Mumbai: Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel Ltd has announced plans to make an initial investment of $250 million to upgrade a steel manufacturing plant in Ohio, US. It acquired the plant as part of a recent $80.85 million purchase of Acero Junction Inc., an Ohio-based integrated steel manufacturer. The investment might be scaled up by another $250 million later, depending on the prevailing market situation, the company added.

In a press statement, JSW Steel said that the investment will happen in two parts. In phase one, the firm will revamp and restart the electric arc furnace and the slab caster, and modernise the hot strip mill. The proposed investment including the cost of acquisition, is expected to be approximately $250 million.

In phase two, “depending upon the economic viability and prevailing market conditions", JSW Steel will evaluate the possibility of adding another electric arc furnace as well as additional manufacturing equipment at the hot strip mill to make the Ohio facility a fully integrated unit with 3 million tonnes per annum capacity.

“The proposed investment in phase two could be in the range of up to $250 million, subject to feasibility studies and necessary approvals," JSW Steel said.

JSW Steel has also proposed a separate $500 million investment to expand its operations in Texas. JSW Steel (USA) Inc operates a steel plate and pipe mill at Baytown, Texas, approximately 48km outside Houston. The company said in the same statement that this unit services the local energy, petrochemicals, defence and heavy equipment industries.

The announcements come at a time when the global steel industry is grappling with import tariffs imposed by the Trump administration in the US. Regardless, the group is expanding operations both in India and abroad. The company recently signed a deal to take over Italy’s second largest steel plant Aferpi for 600 crore.

Back home, the company is in the last stages of acquiring its bankrupt competitor Monnet Ispat for 2,750 crore. This acquisition is through a consortium led by private equity player AION Capital.

JSW Steel has a manufacturing capacity of 18 mtpa. Through acquisitions and a series of expansions at its existing facilities, the company has, in the past, spoken of plans to increase the capacity to 45 mtpa by 2020.

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