The company touched new peaks in production with hot metal output of 15 million tonnes, crude steel of 14 million tonnes and saleable steel of nearly 13 million tonnes. With finished steel production touching 11 million tonnes, its proportion in saleable steel rose from 81% in 2006 to 83% in the just-concluded year. Highest-ever continuous casting of 8.7 million tonnes was also achieved during 2007 with a growth of 6% over the previous year. Substantially higher volumes of value-added items like high corrosion resistant TMT wire & rounds, SAILMA structurals, electrode quality wire rods, HR coils/plates/sheets for LPG manufacturers and 90 UTS rails were produced. Major techno-economic parameters like coke rate and energy consumption were further improved during 2007. Best-ever coke rate of 535 kg/tonne of hot metal and specific power consumption of 460 kwh/tonne of saleable steel were achieved.
Mines & collieries:
The captive mines of SAIL achieved record production of 26 million tonnes of iron ore during 2007 and met 100% of the requirement of the SAIL plants. Thrust was given on expansion of the existing iron ore mines and proposals for development of new mines were taken up on priority. Inhouse coal production was also given a thrust, resulting in 59% improvement in output during the year.
While notching up highest-ever sales of nearly 12 million tonnes during 2007, SAIL strengthened its countrywide marketing network by appointing over 700 new dealers. As on date, there are 1,283 dealers covering all districts of the country, helping to improve reach of steel materials to all corners of the country.
During 2007, SAIL gave the go-ahead for a record investment of more than Rs. 40,000 crore for expansion & modernisation of its steel plants at Bhilai, Rourkela, Durgapur, Burnpur and Salem. Several major projects under the company's ongoing expansion & modernisation plan 2010 were commissioned during the year. These included technological upgradation of blast furnaces, rebuilding of coke oven batteries, modernisation and expansion of finishing mills, etc. At present, 42 projects involving more than Rs. 5,500 crore investment are under implemention.
Several new strategic initiatives were taken to consolidate the company's future. These include:
Formation of a special purpose vehicle with NTPC, RINL and NMDC for acquiring equity stakes in coal mines abroad.
Formation of a joint venture (JV) company with M/s Jaypee Associates for a 2.2 million tonne cement plant at Bhilai. Similar JVs are being set up at Bokaro and Rourkela.
Further expansion of captive power plants undertaken, with initiative to set up wind power units in Tamil Nadu.
MoU with RINL and NMDC to set up a 4 million tonne integrated steel plant in Chhattisgarh.
MoU with POSCO, Korea to establish a strategic alliance for aligning and cooperating in a wide range of strategic business and commercial interest areas.
Initiative to develop Special Economic Zone at Salem with M/s IL&FSIDC in advanced stage of approval.
Approval for setting up 8 steel processing units in 7 states where SAIL does not have a manufacturing base. This will help in downstream processing of SAIL products, adding value to and widening the product portfolio.
Human resource development:
Even as the company achieved highest-ever labour productivity of 218 tonnes/man/year in 2007, up by 9%, several new initiatives were introduced in the HR area during the year in order to achieve consistent growth and foster a motivational climate, including ingenious reward and motivation schemes related to daily performances, resulting in enhanced level of performance and employee satisfaction, and a major to provide better exposure to large number of employees, both workmen and executives, through visits to sister units, other companies in India and abroad.
Contribution to society:
SAIL continued to enhance its activities in the area of corporate social responsibility during 2007. Among the major initiatives were setting up 5 schools in steel townships providing completely free education, including midday meals, transport, etc., for underprivileged children living in peripheral areas; opening of 4 free health centres in steel townships; holding over 235 health camps in 10 states to provide free medical check-ups, path lab treatment, medicines, immunisation, etc., to over 4.5 lakh people; and adoption of 79 villages in 8 states for comprehensive development as model steel villages.
SAIL continued to develop and commercialise new products during 2007. Some of the special quality steels supplied for high technology applications through special development efforts included IS 2062 grade C plates for construction of a railway bridge on the Chenab river by the Konkan Railways; DMR 249 grade steel to the Indian Navy for manufacture of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier/battleship; GOST/NES grade plates to the Indian Navy for repairs/maintenance of warships; High tensile plates for manufacturing of instantaneous/temporary bridges during movement of troops and materials in border/unconnected areas; IS 2062 copper bearing structurals for border fencing; Jackal/Spade steel plates for Army tanks/armoured vehicles; Corrosion resistant and micro-alloyed rails for various applications of Indian Railways, etc.