Bharat Refractories Limited (BRL), a PSU under the Ministry of Steel, has been amalgamated with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). The merger of BRL with SAIL was approved by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the provisions of Section 396 of the Companies Act, 1956 and the order was published in the Gazette of India on 28th July, 2009. As per the order, the merger is effective from 1st April, 2007. The merger order has been filed with the Registrar of Companies on 27th August, 2009. Earlier, the erstwhile Indian Iron & Steel Company Ltd (IISCO) was amalgamated with SAIL in 2006.
BRL, which produces an assorted variety of refractories used primarily in iron & steel making, was incurring losses over the years due to technological obsolescence, ageing of plant and equipment, low capacity utilisation and lack of necessary capital investment. It was referred to BIFR in August 1992 on erosion of its net worth. Even after implementing three revival packages in 1996, 1999 and 2002, BRL continued to make losses till 2006-07. Since 2007-08, BRLs financial position has improved and it has started making profits. Its turnover in 2008-09 was Rs. 231 crore.
With four plants in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, BRL presently produces about 95,000 tonnes of refractories against its installed capacity of 185,500 tonnes per annum. At present, SAIL consumes about 85% to 90% of BRLâ€™s production. With BRL becoming a captive unit of SAIL following the merger, the steel maker will be able to utilise the excess capacity of BRL for its present and future requirement of refractories. The merger will also provide BRL the right opportunity for its own technological upgradation and resource management.
Commenting on the amalgamation, SAIL Chairman Mr. S.K. Roongta said: "The captive inhouse refractory making capability would provide SAIL with strategic advantage at a time when the company is expanding its production capacity."