New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) will invest 200 crore to manufacture rail tracks meant for high-speed train transport, the company said on Tuesday. It has tied up with Germany’s Siemag Weiss Gmbh and Co. KG for the project.

JSPL will be the first Indian firm to manufacture the so-called head-hardened rails, which are high-strength tracks capable of withstanding wear and tear from high-speed trains travelling at higher frequencies.

The plant in Chhattisgarh, set up in technical collaboration with German SMS Meer Gmbh, has the capacity to deliver 30,000 tonnes of head-hardened rails per month.

This will meet the country’s current projected demand of over one million tonnes of head-hardened rails over the next five years. India, at present, imports head-hardened rails.

“More than the boost to the infrastructure sector, I feel that the economy would benefit from the reduced import dependence and the improved investment demand due to domestic manufacturing of such rails," said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist, India Ratings.

“At present there is a price difference of 35-40% between the normal rails and the head-hardened rails imported in India, but with the local availability of the head-hardened rails, this price difference will come down", said Ravi Uppal, managing director and group CEO, JSPL.

This new addition of head-hardened rails to its product range will yield JSPL a monthly revenue of 200 crore, much higher than the previous year’s 45 crore a month.

“In line with the government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’, JSPL has successfully completed trials of head-hardened rails and is all set for commercial production. JSPL being the only producer of head-hardened rails in the country is poised to play an important role in the growth of India’s rail infrastructure," said Naveen Jindal, chairman of JSPL.

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