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SAIL forays into titanium business with Kerala cos

Marking its entry into the titanium sector, state-owned steel major SAIL on Thursday signed an agreement with Kerala Metal and Minerals Ltd and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to set up a joint venture for producing titanium sponge and metals.

The first phase of the project envisaged setting up a 10,000 tonne annual capacity plant to produce titanium sponge, which he termed as the 'metal of the future', Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Chairman C S Verma told reporters here after signing the Memorandum of Understanding .

The estimated cost of the unit, proposed at Chavara in Kollam district where KMML's plant is located, is around Rs 2,500 crore and MECON, the unit under the Steel Ministry, had already prepared a brief on the project. Verma said a detailed project report would be made by appointing a consultant. Initial plans are to have main raw material titanium tetrachloride produced at the KMML plant.

Later the JV itself could do the mining if necessary sanctions are given by the state government, he added.

He also said Steel Authority of India was interested in associating itself with Kochi Metro and other transport projects planned by the Kerala government.

Steel special secretary Bharat Bhushan said SAIL is also interested in the proposed Rail Wagon Manufacturing Unit in Palakkad.

Though they had planned it under PPP model, they were not able to find a suitable private partner and Steel Authority of India had expressed interest in it, he said. Railways had responded positively to SAIL's request, he said, adding if it fructified, it would entail an additional investment of Rs 550 crore by Steel Authority of India  in Kerala.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said with this unit, India would become the largest Titanium sponge producing country in Asia. Industries Minister P K Kunhallikutty was also present at the occasion.


SAIL UNIT RSP SET SEVERAL RECORDS IN FY13

Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), a unit of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL,) has achieved record production in key areas last fiscal. The steel plant produced 23,65,824 tonnes of hot metal registering a growth of 2.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

Similarly by making 22,07,282 tonnes of crude steel and 21,44,344 tonnes of saleable steel, RSP recorded improvement of 1.7 per cent and 3.09 per cent, respectively, over its production in the corresponding period last year.

RSP also realised more than 100 per cent capacity utilisation in all the three key production areas like hot metal (118.6 per cent), crude steel (116.2 per cent) and saleable steel (128.3 per cent), company sources said on Thursday.
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