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Mecon to help SAIL enhance production

Jamshedpur, May 2: The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has set its sights on producing 45 million ton of hot metal by 2020.

The public sector steel enterprise is preparing a plan document — Vision 2020 — to enhance its production from the existing 15 million ton per annum to 45 million ton in the next 12 years.

During his recent visit to the Chiria mines, SAIL chairman S.K. Roongta told The Telegraph that the PSU has hired the services of Ranchi-based consultant firm Mecon for preparing Vision 2020.

“Mecon has conducted a feasibility study of expansion of five integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Durgapur, Bokaro, Rourkela and Burnpur and concluded that the production of hot metal cou- ld be increased to 45 million ton by 2020. We had al- ready set our growth plan till 2010, whereby we intend to take the production to 27 million ton. In the next 10 years beyond 2010, we are hopeful of increasing the hot metal production by another 18 million ton. This includes another green field project of 12 million ton per annum,” he said.

According to Roongta, the public sector giant will focus on alternative iron-making technologies to achieve the targets, as they have the advantage of more compact configurations (no need of coke ovens, sinter plants).

Though Roongta did not comment on the quantum of investments beyond 2010, steel experts said the compa- ny would be required to invest about Rs 3,000 crore for per million ton of expansion in production. Till 2010, the company has proposed to invest about Rs 52,000 crore to take its production capacity from the existing 15 million ton to 27 million ton.

The steel major has also entered into a tie-up with Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) to undertake exploration and prospecting of its mines to meet the growth plan.

The raw materials divi- sion of SAIL, which prima- rily caters to the need of the SAIL steel plants in the eastern region, has been gradu- ally increasing the production. The company has a target to produce 18.2 million ton of iron ore in the current fiscal.

An official spokesperson of SAIL A.K. Singh said new mines are proposed to be developed at Chiria, Rowghat, south block of Kiriburu, central block of Meghahatuburu, Taldih and Thakurani. Moreover, the PSU has also drawn-up major expansion of the existing mines at Gua, Bolani and Barsua.

According to Singh, the steel giant is going to introduce world class technology in Chiria mine to increase the iron content of ores. Capacity expansion of Gua ore mines is on the anvil. The iron ore mine at Kiriburu will be developed from its present 4.25 million ton to 5 million ton.

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