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JSW Steel is undertaking various initiatives to reduce carbon footprint in line with India's net zero ambitions, its Chairman Sajjan Jindal said on July 20. According to the industrialist, his company has already earmarked a sum of 10,000 crore to increase the use of renewable energy to replace thermal power and other green initiatives.

On July 18, the business disclosed a partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a US-based organisation, to create plans to achieve its decarbonization objectives. Its ambitious goal is to cut carbon emissions by 42% by 2029–2030 compared to base year 2005.

According to him, SW Steel contracted for 1 GW of renewable energy, of which 225 MW became active in April 2022. The other GW would be brought online in phases.

"We are undertaking a host of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, aligned with India's net zero ambitions and are envisaging an investment of 10,000 crore towards this. One such initiative is to increase the use of renewable power in our operations," Jindal said, addressing the shareholders at the company's 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The iron and steel sector, according to the Ministry of Steel, is responsible for about 8% of the world's annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while in India, it accounts for 12% of the total.

On the company's performance during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, the Chairman said, "We delivered yet another year of record financial performance, with revenues growing by 83 per cent. We recorded our highest-ever EBITDA and PAT, each growing by 94 per cent and 166 per cent, respectively".

With the unlucky second wave hitting India in the first quarter of the fiscal year, the pandemic continued to provide difficulties. JSW Steel did not need to stop operations, however it briefly lowered them to divert oxygen for medical purposes.

JSW Steel's crude steel production was 19.51 million tonne (MT) in FY22, with contributions from the Bhushan Power and Steel acquisition and Dolvi Phase-2 expansion.

"We continue to focus on high-margin, value-added products, which accounted for 60 per cent of our sales. Our balance sheet remains strong, with consolidated net debt-to-EBITDA at 1.45 times. Our international operations in the USA did well during the year and turned profitable.

"Recent acquisitions – Asian Colour Coated, Vallabh Tinplate, Bhushan Power & Steel, and JSW Ispat Special Products – delivered robust performance during the year," Jindal said.

By FY25, he said JSW Steel expects its consolidated steelmaking capacity in India to be at 37 million tonnes per annum from 27 million tonnes per annum at present. These additions are being complemented by growing downstream capacities, which have increased significantly in the past 2-3 years.

On the duty on steel intermediaries, he said, "We view the export duties imposed on steel in May 2022 as a significant, but short-term headwind. We continue to engage with the government on this matter and believe that the duties were imposed only to rein in inflation and will be withdrawn once inflation moderates".

The steel industry through the Indian Steel Association is constructively engaging with the government on this matter.

(With PTI inputs)

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