Rourkela and its adjacent areas are rich in iron ores, Manganese, Dolomite and Limestone, the basic materials for production of iron and steel. Considering Rourkela to be best place for a steel plant, the survey work was completed in the year 1954. The infrastructure work of the plant was accomplished in between 1955 and 1960.
The modernization of Rourkela Steel Plant began in August 1988 with a view to producing qualitative materials and establishing its importance in the world market. The process of modernization entailed an expenditure outlay of Rs. 4500 crores.
The Fertilizer Plant was set up in the year 1964 with a view to utilizing the residue of the steel plant and the re-utilization of the chemicals. There is a small hill called ‘Sona Parbat’ towards the South of Rourkela Steel Plant. The Fertilizer Plant and the Fertilizer Township were set up adjacent to the hill. The plant was set up by the Indian Fertilizer Corporation Ltd and was handed over to the Steel Authority of India Ltd in the year 1973. An improved quality of fertilizer called ‘Sona’ (Nitrogen) is being produced from the plant.