ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, plans to begin building two steel plants at a combined cost of 18 billion dollars in two Indian states by year end, a report said Thursday.
"We would start construction of each of the two projects in Jharkhand and Orissa by the end of the year. We are in advanced stage of submitting our DPR (detailed project report) for the two projects," ArcelorMittal vice president Sudhir Maheshwari told Press Trust of India.
The investment by ArcelorMittal would eclipse a 12-billion-dollar steel plant South Korean rival POSCO plans to build in eastern Orissa state and which has been beset by delays.
ArcelorMittal announced plans for the plants, which would have a combined capacity of 24 million tonnes, in July last year.
ArcelorMittal, which controls 10 percent of global steel production, has previously asked the government to speed up allocation of dedicated mines to ensure supplies of ore for its projects.
India's Tata Steel Ltd, which last year bought British steelmaker Corus, is also expanding operations domestically, and plans to increase its domestic production to about 20 million tonnes by 2015.
India currently produces about 35 million tonnes of steel a year.
Orissa state, which has a quarter of India's iron ore reserves, has witnessed a rush by Indian and international players to invest in large steel plants there.