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SAIL approves long-delayed US$1B automotive steel JV with ArcelorMittal

Steel Authority of India Ltd. and ArcelorMittal entered into a non-binding agreement after SAIL approved the long-delayed US$1 billion joint venture to make automotive-grade steel, Reuters reported Dec. 15.

SAIL said a definitive agreement with ArcelorMittal will be finalized in "due course subject to financial viability."

Indian Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma told Reuters that the venture will start producing automotive steel in three years, without elaborating on the time or other details.

Meanwhile, SAIL spokesperson M.C. Agrawal said the companies have cleared the first stage in the process of entering a formal agreement on the automotive steel venture but noted that it was too early to talk about any production deadline.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint venture in 2015, but the transaction was delayed due to clashes over terms of the deal.