"This year, in 2016-17 SAIL has targeted to increase its production and sales by 20 per cent over last year," Singh said addressing the Maharatna firm's annual general meeting here. Ramp-up of production from the new units is not only increasing production quantum and leading to better quality of products, but has also helped SAIL in reducing cost of production, he added.
Higher production from the new units and rationalising production from cost intensive routes has resulted in reduction in variable cost of production by 10 per cent in January-March of 2015-16 compared to the first quarter of 2015-16 and the same trend continues, Singh said.
He also pointed that besides the ongoing Modernisation and Expansion programme, which is on the verge of completion, SAIL has taken up new projects to improve its product mix and profitability.
Installation of 3 mt per annum capacity, 2,250 mm wide Hot Strip Mill at Rourkela, scheduled to be commissioned in 2018, will enable SAIL to produce very high quality hot rolled coils including advanced high strength grades to cater to the growing automotive industry in the country, he noted. Under the current challenging conditions faced by steel industry, Singh said besides cost reduction, SAIL management has been undertaking conscious steps to improve customer centric processes to improve company's sales and performance.
On outlook, Singh said as per the projected demand-supply situation, global oversupply would persist in the near future and there is a need for protracted trade measures to provide the Indian steel industry with a level playing field.
On domestic steel demand, he said: "In conjunction with the initiatives by the government for increasing steel demand, it is our responsibility as the leading steel producer in the country to increase steel consumption."
Initiatives like raising steel intensity in construction and infrastructure projects by propagating the advantages of steel over other materials with respect to Life Cycle Analysis based costing, assured quality, safety and pace of construction would be helpful in this regard, he added.