The world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, has announced plans to set up a large-scale solar power project in India.
ArcelorMittal has backed out of plans to set up a 6 million tonne steel mill in the southern state of Karnataka. The company will instead set up a 500-600 MW solar power project at the land earmarked for the steel mill.
The decision to set up solar power project instead of a steel mill comes at a time when demand for almost all commodities is falling across the globe. Steel prices have fallen sharply on concerns about low demand from China. It will be more meaningful for the company to use the land to set up a solar power project, and participate in one of the fastest emerging solar power markets in the world.
Recently, an Indian power generation company, RattanIndia Power, announced similar plans to replace a planned coal-fired power plant with a 200 MW solar power project. The company dropped plans for the coal-based power plant after it failed to receive assurance of domestic coal supply.
India offers huge market opportunity for even non-renewable energy companies as it has among the most ambitious installed capacity targets. The Indian government has plans to have 100 GW of solar power capacity by March 2022, up from 5 GW installed capacity at the end of December 2015.
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