Modernizing and Expanding India's Steel Industry – Part Two
TC Malhotra contributes to MetalMiner from New Delhi.
Continued from Part One.
While JSW’s expansion plans are in the works, Essar Steel has commissioned its second Conarc furnace with a capacity of 2.5 million tons per year, taking total capacity of the steel melt shop to 5 million tons per year.
The Conarc furnace will be fed with inputs from a blast furnace with a capacity of 1.73 million tons per year (commissioned recently), DRI (direct reduced iron) with a capacity of 1.74 million tons per year and two Corex units of nearly 900,000 tons per year, of which one is already commissioned and the second unit is scheduled to be commissioned this month.
Upon the expansion project’s completion, Essar Steel’s Hazira unit in the western state of Gujarat will become India’s largest flat steel facility at any single location and among the top ten in the world. The unit will also be one of the few steel facilities that are fully integrated and produce the entire range of flat products.
In the meantime, government-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has also announced modernization and expansion plans to enhance production for automotive and white goods sector.
A report published in the Indian business daily Hindu Business Line claims that SAIL has plans to spend an estimated Rs 70.4 billion ($1.4 billion) of the modernization investment of Rs 620 billion ($12.4 billion) on producing value-added products that will be used in the automotive and white goods sector.
A new cold-rolling complex is being set up at the Bokaro Steel Plant in Jharkhand state that will boost the share of value-added products targeting the auto and white goods sector. The upcoming plant has a production capacity of one million tons of cold-rolled steel and 350,000 tons of galvanized products.
Indian news agency PTI quoted India’s Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma as saying that within a month, SAIL is likely to finalize a joint venture with Japan’s Kobe Steel for a 500,000-ton mill in West Bengal state to manufacture special grade steel.
The total investment in the project will be about Rs 20 billion ($400 million), Verma was quoted as saying.
Among another developments, SAIL and South Korean steel giant POSCO are inching closer towards a joint venture agreement for the proposed 3 million-ton project at Bokaro involving an investment of Rs 170 billion ($3.4 billion).
A proposal has been put forth for two units (at 1.5 million tons each) to be set up in Bokaro to produce auto grade steel using POSCO’s patented Finex technology. The Finex technology is considered environmentally friendly and makes use of iron ore fines, thereby eliminating the need to use coking coal in the steelmaking process.
Pertaining to these developments in Bokaro, Bokaro is going to be a steel hub of Asia.