Steel Minister urges SAIL to opt for best global technology

Press Release
New Delhi

SAIL Board approves Rs. 350 crore capex

New Delhi :    Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Chemicals, Fertilisers & Steel, in a unique gesture visited the corporate office of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) at Lodi Road here today to interact with the company’s Chairman and the Board of Directors. He was accompanied by Mr. R.S. Pandey, Secretary, Ministry of Steel. 

Interacting with the members of the SAIL Board, in which recently a new Chairman and number of other Directors have been inducted, Mr. Paswan emphasised that in order to meet the growing demand for steel in the country SAIL needs to speed up execution of its modernisation and expansion plan. Citing the example of global leaders in steel, he said SAIL’s growth plan needs to be completed in a span of three years in place of the earlier schedule of five years. He called upon the Directors of SAIL to take all steps to make the steel major strong enough to withstand any future storms and to make the company a leading enterprise internationally. 

The Steel Minister asked the SAIL management to opt for the globally best and proven technology and make no compromise while implementing the modernisation and expansion plan. There should be R&D application specific to the requirement of SAIL and the country, such as adoption of technology suiting usage of low-grade coal available in the country. He also drew the attention of the Board members to the need for SAIL to move fast and tie up supplies of coking coal. The Minister also asked SAIL to speed up the expansion of its distribution network covering every district across the country to make quality steel, particularly TMT, GP/GC sheets, available to the common man. 

Earlier in the day, the SAIL Board, in its ongoing effort to speed up execution of SAIL’s modernisation and expansion projects, accorded approval for three new projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 350 crore.

The projects cleared by the SAIL Board include the re-building of Coke Oven Battery (COB) No. 6 at Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) at an investment of Rs. 176 crore. This project will help BSP to meet its coke requirement for the enhanced hot metal capacity envisaged under its modernisation and expansion plan on a sustained basis. This is the sixth COB of SAIL taken up for revamping and retrofitting state-of-the-art pollution control measures under its growth plan.

Another project approved today is for installation of a Computerised Process System at Steel Melting Shop (SMS)-II of Bokaro Steel Plant at an investment of Rs. 31 crore. The online process system is the latest of its kind and will be integrated with the existing system for improvement in yield and quality of steel produced by SMS-II as well as for upgrading its efficiency.

Installation of Main Step Down Substation-V and Transmission Network at an investment of Rs. 141 crore for evacuation of 280 MW power from New Power Plant-3 being set up at BSP by NSPCL, the joint venture company of SAIL and NTPC, was also approved. 

Prior to this, the SAIL Board had approved projects worth over Rs. 11,000 crore in July, 2006 which included the modernisation and expansion plan for IISCO Steel Plant (ISP) at an investment of Rs. 9,592 crore. Since then, speedy action has been initiated for the implementation of ISP’s plan. Three major packages - for the New Sinter Plant, New Heavy Structural Mill and site levelling - totalling an estimated cost of around Rs. 1,200 crore have already been tendered. 

As of date, projects involving a total investment of around Rs. 17,300 crore are under various stages of implementation by the steel major. Among the major projects is the Rs. 1,553 crore expansion plan for Salem Steel Plant.