India’s biggest blast furnace would be made operational at the Orissa based Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) by the end of July this year, according to the Hindu Business Line. The announcement was made by Chandra Sekhar Verma, the Chairman of Steel Authority of India (SAIL). Indian news agency PTI quoted Verma as saying that the country’s biggest blast furnace having a 4,060-meter cube would be operational at the RSP in June-July.
According to the report published in Business Line, during a meeting with the state’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the SAIL chairman said that the expansion and modernization work at RSP will be completed much before the scheduled time frame.
SAIL is spending about Rs 120 billion ($2.4 billion) on the modernization of RSP, with a target to take its production capacity of hot metal to as high as 4.5 million metric tons from its existing capacity of 2 million tons.
The capacity of the RSP would be increased from 2 million to 4.5 million tons per year and later to 5 million tons per year, Verma was quoted as saying. RSP modernization is part of SAIL’s plan for expanding capacity in its existing major plants. All together, SAIL has decided to pump in Rs 720 billion ($14.4 billion) to raise production from 14 million tons to 24 million tons per year by the end of 2013.
SAIL produces iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, located principally in the eastern and central regions of India.
As per the plans, all modernization and expansion work would be completed in a phased manner in all SAIL’s steel plants; the company seeks to raise its capacity to 40-60 million tons per year after eight years, as per its 2020 vision document.
Out of Rs 720 billion ($14.4 billion), an amount of Rs 105 billion ($2.1 billion) would be spent in the Raw Material Division (RMD), while Rs 560 billion ($11.2 billion) will be spent on purchasing machinery for expanding and modernizing units.
RSP, the first integrated steel plant in the public sector in India, was set up by SAIL with German collaboration with an installed capacity of 1 million metric tons. Subsequently, its capacity was enhanced to about 2 million tons.
The plant was modernized in the mid-1990s with a number of new units having state-of-the-art facilities. Most of the old units were also revamped for effecting substantial improvement in the quality of products, reducing cost and ensuring a cleaner environment.
RSP was the first plant in India to incorporate LD technology in steel-making. It is also the first steel plant in SAIL and the only current one where 100 percent of slabs are produced through the cost-effective and quality-centric continuous casting route.
RSP currently has the capacity to produce 2 million tons of hot metal, 1.9 million tons of crude steel and 1.67 million tons of saleable steel. It is SAIL’s only plant that produces silicon steels for the power sector, high quality pipes for the oil & gas sector and tin plates for the packaging industry. Its wide and sophisticated product range includes various flat, tubular and coated products.
TC Malhotra contributes to MetalMiner from New Delhi.