New Delhi: Steelmaker SAIL, which has reached the last leg of its Rs 70,000 crore modernisation programme, today said post modernisation there would be 60-70 per cent jump in production capacity which is a challenge for the PSU as demand for domestic steel remains weak.
Modernisation at the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) of India's largest steelmaker was likely to be over in the next few months and with this, the entire process of modernisation will be complete, SAIL Chairman P K Singh said in an exclusive interview to PTI.
"Except Bhilai, modernisation everywhere else is complete," Singh said. Bhilai Steel plant (BSP) is the largest facility of the state-run steel giant. "We will be under the process of ramping up our production.
Our capacity will also find a 60-70 per cent jump. That is a real challenge for the company. To ramp up, produce, and sell. That is the biggest issue for the company," the chairman said, voicing concerns.
Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh recently inaugurated the new Universal Rail Mill (URM) at SAIL's Bhilai Steel Plant and flagged off the first rake from the new mill, he said.
The Rs 1,200-crore URM will take BSP's total capacity to produce rails at 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), which will be the largest rail production capacity in any single location for a plant the world-over.
Elaborating, he said that the company had a production growth of 17 per cent in the last calender year and he expects an output growth of 15-17 per cent this year as well.
"This extra production, which is coming particularly when the demand is not growing....There lies the challenge," he said.
The production is growing almost 7-8 per cent but demand is growing by 3 per cent, he said adding the per capita consumption, which is at 61 kg, needs a rapid push. "We are also driving mass scale campaign where we are meeting various ministries, consumers, various users to increase the steel consumption.
We are also getting a lot of help from the government," he said. The Chairman said that to overcome the challenges, a massive communication exercise is being undertaken right from the top and more than 20,000 employees have been covered under it.
SAIL is optimistic that it will yield positive results. In a bid to to boost steel consumption in the country, he said, there is a need to improve the use of steel in proportion with cement -- a key building material.
"In our country, there is one of the lowest steel-cement ratio. That (India's steel-cement ratio, in terms of usage) is only 0.3 whereas in the advanced countries, it is 1 or more than 1 and in some it is 1.5:1."
Crude steel production of SAIL, which was at 14.3 million tonnes (MT) in FY'16, would increase to 21.4 MTPA post expansion in FY'17. The PSU's saleable steel production, which was at 12.4 MT in 2015-16, would augment to 20.2 MTPA post expansion in 2016-17. The company's hot metal production, which stood at 15.7 MT in FY'16, would reach 23.5 MT post expansion in FY'17....