"The Posco project work has not started. However, we are optimistic about implementation of the project," steel and mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told the Assembly on Friday.     

Replying to a written question, the minister said the Odisha government has so far provided 2,752 acres of land to the state-owned Industrial Infrastracture Development Corporation Limited (IDCO) for the purpose of setting up Posco's 8 mtpa steel mill in the first phase.

IDCO has meanwhile handed over 1,880 acres of land to the steel company, he said.

Even as the company signed MoU with the state government for setting up a 12 mtpa capacity steel plant over 4,000 acre of land, it later decided to reduce land requirement to 2,800 acre and capacity to 8 mtpa, the minister said.     

The state government, he said, has already renewed water agreement for the Posco plant in 2010. The mega steel unit required 3.5 cusec of water.

This apart, the minister informed that the company has already signed bilateral agreement with the state-owned Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) for availing 24 MW of electricty during the construction phase.     

Posco has also availed No-Objection Certificates (NOC) from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and State Pollution Control Board for the first phase of the project, Mallick said.

Meanwhile, the state government have made separate recommendations over notified and non-notified areas of iron ore reserve for Prospecting Licence (PL), the minister said.

"The state's recommendations of PL is under the consideration of the Centre," he said.

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