JSL plans 2.5 MT of stainless steel output capacity by 2014

JSL plans 2.5 MT of stainless steel output capacity by 2014

Mumbai: JSL Ltd on Wednesday said its stainless steel manufacturing capacity will go up to about 2.5 MT by March 2014 on the back of a 1.6 MT greenfield plant it would set up in Orissa, making it the largest producer in India.

The BSE-listed company, which produces 0.72 MT of stainless steel from its Hisar plant, has commenced work in Orissa to set up 0.8 MT of capacity as part of first phase.

“In the first phase of this greenfield project, we will set up a unit of 0.8 MT capacity. We expect to complete this by end of fiscal 2010 or early 2011," JSL Ltd general manager (marketing) Ajay Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

The integrated project will have facilities for mining of iron, manganese and chrome ore for production of ferro- alloys and stainless steel in the melt shop and rolling mills.

“We will add another 0.8 MT as part of second phase by end of fiscal 2014. We will be the number one producer of stainless steel in the country as our total manufacturing capacity will go up to about 2.5 or 2.6 MT," Kumar said.

The total capacity upgradation by 2014 includes an existing ferro-alloy plant at Visakhapatnam with an installed capacity of 40,000 MT per annum as well as a precision strip unit, which will have a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes.

At presently, India’s stainless steel production stands at a meagre 1.8 MT.

JSL is a major player in the Indian stainless steel industry supplemented by smaller companies like Viraj Steel and Varun Industries.

Kumar said steel prices are likely to surge by 10-15% in the next few months as raw material prices have stabilised.

“Steel prices are dependent on raw materials and there has been some stability in the US and European market lately. Last year, steel prices were depressed by 50-60%. So, there may be a 10-15% hike in prices shortly as demand improves," he said.

JSL, which exports 25% of its stainless steel, has decided to focus on the domestic market and aims to sell 90% of its produce in India owing to rising demand.

The company is setting up a 500 MW captive power plant adjacent to its stainless steel unit in Orissa.