NMDC expects to lay new iron ore pipeline in 20 months

Kolkata, July 19 (IANS) State-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) expects to complete within 20 months the construction of a 424-km long iron ore slurry pipeline to bring the ore from the Maoist-affected Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh to Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.

Once completed, the pipeline would help many upcoming steel projects get their key raw material.

‘The fulfillment of our aim of achieving a production level of 51 million tonnes of iron ore by 2014-15 depends upon this pipeline where we will be investing Rs.3,000 crore,’ NMDC chairman and managing director Rana Som said here Monday at a seminar organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce.

Consultancy firm Mecon has been appointed to prepare a feasibility report, to be submitted in October, he said.

NMDC had earlier decided to build this new pipeline after an existing pipeline was damaged May last year by Maoist rebels, forcing NMDC to cut supplies.

While the damaged pipeline passed through the Maoist zone, the planned pipeline would be laid along national and state highways.

‘We will not be an intruder (into the Maoist territory),’ Som said.

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