Leading Indian business conglomerate Essar Group is awaiting the final approvals from Saudi authorities to build a low-carbon steel plant in the kingdom at a total investment of $4.5 billion, reported Press Trust of India, citing a top official.

The work on the project will start after receiving all the necessary approvals,  said Prashant Ruia, the Director of Essar Capital, adding the company already has a 1,000-acre land set for the multibillion-dollar project.

This will be Essar Group’s first steel project outside India. The Essar plant will take three to three-and-a-half years to build and once operational it will meet the domestic steel demand, he stated.

“Saudi Arabia is going through a large growth phase, a large part of steel today is getting imported into Saudi Arabia. So this is basically a domestic plant,” said Ruia in the interview with PTI.

The kingdom is eyeing becoming an electric vehicle manufacturing hub, manufacturing more than 300,000 cars annually by 2030.

Essar, he stated, was looking to tap into the demand for steel for such cars as well as for other consumer goods industry.

The plant will integrate gas-based direct reduced iron (DRI) and electric arc furnace (EAF) technology to cater primarily to local needs of Saudi Arabia.

Essar also plans to invest in constructing two dedicated berths at Ras Al Khair port, exclusively for its steel project.