Arcelor has approached the Indian Ministry of Steel with a view to setting up a steel production unit in India.

The country has set a target of increasing its steel production capacity from 36 million tonnes per year to 100 million tonnes by 2020.

Arcelor's plan was explained to the ministry by a delegation from Luxembourg, headed by the country's minister of economy and foreign trade.

The Indian steel sector allows 100% foreign direct investment.

Arcelor has cut down steel production capacity in Europe and is expected to move production units to developing countries like India.

The move follows Posco's plan to set up a 10 million tonne plant in India.

Both Posco and Arcelor will target the automotive industry as their primary customers.

During the second quarter of the current financial year, Arcelor cut steel production by one million tones across four plants in Germany, Belgium and Spain.

This was due to a 14% fall in demand for flat-rolled steel from customers in the European Union, which are mainly automotive and white good manufacturers.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup