Odisha’s biggest integrated steel plant is now operational
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Angul (Odisha): The biggest integrated steel plant in Odisha, owned by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), was made operational on Saturday with the commissioning of the country’s largest blast furnace.
Inaugurating the state-of-the-art steel plant, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik said it would provide direct employment to around 30,000 people and indirect jobs to many others. Patnaik said, “... As India looks to reach steel manufacturing capacity of 300 million tons by 2030, I am proud to note that more than 20% of the country’s steel shall continue to be produced from our state.” Stating that the state government is committed to provide all support to the steel industry, he said “we have added more than 16 mtpa steel making capacity in the state since 2005”.
“My government’s vision is to develop Angul as an economically vibrant, high-ended engineering and manufacturing hub with world-class living and working environment,” Patnaik said. He said the state government was creating an industrial ecosystem for enhanced value addition in Odisha. “My vision is to create 30 lakh additional employment opportunities by 2025 and bring prosperity for the people of the state. JSPL’s 6mtpa steel plant is yet another step towards realising that vision,”. JSPL chairman Naveen Jindal said the plant was set up at an investment of about Rs33,000 crore and it would enable the company to overcome its loss in the aftermath of the coal block cancellation. He said JSPL would start earning and play significant role in the development of the state.
Later, he said that production of JSPL would increase substantially with commissioning of the new blast furnace at Angul and the effort would be to make the company debt-free in the next about five years. Stating that coal block cancellation had badly affected the operations and the company, he said JSPL had to face a tough time during the last three years incurring a loss of Rs7,000 to Rs8,000 crore. With production from the new plant, the company would start repaying debts as there was good demand for steel and the government had also taken initiatives to strengthen infrastructure, Jindal said. Stating that interest payment for the company was to the tune of Rs200 crore per month, he said banks were cooperative and clearance of debts would be easier now.
Steel production at Angul would be around 1.5 lakh tonnes next month, 2 lakh tonnes in July and 3 lakh tonnes per month from October this year, Jindal said, adding that from March 2018, the production would touch 4 lakh tonnes per month. The plant, with its 4,554 cubic metre blast furnace, will make Odisha the fourth-largest steel-maker in the country. With this, JSPL also becomes the first company to complete this mega steel project as per its commitment in the memorandum of understanding with the government of Odisha.