role in reducing import dependence in critical and strategic applications.

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“The company’s latest technology for this project will prove to be a milestone and provide a fillip to the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives.”

ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India CEO Dilip Oommen said that the plant’s expansion will enable the production of high-grade value-added steel solutions while complying with the government’s import substitution policy goals.

The company aims to increase its national crude steel capacity to 30Mtpa in the coming decade, which would contribute to India’s National Steel Policy, which targets 300Mtpa domestic capacity by 2030.

Indian Union Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said: “India’s path to achieving 300 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity will require significant capital, advanced manufacturing technologies and deeper experience in the execution of large-scale projects. I am certain that this collaboration will help bring all three into the fold.”