By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO (Reuters) -An Indian joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel will invest 410 billion rupees ($5 billion) to boost crude steel output capacity by 6 million tones a year at its Hazira plant, the Japanese firm said on Wednesday.
The AM/NS India joint venture will build two blast furnaces, along with many other facilities, in its Hazira plant in western India, with plans to start operations by mid-2026.
The expansion is aimed at meeting growing steel demand in India and winning a bigger slice of the market.
The annual steel output capacity of the Hazira plant will increase to around 15 million tonnes after the expansion.
AM/NS India is also considering to build a new steel plant in eastern India while it plans to keep expanding the Hazira plant even beyond 15 million tonnes, said Takahiro Mori, executive vice president at Nippon Steel.
"To secure a good presence, we want to win about 15% share in the Indian market where an annual crude steel output is expected to grow to around 200 million tonnes by 2030," Mori told a news conference.
"Therefore, we want to bolster AM/NS India's output capacity to around 30 million tonnes by 2030," he said.
Nippon Steel, the world's fourth-biggest steelmaker, has also its own goal to increase its group steel output capacity to 100 million tonnes in the future, from 66 million tonnes now.
After the announced expansion at Hazira, along with planned closures of some mills in Japan, the figure will reach 70 million tonnes.
The remaining 30 million tonnes will likely come from further expansions in India, ASEAN and the United States, Mori said.
Mori told Reuters recently that Nippon Steel plans to almost double crude steel output capacity at the Hazira plant to secure more of the growing market.
($1 = 81.8950 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)