South Korean steelmaker POSCO (005490.KS) has appointed Choon-Kuhn Kwon as the new chairman and managing director of its Indian arm, the company said on Friday.

Kwon, 55, was expected to arrive in India next week, POSCO-India spokesman Avinash Tiwari told Reuters.

POSCO is building a $12 billion steel plant in the eastern state of Orissa, touted as India's biggest foreign investment.

But the project has been delayed by protests, part of a larger standoff between industry and farmers unwilling to give up land in India, where two-thirds of the population depends on agriculture for a living.

Kwon will replace Soung Sik Cho, who left last month after three years in the job.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash, Editing by Mark Williams)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved