Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, Tuesday called upon steel barons from Asian countries to set up plants in the state. makers to set up shop in the state making use of the rich resources like iron ore, coal, chrome and other minerals that are on offer.

“I invite the steel producers to set up their industries in Odisha with the best possible facilitation by the state,” the chief minister said adding, “My government has taken several initiatives over the years to facilitate setting up and operation of the industries.” ” We have introduced the policy of long term linkage of iron ore, chrome ore and other minerals to the state based Industries through Odisha Mining Corporation Limited, he further added.

“The steel makers should take advantage of Odisha rich natural resources such as iron ore, coal, chromite, limestone, dolmite and also the water”, he said while addressing the inaugural session of the 7th Asia Steel Conference – 2018, organised jointly by the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) and Tata Steel here on Tuesday.

Asserting , “Odisha is producing about half of the country’s iron ore– the critical input for steel making– and it has a competitive advantage for production of steel”, the chief minister said that the state is producing a fourth of the country’s total installed capacity. According to him the installed capacity for steel production in the state has gone up from 4 million tonnes per annum(mtpa) in 1999-2000 to 33 mtpa from 47 steel units today. Moreover, he added, the pellet plants have an installed capacity of about 29 million tonnes per annum.

The chief minister said the state is aiming at contributing to the national target as the National Steel Policy-2017 envisages increase in per capita steel consumption from the present 61 Kilogram to 158 Kg by 2030.

Stating that a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone is being developed at Kalinganagar, spread over 160 square kilometers, Patnaik said the Zone, which has been envisaged to become a self-contained ecosystem along with residential, commercial and social amenities,  will enable the potential investors to set up value added downstream industries.

The union steel secretary ,Aruna Sharma, Asia Steel International Conference chairman Anand Sen, president of Indian Institute of Metals Dr Biswajit Basu also addressed the inaugural session.