New Delhi: Uncertainty looms large over Jindal Steel and Power's plans to set up a USD 2.1 billion integrated steel plant in Bolivia as the company is finding it hard to move ahead without committed gas supplies from the local government.

"We are finalising ... continuously talking to suppliers, finalising equipment, finalising DRI. We are moving ahead with that but the real activity on the ground will start only after we sign the gas supply contract with the government," company's CFO Sushil Maroo said.

"I really don't know because it really depends on the availability of gas that the (Bolivian) government commits. The project was designed based on certain availability of gas... because there is no agreement signed so far, so it is very difficult to comment," he said when asked about the fate of the project.

In 2007, Jindal Steel Bolivia, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), had secured 40-year development rights to the El-Mutun iron ore mine, which holds reserves of around 20 billion tonnes.

The mines are considered to be one of the largest untapped iron ore deposits in the world.

The company had also signed an agreement with the Bolivian government to set up an integrated 1.7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel plant, a 6-mtpa sponge iron and a 10-mtpa iron ore pellet plant in the country at an investment of USD 2.1 billion.

For the project, the gas requirement was estimated at 0.5 million standard cubic metres per day (MSCMD) in 2014.

By 2016, it would increase to 6 MSCMD and in 2017; the project would require daily supplies of 10 million cubic metres of gas.

However, the company is yet to get gas allocation for the project.

"The moment we get a firm commitment from the government and we sign the contract, we will exactly know what is size of the investment and size of the project," Maroo said.

Stating that the company has written to the Bolivian government for gas supplies long back, he said JSPL is still waiting to hear from the government on the matter.

JSPL has invested more than USD 120 million on the project so far and has made "made lot of commitment to our equipment suppliers", he said, adding that the company does not have any fund raising plans for the next six months.

JSPL's project is considered to one of the largest made by an Indian entity in South America and the investment made is also the highest by a foreign firm on a single project in Bolivia.