South-Korea’s Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) has obtained approval from India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests for its proposed $12bn steel complex in Orissa.

The approval will allow POSCO to build a 12-million-ton mill with 28 additional conditions including limitations on the use of water.

The ministry has also provided 12.5km² of forest land and a captive port for the project ,which will be built in three phases.

The plant has been delayed since 2005 because of resistance from farmers unwilling to give up their land.

A POSCO spokesperson said the firm will continue the process of land purchase, and proceed with the mill project as planned through local community cooperation.