Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Plant, (VISL) is located at Bhadravati, 260 kilometers north-west of Bangalore in the State of Karnataka. The Plant and Township are nestled by the river Bhadra on three sides. The Plant covers an area of about 3.8 square kilometers and 267 employees as on 01.02.2023. The Steel Town covers an area of 4.5 square kilometers.
The vision and foresight of late Sir M Visvesvaraya, the then Dewan of Mysore, resulted in the setting up of “Mysore Wood Distillation & Iron Works” in 1918. It became a limited Company in 1962. As a tribute to its illustrious founder, the company was renamed “Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Limited” (VISL) on February 16, 1976. An Engineer-Statesman par excellence, he perceived Bhadravati as an ideal location for the plant amidst the forests of Shimoga.
Starting as a Wood Distillation Plant in 1918, the Mysore Iron Works commenced Pig Iron production in a charcoal Blast Furnace in 1923 to produce 60 tonnes of Pig Iron per day. A Pipe Plant was installed in 1927 to make profitable use of the Pig Iron thus produced.
Mild steel production was started in 1936 and in the same year the name of the company was changed to Mysore Iron & Steel Works. Production of Ferro-Alloys began in 1942 with the addition of two small furnaces and the production capacity was augmented subsequently in 1962. Mild steel production capacity was also expanded in 1965 with the addition of two LD converters, one Electric Are Furnace and a Blooming and Heavy Section Mill.
The plant was expanded further and diversified into the field of Alloy and Special Steels production in 1965 with the addition of Electric Arc Furnace, Combined Bar and Rod Mill and Central Heat Treatment Shop. Subsequently a modern Forge Plant was established in 1977 to produce high Alloy Steels like High Speed Steel, Tool Steels, Die Block Steel and Valve Steel etc. With this, the production capacity of Alloy and Special Steels went up to 77,000 tonnes per year.
As a step to improve the quality and yield of steel, a vacuum Degassing/Vacuum Oxygen Decarburising unit was added in 1983 and a Continuous Casting unit for blooms and billets in 1985. The company had technical collaboration with the world renowned M/s. Bohlers of Austria for twelve years. As a measure of further updating the technology, VISL utilized the services of M/s. Voest Alpine Industrial Services(VAIS), Austria, under an agreement between Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and VAIS.
VISL has carved a niche for itself in the field of Alloy and Special Steels in the country. It takes care of requirement of strategic sectors like Defence, Nuclear Power Corporation, Railways etc. VISL is producing Alloy and Special Steels since 1966 and has kept pace with the developments by quickly adopting newer technologies to meet the requirements of the day and has always remained in the forefront as quality steel producer in the country.
As a long term strategy VISL installed one 530 Cu.M Blast Furnace in 1995 to produce hot metal of right quality so as to take the full advantage of BF-BOF-LRF-VD route in the production of Alloy and Special Steels.
To sustain as a leading premier Alloy and Special Steel producer short and long term modernization proposals are in various stages of consideration.