KOLKATA - India's Tata Steel is trying to bring down carbon dioxide emissions to 1.8 tonnes per tonne of steel produced by 2012 from 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide now, a top official said on Monday.

Our target is to bring it down to 1.8 tonnes by 2012 and to 1.5 tonnes by 2020, Managing Director H.M. Nerurkar told reporters on the sidelines of a CII conference in Kolkata.

He said Tata Steel's carbon dioxide emissions were already below global industry averages of about 2.2 tonnes per tonne of steel.

He said that while it was relatively easy to bring down carbon emissions to 1.7 tonnes per tonne of steel, it would be difficult to lower them below that.

On the prospects for Tata Steel's European unit Corus, Nerurkar said there was a slight recovery in Europe and it was expecting more orders in the infrastructure sector.

Last week Corus got a 350 million euro order ($510 million) contract to supply rail tracks to French operator SNFC.

(Reporting by Niladri Bhattacharjee; Editing by John Mair)