SAIL chairman CS Verma during his visit to Kiriburu on Saturday. Telegraph picture
Kiriburu (West Singhbhum), Feb. 23: Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) will spend close to Rs 72,000 crore to modernise its plants and expand operations in iron-ore mines in the next year.
During his maiden visit to Kiriburu and Meghahatuburu iron-ore mines in West Singhbhum district today, SAIL chairman C.S. Verma spoke on a host of issues including the company’s plans for Sindri, revival of Gua mines where operations have been shut since 2011 and its global bidding process for a mine developer.
Providing a break-up, Verma said that Rs 39,000 crore would be spent for capacity expansion, Rs 7,000 crore on value addition, Rs 10,000 crore on enhancing mining capacity and development, Rs 3,500 on technical upgradation and another Rs 7,000 crore on sustenance schemes.
He said SAIL’s iron ore mines were expected to jack up production to 39 MTPA in tandem with the company’s mega expansion plans of producing over 23 MTPA hot metal from the present capacity of 14.3. This was expected to be completed in the next year (2013-14).
In order to meet the enhanced requirements, SAIL’s mining outfit, Raw Material Division (RMD), was working on a modernisation and capacity expansion plan for mines in the eastern sector, namely, Kiriburu, Meghahatuburu, Gua and Chiria in Jharkhand, and Bolani, Barsua and Kalta in Odisha.
Post-expansion capacities of RMD mines at Kiriburu, Meghahatuburu and Bolani would be 5.5, 6.5 and 10 MTPA respectively.
On the Gua mines, where mining had been stopped since June 2011, Verma said he was optimistic about resuming operations soon. He said the steel major would also set up a 4 MTPA pelletisation plant and a 10MTPA beneficiation facility, investing close to Rs 3,000 crore.
On Sindri, Verma said they were looking to set up a 5 MTPA Greenfield project at the 5,500 acre site of the Fertilizer Corporation of India by investing Rs 25,000 crore. “The government has agreed to our proposal in principal. But, a final clearance is awaited,” he said.
Explaining the reasons behind the steel major’s move, Verma said, “We thought of a steel plant at Sindri because of its close proximity to Bokaro Steel Limited.
Sindri, about 75 km from Bokaro steel plant, would prove ideal for SAIL. “We wanted to set up a steel plant as the fertiliser plant is lying closed for a decade now. The land will be used for a better cause,” he explained.
However, Verma made it clear that the land had to be free of encroachments.
Verma said three new blast furnaces would be commissioned at Rourkela Steel Plant, IISCO-Burnpur and Bhilai Steel Plant. The first blast furnace would come up at Rourkela by March. The blast furnace at IISCO-Burnpur would take another six months, while the one at Bhilai would come up by March, 2014.
SAIL has also initiated the global bidding process for appointing a mine developer and operator (MDO) for Chiria (in West Singhbhum) and Rowghat (in Chattisgarh) iron-ore mines.