Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) is located in the north-western tip of Orissa. The plant is located at the centre of a rich mineral belt in Orissa. The plant has a locational advantage in terms of connectivity because it is situated on the Howrah-Mumbai rail mainline and very well connected with most of the important cities of India .
It is one of the largest steel plants and the plant was conceived about 60 years ago in the year 1954. The Republic of Germany provided technical know how for the construction of the steel plant. German metallurgical firms Mannesmann, Krupp, Demag, Siemens and Voestalpine provided machinery and consultancy to the plant among others.
In the 1950s, the public sector corporation Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) had purchased a complete steel plant from 36 German companies (among them leading German companies like Mannesmann and Krupp) with roughly 3,000 subcontractors, but without sufficient coordination of the numerous supplies. Unfortunately, the HSL was not able to pay in cash as was originally considered. In 1958 German ECA KfW, with the support of the German Federal Government, took over the promissory notes to prolong the Indian obligations to pay. To avoid default on payments, from 1958 onwards, the German Government gave loans to secure these kind of core sector undertakings which was originally started by the private sector .
For the purpose of establishment of plant about 20,000 acres of land were acquired under the Land Acquisition Act. At the time of establishment of plant there were very little resistance and very little compensation was paid . During its construction, thousands of tribal had been displaced in 1950s. Since then people regularly organize protests in different forms, including filing cases at the Supreme Court of India, for compensation and rehabilitation packages. However, the RSP has been allegedly lingering the displaced people’s entitlements in terms of compensation and jobs.  The displacement, resettlement, compensation packages has been mostly insufficient, ineffective and in transparent .
Rourkela Steel Plant also has an associated Fertilizer Plant that produces nitrogeneous fertilizers using ammonia feedstock (from its coke oven plant).