SAIL board has approved the proposal for ‘Installation of a New Slab Caster’ with associated facilities for Steel Melting Shop (SMS) II of its unit, Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) at an estimated cost of Rs 520 crore. The new single-strand slab caster having a capacity of 0.80 million tonne per annun (MTPA) will thus help the plant to produce value added/special quality of steel besides ensuring higher utilisation the converters.
The installation of the slab caster with associated state-of-the-art facilities like RH Degasser and Ladle Furnace will further augment BSP’s capabilities to produce high quality plates and rails conforming to the stringent specifications for Indian Railways. The plant has recently commissioned a Long Rail Mill for production of rails up to the length of 78 metre and welded panels up to the length of 260 metre.
The production from Bhilai’s SMS II has already substantially exceeded its capacity of 1.5 MTPA, following technological improvements like higher converter lining, introduction of sleeve tap-hole practice and better maintenance practice. The converter availability and its utilisation have also improved.
The addition of a new caster along with associated facilities for secondary refining to the existing facilities of three slab casters, one combi caster and one bloom caster, will enable the shop to enhance steel production. In the ensuing period, the installation of the new caster will facilitate modernization of other casters without any loss of production as envisaged in SAIL’s Corporate Plan 2011-12. The steel produced in this shop is used as a feed stock for BSP’s Plate Mill and Rail & Structural Mill. The project is envisaged to be completed within 26 months.
Presently, capital schemes valued at over Rs 3,500 crore are under various stages of implementation. The projects form a part of the company’s Corporate Plan that envisages enhancing hot metal capacity from 13 MT in 2004-05 to 20 MT by 2011-12.