SAIL eyeing 14 percent growth this fiscal

Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) Eyeing a 14 percent growth in the current fiscal, the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is now undertaking modernisation and expansion of its five integrated steel plants.

In the first phase, the production capacity will increase from 14 million tonnes to 23.5 million tonnes. ‘Commissioning of the Salem steel plant in Tamil Nadu will take place in a month’s time’, SAIL chairman S.K. Roongta told reporters here.

Among the expansion projects, Burnpur will be commissioned by June next year, and other plants progressively by 2012-13.

The company’s capital expenditure will be over Rs.12,000 crore this year.

Asked whether SAIL was looking at setting up a steel plant at Sindhri of Jharkhand on a closed plant of the Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI), Rongta said: ‘Probably they (FCI) have surplus land, we believe it could be made available for setting up of a steel plant.’

However, he added that the deliberations were in the initial stages with the due diligence yet to be done. The steel-maker was also considering whether the location will be suitable.

Asked about dumping of steel from China, Roongta said there were no clear signs of dumping from the neighbouring nation. ‘But our April import has crossed one million tonnes. Normally import is 5000,000 tonnes per months. This is a significant rise. This is an important development which has to be taken care of’.

He described the target of 14 percent growth in the current fiscal as ‘ambitious but achievable’. ‘Certainly we will reach double figures. But 14 percent is also achievable.’

SAIL now imports 12 million tonnes of steel, which is 75 percent of the country’s needs.

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