Millennium Post

SAIL, RINL modernising to expand hot metal capacities in a big way

"SAIL and RINL are executing modernisation and expansion plan aimed at increasing their hot metal capacity to 23.1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and 7.3 MTPA, respectively by 2016-17,” Mines and Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a reply to Lok Sabha.

PSUs — Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) and NMDC — are in the process of implementing significant expansion in the crude/finished steel capacities in their respective brown field/greenfield locations, the minister said. NMDC, he said, is constructing a three MTPA greenfield integrated steel plant in Chhattisgarh and the project is in construction stage.

While, SAIL has eight steel plants in states like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, RINL is operating one steel plant in Andhra Pradesh, he said. Moreover, Iron ore imports have increased sharply to 5.63 million tonnes in 2014-15 till November as against 0.37 million tonnes in previous financial year, the government said on Monday.

“The import of iron ore has increased from 0.37 million tonnes (MT) in year 2013-14 to 5.63 MT in the year 2014-15 (April-November),” Minister of State for Steel and Mines Vishnu Deo Sai said in a reply to the Lok Sabha. The minister further said there is no acute shortage of raw material like iron ore. However, there are regional shortages of iron ore due to Supreme Court’s decisions regarding lease renewal in Goa and Odisha and cancellation of mining leases in Karnataka. “Coking coal which is used in steel making is largely imported into India due to its non-availability,” the minister said.

Iron ore imports in 2012-13 were at 3.05 MT while in the previous 2011-12 year imports were 0.97 MT, the minister said. He further said that as per the report of the Working Group on Steel for the 12th Five Year Plan for 2016-17, the iron ore requirement is 206.2 MT for crude steel production capacity of 125.9 MT. At present 21 per cent of crude steel production is being done by public sector and 79 per cent of crude steel production is being done by private sector.

Meanwhile, mining sector FDI jumped to $657.46 million in the April-December period of this fiscal as compared with just $12.73 million in the entire 2013-14 fiscal, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Coal auctions skewed, iron & steel cos tell HC

Iron and steel companies on Monday argued before the Delhi High Court that the Centre’s decision to club all end-uses, except power, under unregulated sector has led to a “skewed” bidding process in which unequals are competing with each other for mines.

The submission was made before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva by Bhushan Steel and Power Ltd, Utkal Coal Ltd and Monet Ispat and Energy Ltd which have challenged the Coal Ministry’s decision to club all other sectors, except power, under one category.

The bench listed the companies’ pleas for further hearing on March 4 and also issued a notice to the Coal Ministry and sought its response, on that date, on the plea of D B Power Ltd which has challenged merger of two blocks — Durgapur-II Taraimar and Durgapur-II Sariya — in Chhattisgarh.
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