It is close to four months since the nation drenched in the frenzy of the Wologisi debacle. The Government is viewing the possibility of putting or g exploring Wologizi responsibility on the shoulders of any company that meets the requirements. One of the few known companies is Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) of India, a strong competitor with huge assets worth billions of US dollars spread parts of the globe.
Judging from its experience, its demonstration of strength in many areas of operations since establishment years back, are factors that resonate and make many to wonder whether it is a friend in need” or a “company of virtue,” poised to add values to Liberia.
Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) is interested in investing in Liberia billions of dollars, exploring the Wologizi Mountain in Lofa County, considered the remaining mineral deposit reserve for Liberia. Already, it has donated over US$1M to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and with plans to do more in education, social work and more.
Jindal Steel’s expression of interest commensurate with Government’s desire to open up the country, bang in good investments that provide opportunities for the economy, education, energy and many more.
As past plans, the plan to explore Wologizi is marred by stiff resistance of opposition from many quarters of interest. But what is more interesting and worth knowing is the company has the strength and financial capacity-what any Government would look for in a company that wants to take over its resources.
Good number of Liberians especially citizens of Lofa continue to harbor whooping apprehension stemming from past arrangements and attending consequences. Some are not apprehension but mere interests in other companies that are in line for the same Wologizi operations. But where does JSPL stand and what does it worth?
Factors “of friend in need”
There are glaring factors that make Jindal a diversified, virtue and a “friend in need” company is the ability to deliver considering its track records in India, its birth place and other areas of operations. As a company with very opulent profile, JSLP seeks to go beyond the fray by placing emphasis in Liberia’s power survivability and sustainability.
The Liberian Government has developed an ambitious energy harness plan and is fetching assistance from partners. According to Finance Minister Amara Konneh, reliable energy provision will arouse investors’ interest in the Liberian economy as it will create jobs for Liberians.
Records show that Iindal Group, a subsidiary of JSPL, is among top five industrial groups of India. JSPL with huge presence in Power Generation is an ideal partner for Liberia. Already, the company has made strong proposals to government to provide it with statutory documentation to undertake other life -saving long-term surpassing projects.
Among other things, it wants to set up 150 Mega Watts of coal fired power plant on Built Own Operate (BOO) framework, construct a power plant and associated infrastructure such as electrical interconnection facilities, as well as port facilities for coal handling.
JSPL is in the position to putting all the risk and capital required to create a coal fired base-load solution to serve Liberia’s power needs – both for Monrovia as well as for bulk buyers. “This solution will follow international emission norms set by the World Bank for, SOx, NOx, green house gases (GHGs), particulates, etc.” records say.
JSPL also wants to conduct and approve the necessary EIA study for the project, wants a water clearance to meet power plant requirement. A also interested in acquiring a PPA to be executed for 25 years at a mutually agreed price with indicative first year tariff to be 15 cents per Kilo Watts per hour per unit of electricity.
According to records, Jindal Group, a subsidiary of JSPL is among top five industrial groups of India. Authorities say, “JSPL with huge presence in Power Generation is an ideal partner for Liberia.” From indications, the JSPL’s coal fired project will have tremendous benefits for the Government of Liberia.
Accruable benefits include the development of the power sector in Liberia by providing much needed generation capacity and by participating in transmission infrastructure, as well as a socio-economic impact with employment opportunities for local community during the 3-4 year construction phase. More than that, it will generate a minimum of 500 direct and thousand s of indirect jobs.
One hundred Liberians will be trained in power plant operations to operate the plant, while the Government will gain experience in handling large-scale investment projects and the required technical know-how. JSPL will ensure capability building & capability transfer while GOL, as partner, will accrue revenues from bulk buyers both via the Power as well as the Transmission business
Besides its power generation prowess, JSPL has a strong stake in the steel industry. Analysts argue that steel production in Liberia will add widening values to ongoing reconstruction endeavors. With the motto “We are the Future of Steel, ” the group has been technology-driven and has a broad product portfolio. Yet, the focus at Jindal has always been steel.
From mining of iron-ore to the manufacturing of value added steel products, records show that Jindal has a pre-eminent position in the flat steel segment in India and is venturing into becoming a major global player, with its overseas manufacturing facilities and strategic manufacturing and marketing alliances with other world leaders.
The USD 12 Billion Jindal Group has developed into a multi-faceted organization and is one of the largest steel producers in India with 12 plants in India and two in the USA. Per current capacity, Jindal has a 3 MTPA integrated steel plant in Chhattisgarh, India, 1.5 MTPA DRI Plant in Sohar, Oman and is presently constructing a 6 MTPA integrated steel plant in Odisha, India, a 6 MTPA integrated steel plan in Jharkhand, India.
Besides its steel production and power generation worth, JSPL is established in mining & exploration of Coal, Iron Ore and other minerals and is present in Australia, Asian and African countries.
The company has a 12 MTPA captive coal mining in India with 6 MTPA coal washery, a 6 MTPA iron ore mining in India, a 4.5 MTPA pellet plant in India and a 1 MTPA anthracite coal mining in South Africa. These and many more are bound to Liberia provided the government sees the need to grant JSPL the rights to operate here.
“I am not too sure Liberia can afford to miss on this glorious chance. This is a worthy and meaningful company, one of which Liberia needs to drive its agenda through fruition,” remarked student Francis Bartu Boe of the state-run university.
“The government can look at the profile, the proposals and make the necessary settlement. We have to diversify the companies here because we cannot have investors from one end. It will weaken and dampen competition.’